How do fish oils and evening primrose oil affect rheumatic diseases?
It is known that ethnic cultures with diets rich in fish oils (10 g/day), which are primarily long-chain omega-3 FAs, tend to have less autoimmune disease. Omega-3 FA diets can reduce arachidonic acid levels by 33% and increase EPA levels in cellular membranes by 20 times. This results in production of PGE3 and LTB5, which have less inflammatory potential than those agents made from omega-6 FAs.
Evening primrose oil (also borage seed oil and blackcurrant seed oil ) is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is an omega-6 FA. In experimental animal models, excess dietary GLA results in more PGE1 compounds and less LT production, leading to less inflammation. Some studies support that this therapy reduces inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).