Parenteral fish oil: An adjuvant pharmacotherapy for coronavirus disease 2019?

Raquel S. Torrinhas, Philip C. Calder, Gabriela O. Lemos, Dan L. Waitzberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

© 2020 Elsevier Inc. The new coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2), surprisingly, does not affect only the lungs. The severe response to SARS-CoV-2 appears to include a “cytokine storm,” which indicates a state of hyperinflammation and subsequent dysfunction of multiple organs and tissues in the most severe cases. This could be the reason why populations at the highest risk for death from the SARS-CoV-2 infection–induced disease (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]) are those suffering from chronic low-grade inflammation, but prone to hyperinflammation. This includes individuals of advanced age and those with obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome. Inflammation resolution is strongly dependent on lipid mediators, the specialized pro-resolution mediators (SPMs). ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) are precursors of very potent SPMs, including resolvins, protectins, and maresins. Additionally, they are associated with a less aggressive inflammatory initiation, after competing with ω-6 fatty acids for eicosanoid synthesis. Therefore, it makes sense to consider the use of ω-3 PUFAs for clinical management of COVID-19 patients. ω-3 PUFAs may be given by oral, enteral, or parenteral routes; however, the parenteral route favors faster incorporation into plasma phospholipids, blood cells, and tissues. Here, we discuss these aspects to propose the parenteral infusion of ω-3 PUFAs as adjuvant immunopharmacotherapy for hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrition
Volume81
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

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