HealthDay News – Novel lipid mediators may be involved in the beneficial effects associated with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in obesity, according to a study published online June 16 in Diabetes.

Noting that dysregulation of metabolic and endocrine functions of white adipose tissue, together with low-grade inflammation of the tissue in obesity, contributes to type 2 diabetes, Ondrej Kuda, PhD, from the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, and colleagues conducted experiments in mice and overweight/obese patients with type 2 diabetes.

They elucidated the structures of novel members of fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs), derived from docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and linoleic acid, which were identified in serum and white adipose tissue after supplementation with omega-3 PUFA.

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Researchers found that the FAHFAs contained DHA esterified to 9- and 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid (HLA) or 14-hydroxydocosahexaenoic acid (HDHA) (9-DHAHLA, 13-DHAHLA, and 14-DHAHDHA). Synthesis of these compounds by adipocytes occurred at concentrations comparable to those of protectins and resolvins derived from DHA in white adipose tissue. Anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving properties were seen for 13-DHAHLA, together with a reduction in macrophage activation by lipopolysaccharide and enhanced phagocytosis of zymosan particles.

“Our results document the existence of novel lipid mediators, which are involved in the beneficial anti-inflammatory effects attributed to omega-3 PUFA, in both mice and humans,” the authors wrote.


Kuda O, Brezinova M, Rombaldova M, et al. Docosahexaenoic acid-derived fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs) with anti-inflammatory properties. Diabetes. 2016. doi: 10.2337/db16-0385.