N-3 PUFA and obesity: From peripheral tissues to the central nervous system

Aline Haas De Mello, Marcela Fornari Uberti, Bianca Xavier De Farias, Nathalia Alberti Ribas De Souza, Gislaine Tezza Rezin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The current paradigms of prevention and treatment are unable to curb obesity rates, which indicates the need to explore alternative therapeutic approaches. Obesity leads to several damages to the body and is an important risk factor for a number of other chronic diseases. Furthermore, despite the first alterations in obesity being observed and reported in peripheral tissues, studies indicate that obesity can also cause brain damage. Obesity leads to a chronic low-grade inflammatory state, and the therapeutic manipulation of inflammation can be explored. In this context, the use of n-3 PUFA (especially in the form of fish oil, rich in EPA and DHA) may be an interesting strategy, as this substance is known by its anti-inflammatory effect and numerous benefits to the body, such as reduction of TAG, cardiac arrhythmias, blood pressure and platelet aggregation, and has shown potential to help treat obesity. Thereby, the aim of this narrative review was to summarise the literature related to n-3 PUFA use in obesity treatment. First, the review provides a brief description of the obesity pathophysiology, including alterations that occur in peripheral tissues and at the central nervous system. In the sequence, we describe what are n-3 PUFA, their sources and their general effects. Finally, we explore the main topic linking obesity and n-3 PUFA. Animal and human studies were included and alterations on the whole organism were described (peripheral tissues and brain).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1312-1323
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 14 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity
  • n-3 PUFA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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