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 sixweek double blind randomised placebo controlled supplementation trial involving two groups (fish oil or placebo oil, 3g/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% V¿O(2peak). Blood samples were taken pre-supplementation, pre-exercise (post-supplementation), immediately, 1 and 3h 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-¿ 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 3h 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-¿ 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.
- eicosapentaenoic acid
- docosahexaenoic acid
- NK cells
Gray, P., Gabriel, B., Thies, F., & Gray, S. R. (2012). Fish oil supplementation augments post-exercise immune function in young males. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 26(8), 1265-1272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2012.08.002