EPA+DHA Oral Therapy Reduces High Levels of Circulating Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines in Older Adults with Chronic Wounds
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Nursing Honors Theses; 2018
High levels of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines contribute to inflammaging, the age-related chronic systemic inflammation involved in the pathobiology of numerous chronic conditions common to older adults (e.g., cardiovascular disease (CVD), arthritis, chronic wounds). Low-risk therapies to target the underlying factors linked to inflammaging are critically needed because by 2060 the U. S. population aged 65 years and older is projected to reach 98 million. Some studies have shown that the bioactive elements of fish oil, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), reduce pro-inflammatory cytokine synthesis, but the effects of supplementing diets with EPA+DHA in older adults remain unclear. The purpose of this study was to compare pro-inflammatory cytokine levels over time between older adults receiving EPA+DHA supplementation versus placebo. This randomized, double-blind study evaluated 35 older adults with chronic wounds at a university research center. For 8 weeks, EPA+DHA Group participants (n=16) consumed EPA+DHA supplements (2. 5 g/d) and Placebo Group participants (n=19) consumed a placebo. Fasting blood plasma samples were collected at Weeks 0, 4 and 8 to quantify levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α. Sociodemographic, comorbidity, and body mass index (BMI) data were also collected. On average, participants were 60.6 years (SD=11. 96) with a BMI of 41. 7 (SD=11. 51). The majority were male (60%), Caucasian (74%) and had diagnoses of CVD (77%) and/or arthritis (51%) in addition to chronic wounds. There were no significant differences in age, BMI, or number of comorbidities between the two groups. After adjusting for baseline differences, the EPA+DHA Group had significantly lower levels of IL-6 (p = .008), IL-1β (p < .001), and TNF-α (p < .001) than the Placebo Group at Week 4 and at Week 8 [IL-6 (p =.007), IL-1β (p < .001), and TNF-α (p < .001)]. The findings suggest that low-risk EPA+DHA oral therapy may be effective for reducing the high levels of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines linked to inflammaging in older adults. Future studies could test EPA+DHA oral therapy in larger, more diverse samples of older adults.
Academic Major: Nursing
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