Chronic wounds often result from prolonged inflammation involving excessive polymorphonuclear leukocyte activity. Studies show that omega-3 eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish oils generate lipid mediators that reduce inflammation and polymorphonuclear leukocyte activity in numerous inflammatory disease models. This study’s purpose was to test our hypotheses that boosting plasma levels of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids with oral supplements would alter lipid mediator levels in the human wound microenvironment and reduce polymorphonuclear leukocyte levels. Eighteen individuals were randomized to 28 days of either eicosapentaenoic + docosahexaenoic acid supplementation or placebo. After 28 days the Active Group had significantly higher plasma levels of eicosapentaenoic (t=9.23, df=16, p<0.001) and docosahexaenoic acid (t=9.71, df=16, p<0.000) than the Placebo Group and significantly lower wound fluid levels of two 15-lipoxygenase products of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids [9- hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid (χ2 = 4.55, df = 1, p = 0.033) and15-hydroxyeicosatrienoic acid (χ2 = 7.54, df = 1, p = 0.006)] at 24 hours post wounding. The Active Group had lower mean levels of myeloperoxidase, a leukocyte marker, at 12 hours and significantly more re-epithelialization on Day 5 post wounding. We suggest that fish oil supplements may be beneficial adjuvant therapeutics for certain wound types.
Wound healing, polyunsaturated fatty acids
Keib C, Pelham J. (McDaniel) Mediastinitis following coronary artery bypass graft surgery: pathogenesis, clinical presentation, risks and management. J Cardiovasc Nurs 2006; 21(6): 493-499.
McDaniel J., Ahijevych K., Belury M., Blakely W. Omega-3 fatty acids effect on wound healing. Wound Rep Reg 2008; 16; 337-345.
McDaniel J., Ahijevych K., Belury M. Effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplements on the omega-6/omega-3 ratio in healthy young adults. West J Nurs Res. 2010 Feb;32(1):64-80.
McDaniel J., Massey K., Nicolaou A. Fish oil supplementation alters levels of lipid mediators of inflammation in microenvironment of acute human wounds. Wound Rep Reg 2011; 19(2):189-200.
McDaniel, J.C., Belury, M. 2011. Are food and exercise choices of younger adults reflecting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? The Nurse Practitioner. (Formally Accepted)