Novel lipid mediators may be involved in the beneficial effects associated with omega-3s in obesity, according to a study published online in Diabetes. Noting that dysregulation of metabolic and endocrine functions of white adipose tissue (WAT), together with low-grade inflammation of the tissue in obesity, contributes to type 2 diabetes, Ondrej Kuda, Ph.D., from the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, and colleagues conducted experiments in mice and overweight/obese patients with type 2 diabetes.
They elucidated the structures of novel members of fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs), derived from DHA, which were identified in serum and WAT after supplementation with omega-3s. Synthesis of these compounds by adipocytes occurred at concentrations comparable to those of protectins and resolvins derived from DHA in WAT. Anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving properties were seen for 13-DHAHLA, together with a reduction in macrophage activation by lipopolysaccharide and enhanced phagocytosis of zymosan particles.