Obese adolescents, omega-3 and chronic diseases


Obesity is an important risk factor for the development of several chronic diseases (hypertension, cancer, asthma and metabolic syndrome). Chronic low grade systemic inflammation is characteristic of obesity and may explain the link between obesity and chronic disease. There is evidence for infiltration of immune and inflammatory cells into adipose tissue, that leads to systemic inflammation (and subsequent organ damage).

Compared to normal weight adolescents, obese adolescents have lower serum omega-3 concentrations, and augmented inflammatory activity and endothelial dysfunction (the endothelium is a thin layer that covers the inner surface of the blood vessels). In a study, obese adolescents, they received daily capsules containing either 1.2 g of omega-3 or placebo for 3 months (two periods of 3 months with a 6 week period without treatment between the end of the first period and the start of the second, to allow for the entire administered omega-3 to be eliminated from the body). Daily supplementation with omega-3 increased the serum concentration of omega-3, improved vascular function and lowered the degree of inflammation.



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