Omega - 3 Fatty Acids and Viral Infection

Omega - 3 FAs could be a potential antimicrobial drug with little potential for drug resistance. The metabolites of both Omega - 3 and Omega - 6 play an important role in the synthesis of different mediators such as prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxanes, protectins, and resolvins . The study shows that fish oil enhances antiviral response by inducing interferon (IFN) which inhibits viral replication .

The anti-inflammatory effect by omega-3 FAs is stronger in DHA compared to that of EPA, and their secretion of cytokines IL-10 is further increased by Omega - 3. CD8 T cells are responsible for fighting against viruses by inducing the production of different cytokines in the body, such as Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and granzyme B. However, the surge of cytokines by CD8 T cells to defend influenza viruses impose unintended lung damage and further deteriorate the clinical outcome. Omega - 3 FAs weaken the antiviral response by CD8 T cells and could potentially be used to modulate cytokine responses as antiviral responses.