Can Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators Deliver Benefit Originally Expected from Fish Oil?

Martin D. Rosenthal, Jayshil Patel, Kyle Staton, Robert G. Martindale, Frederick A. Moore, Gilbert R. Upchurch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose of the Review: Fish oil (FO) supplementation has historically been used by individuals suffering from cardiovascular disease and other inflammatory processes. However, a meta-analysis of several large randomized control trials (RCTs) suggested FO conferred no benefit in reducing cardiovascular risk. Skeptics surmised that the lack of benefit was related to FO dose or drug interactions; therefore, the widely accepted practice of FO consumption was brought into question. Recent Findings: Thereafter, Serhan et al. identified specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) to be one of the bioactive components and mechanisms of action of FO. SPMs are thought to enhance resolution of inflammation, as opposed to classic anti-inflammatory agents which inhibit inflammatory pathways. Numerous diseases, including persistent Inflammation, immunosuppression, and catabolic syndrome (PICS), are rooted in a burden of chronic inflammation. SPMs are gaining traction as potential therapeutic agents used to resolve inflammation in cardiovascular disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, sepsis, pancreatitis, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Summary: This narrative reviews the history of FO and the various studies that made the health benefits of FO inconclusive, as well as an overview of SPMs and their use in specific disease states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number40
JournalCurrent gastroenterology reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Fish oil
  • Inflammation
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Persistent immunosuppression inflammation catabolic syndrome (PICS)
  • Specialized pro-resolving mediators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Can Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators Deliver Benefit Originally Expected from Fish Oil?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this