How Omega-3 Can Reduce Atherosclerosis?

Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of atherosclerosis and results from an imbalance between pro-inflammatory and pro-resolving signaling. 

Resolution of inflammation is regulated by a superfamily of lipid mediators called specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) that consist of several structurally distinct families biosynthesized from polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as resolvings (Rv) and lipoxins (LX). 

SPMs have effects in antiinflammation and proresolution, counterregulating neutrophil recruitment and production of proinflammatory mediators while also enhancing the clearance of apoptotic neutrophils, microbes, and debris. 

New Study Findings 

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation evaluated the role of human GPR32, a G protein-coupled receptor, in vivo during inflammation resolution and atherosclerosis. 

This receptor is activated by substances formed from omega-3 fatty acids and plays a vital role in preventing inflammation in blood vessels and reducing the process of atherosclerosis.

The researchers found that this receptor is dysregulated in atherosclerosis, indicating a disruption in the body’s natural healing process. The study showed that signaling via the receptor actively stops inflammation in the blood vessels and stimulates healing. They studied atherosclerotic plaques and created a new experimental model with an over-expressed GPR32 receptor, which counteracted atherosclerosis and inflammation in the blood vessels, and resolvings that activate GPR32 enhanced the effect.

The researchers believe that their results could be used to create new strategies for treating and preventing cardiovascular disease using omega-3 fatty acids, which different studies continue showing have multiple health benefits. 


Karolinska Institutet. “New discovery on how omega-3 fatty acids can reduce atherosclerosis.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2021. <>.

Hildur Arnardottir, et al. The resolvin D1 receptor GPR32 transduces inflammation resolution and atheroprotection. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2021; 131 (24) DOI: 10.1172/JCI142883

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