How does the immune system work? The nutritional aspects of immunity and the role of essential fatty acids.
How essential fatty acids effect immunity.
This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! College of Immune Health – Immune Health 101: The Nutritional Aspects of Immunity and essential fatty acids
The immune system functions as an integrated network of organs, specialized cells and unique bodily fluids. In this segment, I discuss the nutritional aspects of immunity and in particular the role of essential fatty acids.
Essential fatty acids also known as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids must be consumed in the diet as they cannot be metabolized internally. When it comes to immunity, omega-6 arachidonic acid and omega-3 EPA* and DHA* influence immune cell structure and function as chemical messengers to regulate immune cell function.
Foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids include salmon, sardines, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, rainbow trout and tuna. They may also be acquired through supplementation.
*EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Online [available at]: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic