Nutrition in wasting diseaseOmega-3 fatty acids and anorexiaGoncalves, Carolina G; Ramos, Eduardo JB; Suzuki, Susumu; Meguid, Michael M Author Information Surgical Metabolism and Nutrition Laboratory, Department of Surgery, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, USA Correspondence to Michael M. Meguid MD PhD, Department of Surgery, University Hospital, 750 E. Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA Tel: +1 315 464 6277; fax: +1 315 464 6237; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: July 2005 - Volume 8 - Issue 4 - p 403-407 doi: 10.1097/01.mco.0000172580.02138.20 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review To review the mechanisms of action of ω-3 fatty acids and their role in the brain, as well as their therapeutic implications in anorexia. Recent findings Recent studies have demonstrated that ω-3 fatty acids modulate changes in the concentrations and actions of several orexigenic and anorexigenic neuropeptides in the brain, including neuropeptide Y, α-melanocyte stimulating hormone and the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. In patients with acute and chronic inflammatory conditions, low tissue concentrations of ω-3 fatty acids and high concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines are found, in association with anorexia and decreased food intake. The data suggest that ω-3 fatty acid supplementation suppresses proinflammatory cytokine production and improves food intake by normalizing hypothalamic orexigenic peptides and neurotransmitters. Summary Based on current data, ω-3 fatty acid supplementation has a role in the treatment of anorexia by stimulating the production and release of orexigenic neurotransmitters in food intake regulatory nuclei in the hypothalamus. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.