Anti-inflammatory effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids in rats

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Several studies have shown the beneficial effects of Omega-3 fatty acids on health: on the lipid metabolism promoting plasma triglycerol levels decrease, increase in HDL cholesterol and anti-inflammatory action by decreasing arachidonic acid derivatives synthesis: prostaglandin E2 (PGE3), tromboxane A2 (TXA2), prostacyclin (PGI2) and leukotriene B4. So, it is supposed that supplementation with EPA and DHA (ω-3) fatty acids may attenuate inflammatory process effects by decreasing eiocosanoids synthesis as well as the indiscriminate use of anti-inflammatory drugs. This study aimed at comparing the analgesic / anti-inflammatory effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid (ω-3) and tenoxicam in rats. METHOD: Participated in this study 18 male Wistar rats, weighing between 220 and 300 g, distributed in 3 groups (n = 6): Control group (CG), tenoxicam group (TG) and Omega group (OG), to receive, respectively 0.2 mL saline, 1 mg.kg¹.day-1 tenoxicam and 200 omega-3 fatty acid per day by gavage. Formalin test was performed after two weeks of treatment and nociceptive response was observed, since release of local endogenous mediators is attributed to the second phase, which generates local inflammatory response, responsible for the sensitization of primary afferents and of medullar neurons subsequent to the activation of nociceptors. Statistical analysis of results was performed with the SAS JMP program, adopting significance level of 5%. RESULTS: Tenoxicam and omega-3 groups were not statistically different when compared in the modified formalin test phase. However, they showed less painful response, with statistical significance, in the second formalin test phase as compared to CG. CONCLUSION: Results have shown comparable anti-inflammatory effect between tenoxicam and dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid, suggesting that dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid may be very useful, especially for chronic processes where the use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs is associated to higher morbidity especially of the digestive and renal systems.

Inflammation; Omega-3; Pain; Rats

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