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The Imbalance between n-6/n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Comprehensive Review and Future Therapeutic Perspectives

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, St. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Italy
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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2619; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122619
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
Eating habits have changed dramatically over the years, leading to an imbalance in the ratio of n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in favour of n-6 PUFAs, particularly in the Western diet. Meanwhile, the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing worldwide. Recent epidemiological data indicate the potential beneficial effect of n-3 PUFAs in ulcerative colitis (UC) prevention, whereas consumption of a higher ratio of n-6 PUFAs versus n-3 PUFAs has been associated with an increased UC incidence. The long-chain dietary n-3 PUFAs are the major components of n-3 fish oil and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties in several chronic inflammatory disorders, being involved in the regulation of immunological and inflammatory responses. Despite experimental evidence implying biological plausibility, clinical data are still controversial, especially in Crohn’s disease. Clinical trials of fish-oil derivatives in IBD have produced mixed results, showing beneficial effects, but failing to demonstrate a clear protective effect in preventing clinical relapse. Such data are insufficient to make a recommendation for the use of n-3 PUFAs in clinical practice. Here, we present the findings of a comprehensive literature search on the role of n-3 PUFAs in IBD development and treatment, and highlight new therapeutic perspectives. View Full-Text
Keywords: inflammatory bowel disease; ulcerative colitis; Crohn’s disease; n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; omega-3 fatty acids inflammatory bowel disease; ulcerative colitis; Crohn’s disease; n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; omega-3 fatty acids
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Scaioli, E.; Liverani, E.; Belluzzi, A. The Imbalance between n-6/n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Comprehensive Review and Future Therapeutic Perspectives. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2619.

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