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Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplementation Attenuates Inflammatory Markers After Eccentric Exercise in Untrained Men

Tartibian, Bakhtyar PhD*; Maleki, Behzad Hajizadeh MSc*; Abbasi, Asghar MSc†‡

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: March 2011 - Volume 21 - Issue 2 - p 131-137
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e31820f8c2f
Original Research

Objective: To examine the effect of ingestion of omega-3 (N-3) fatty acids on the production of interleukin (IL) 6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α, prostaglandin (PG) E2, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK), and myoglobin (Mb) during an eccentric exercise program.

Design: A randomized, double-blinded, repeated measures design was used for this study.

Setting: The study was performed in the Exercise Physiology Laboratory of the Urmia University.

Participants: Forty-five men, who had not participated in any training program for 60 days before their participation in this study, were recruited.

Interventions: Plasma levels of PGE2, IL-6, TNF-α, CK, LDH, and Mb were taken before supplementation, pre-exercise, and immediately, 24, and 48 hours after eccentric exercise. Subjects were assigned to one of the experimental (1.8 g/d N-3), placebo, or control groups.

Main Outcome Measures: Plasma levels of PGE2, IL-6, and TNF-α were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays kits. Plasma level of LDH, Mb, and CK were measured using an autoanalyzer, a c-counter, and an automatic blood analyzer, respectively.

Results: The experimental group showed less elevation in TNF-α and PGE2 immediately, 24, and 48 hours after exercise, when compared with the other groups. Significantly less elevation was shown in the concentration of IL-6, CK, and Mb for the experimental group at 24 and 48 hours after exercise. The experimental group also demonstrated a significant trend toward reduction in the plasma concentration of LDH immediately, 24, and 48 hours after the exercise program.

Conclusions: Ingestion of N-3 can be effective in ameliorating, eccentric exercise–induced, inflammatory markers.

From the *Department of Cellular and Molecular Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran; †Institute of Clinical and Experimental Transfusion Medicine (IKET), and Institute of Sport Science, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.

Submitted for publication July 30, 2010; accepted January 10, 2011.

Supported by grants from the Urmia University, Iran.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Corresponding Author: Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki, MSc, Department of Cellular and Molecular Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran (e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.