Omega-3 fats DHA and EPA modify the intestinal microbiome
This may result in some reduction in species diversity but this finding is not clear
Omega-3 fats increase relative amounts of short-chain fatty acid producing bacteria beneficial to health
These changes to the microbiome reduce the formation of endotoxins and reduce inflammation and immune dysfunction
High dose fish oil supplementation during active inflammatory bowel disease has been demonstrated to worsen sepsis in some animal models, and this finding needs to be further studied in humans
Various studies have found that the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in fish oil, can reverse intestinal dysbiosis (distortion of the natural balance of microbes in the gut) by increasing beneficial bacteria species, including Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and butyrate-producing bacteria, such as Roseburia and Coprococcus. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids decrease the proportions of lipopolysaccharide and mucous producing bacteria in the gut, along with reducing inflammation and oxidative stress,1 and obesity.2
What are ‘lipopolysaccharides’?
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are ‘endotoxins’ (toxins originating within the body) that are found in the outer membrane of various bacteria, which can be released into the body of the host. They are linked to sepsis, inflammation, auto-immune diseases, and even obesity in humans.