Fish oil supplementation augments post-exercise immune function in young males

Gray, P., Gabriel, B., Thies, F. and Gray, S. R. (2012) Fish oil supplementation augments post-exercise immune function in young males. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 26(8), pp. 1265-1272. (doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2012.08.002) (PMID:22902522)

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Purpose Fish oils and related fatty acid components have anti-inflammatory properties, with beneficial effects against various disorders such as cardiovascular disease. A single bout of exercise can alter immune function. However, the effects of fish oil on immune function after a single bout of exercise are currently unknown. This study investigated the effect of supplementation with fish oil on the immune response to an acute bout of endurance exercise. Methods Sixteen male subjects underwent a six week double blind randomised placebo controlled supplementation trial involving two groups (fish oil or placebo oil, 3 g/day). They attended for two visits, the first involving a maximal exercise test and the second involving a 1-h bout of endurance exercise on a cycle ergometer at 70% . Blood samples were taken pre-supplementation, pre-exercise (post-supplementation), immediately, 1 and 3 h post-exercise. Samples were analysed for plasma IL-6, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and cortisol; peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) IL-2, IL-4 and IFN-γ production; neutrophil phagocytosis/oxidative burst; and natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxic activity. Results Post-supplementation EPA concentration was increased (P = 0.0127) in the fish oil group. At 3 h post-exercise PBMC IL-2 (P = 0.0067) and NK cell activity (P = 0.0163) was greater in the fish oil compared with the control group. However, PBMC IL-4 and IFN-γ productions, plasma IL-6 and cortisol concentrations, as well as neutrophil activity were unaffected by fish oil supplementation. Conclusion The current study demonstrates that fish oil supplementation reduces increases PBMC IL-2 production and NK cell cytotoxic activity in the recovery period after exercise.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gray, Dr Stuart
Authors: Gray, P., Gabriel, B., Thies, F., and Gray, S. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
Journal Name:Brain, Behavior, and Immunity
ISSN (Online):1090-2139

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