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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 581469, 16 pages
Review Article

N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Inflammation in Obesity: Local Effect and Systemic Benefit

Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China

Received 25 September 2014; Accepted 11 January 2015

Academic Editor: Karsten Weylandt

Copyright © 2015 Yue Wang and Feiruo Huang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Overwhelming consensus emerges among countless evidences that obesity is characterized by a chronic low-grade inflammation in the adipose tissue (AT), which subsequently develops into a systemic inflammatory state contributing to obesity-associated diseases. N-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), known as important modulators participating in inflammatory process, turn out to be an effective mitigating strategy dealing with local and systemic inflammation observed in obesity. Some of the effects of n-3 PUFA are brought about by regulation of gene expression through interacting with nuclear receptors and transcription factors; other effects are elicited by modulation of the amount and type of mediator derived from PUFAs. The metabolic effects of n-3 PUFA mainly result from their interactions with several organ systems, not limited to AT. Notably, the attenuation of inflammation in hard-hit AT, in turn, contributes to reducing circulating concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines and detrimental metabolic derivatives, which is beneficial for the function of other involved organs. The present review highlights a bridging mechanism between n-3 PUFA-mediated inflammation relief in AT and systemic benefits.