Omega-3 fatty acid and iron supplementation lower inflammation and anemia of infection in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.


Nutrients. 2020 Sep 22 ;12(9). Epub 2020 Sep 22. PMID: 32971969

Abstract Title: 

Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Iron Supplementation Alone, but Not in Combination, Lower Inflammation and Anemia of Infection in-Infected Mice.


Progressive inflammation and anemia are common in tuberculosis (TB) and linked to poor clinical outcomes. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have inflammation-resolving properties, whereas iron supplementation in TB may have limited efficacy and enhance bacterial growth. We investigated effects of iron and EPA/DHA supplementation, alone and in combination, on inflammation, anemia, iron status markers and clinical outcomes in-infected C3HeB/FeJ mice. One week post-infection, mice received the AIN-93 diet without (control) or with supplemental iron (Fe), EPA/DHA, or Fe+EPA/DHA for 3 weeks. Mice supplemented with Fe or EPA/DHA had lower soluble transferrin receptor, ferritin and hepcidin than controls, but these effects were attenuated in Fe+EPA/DHA mice. EPA/DHA increased inflammation-resolving lipid mediators and lowered lung IL-1α, IFN-γ, plasma IL-1β, and TNF-α. Fe lowered lung IL-1α, IL-1β, plasma IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6. However, the cytokine-lowering effects in the lungs were attenuated with Fe+EPA/DHA. Mice supplemented with EPA/DHA had lower lung bacterial loads than controls, but this effect was attenuated inFe+EPA/DHA mice. Thus, individually, post-infection EPA/DHA and iron supplementation lowered systemic and lung inflammation and mitigated anemia of infection in TB, but not when combined. EPA/DHA also enhanced bactericidal effects and could support inflammation resolution and management of anemia.

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