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Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Gut Microbiota

Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences (DEB), Tuscia University, Largo dell’Università snc, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2645; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122645
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease: New Knowledge)
Long-term dietary habits play a crucial role in creating a host-specific gut microbiota community in humans. Despite the many publications about the effects of carbohydrates (prebiotic fibers), the impact of dietary fats, such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), on the gut microbiota is less well defined. The few studies completed in adults showed some common changes in the gut microbiota after omega-3 PUFA supplementation. In particular, a decrease in Faecalibacterium, often associated with an increase in the Bacteroidetes and butyrate-producing bacteria belonging to the Lachnospiraceae family, has been observed. Coincidentally, a dysbiosis of these taxa is found in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Omega-3 PUFAs can exert a positive action by reverting the microbiota composition in these diseases, and increase the production of anti-inflammatory compounds, like short-chain fatty acids. In addition, accumulating evidence in animal model studies indicates that the interplay between gut microbiota, omega-3 fatty acids, and immunity helps to maintain the intestinal wall integrity and interacts with host immune cells. Finally, human and animal studies have highlighted the ability of omega-3 PUFAs to influence the gut–brain axis, acting through gut microbiota composition. From these findings, the importance of the omega-3 connection to the microbiota emerges, encouraging further studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: omega-3 PUFAs; DHA; EPA; gut microbiota; dysbiosis; inflammation; behavioral disorders omega-3 PUFAs; DHA; EPA; gut microbiota; dysbiosis; inflammation; behavioral disorders
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Costantini, L.; Molinari, R.; Farinon, B.; Merendino, N. Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Gut Microbiota. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2645.

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