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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Modulation of the endogenous leukotriene production by fish oil and vitamin E.

We investigated the effects of fish oil and vitamin E on the endogenous leukotriene production. 10 healthy volunteers were supplemented for 1 week with fish oil (containing 40 mg/kg body weight per day of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid), vitamin E (540 mg, i.e., 800 IU of D-alpha-tocopherol per day), or with both agents. Treatment resulted in a significant increase in the eicosapentaenoate concentration in red blood cell membranes and/or in the vitamin E concentration in serum. In addition, nine obese patients were investigated who were on a hypocaloric diet including 10 mg vitamin E/day for 8 weeks. This diet was associated with a significant decrease in serum vitamin E concentration. The urinary concentration of leukotriene E4 plus N-acetylleukotriene E4 served as a measure for the endogenous leukotriene production. Fish oil reduced leukotriene production in eight of the 10 healthy individuals. After vitamin E supplementation, urinary leukotrienes were significantly reduced in all of the healthy volunteers. The combination of vitamin E plus fish oil had no synergistic effect on leukotriene production in the individuals tested. The decrease in serum vitamin E concentration during the hypocaloric, 10 mg vitamin E/day diet was associated with an increase in urinary leukotrienes in 8 of the 9 obese patients. Urinary prostaglandin metabolites, determined as tetranorprostanedioic acid, increased or decreased in parallel with urinary leukotrienes in most individuals; however, changes were less pronounced than those observed with leukotrienes. We conclude that the endogenous leukotriene production can be reduced effectively by high doses of fish oil or vitamin E, whereas vitamin E depletion is associated with an increase in leukotriene generation.[1]


  1. Modulation of the endogenous leukotriene production by fish oil and vitamin E. Denzlinger, C., Kless, T., Sagebiel-Kohler, S., Lemmen, C., Jacob, K., Wilmanns, W., Adam, O. Journal of lipid mediators and cell signalling. (1995) [Pubmed]
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