New research shows that EFAs from fish oil enhances white blood cell activity, challenging the idea that the sole role of fish oil in preventing disease is by reducing inflammation.1 Research, led by Dr. Jenifer Fenton, found that in mice, fish oil enhanced B cell activation and select antibody production. In a human study, researchers found that supplementation of marathon runners with fish could prevent illnesses commonly seen after a race. Those who took the fish oil supplements (3 grams daily for 60 days) saw increased white cell growth, and their production of cytokine had not decline. This compared to runners who had not taken the fish oil supplements and saw their cytokine levels drop and experience a higher degree of cell death.
(1) Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 2013
(2) International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism