Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: The Next Stage of Omega-3 Evolution?

Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: The Next Stage of Omega-3 Evolution?

Every human on planet Earth experiences inflammation to some degree. It’s a natural immune response when we cut ourselves, or when viruses and bacteria invade our bodies. Inflammation may crop up as a result of a poor diet, too. These types of inflammation are referred to as acute (short-term) inflammation. They’re a natural part of life and nothing to be worried about.

However, if acute inflammation isn’t treated correctly, it can worsen and turn into chronic inflammation—a significant health issue. At the moment, chronic inflammation is all but unavoidable. As the body ages, it develops “chronic, sterile, low-grade inflammation.” This condition is known as “inflammaging,” and emerging research indicates that it’s responsible for a laundry list of health-related issues.

Joint pain, cardiovascular problems, asthma, mood disorders, and even overactivity have all been associated with chronic inflammation. Until now, it seemed that the only response to inflammaging was to suppress the inflammation response as much as possible. That may no longer be the case.

A newly discovered lipid mediator may have unlocked a bevy of opportunities for those who want to live to 1,000. Say hello to Special Pro-Resolving Mediators. Your life may never be the same.

What are specialized pro-resolving mediators?

Specialized pro-resolving mediators—or SPMs for brevity’s sake—is an umbrella term that refers to a growing family of cell-signaling molecules that form in your cells after the body metabolizes polyunsaturated fats. Initial research with SPMs indicates that they have a rather fascinating impact on the body’s inflammatory response.

Let’s say you fall down and cut your hand. The first thing that happens is mild swelling at the injury site, followed by inflammation. This swelling, known as edema, is a warning sign to your body to call in leukocytes to swarm to the injury site and begin munching down on whatever’s invading the body.

When SPMs are introduced to a site of inflammation, they inhibit the recruitment of leukocytes. Instead, SPMs instruct the body to call in its garbage handlers, macrophages. Once on-site, macrophages whisk away both the cells that have reached the end of their usefulness and the microbes causing the inflammatory response.

As a result, SPMs provide a natural, healthy resolution to inflammation without stopping it in its tracks. If that wasn’t promising enough, some research indicates that SPMs also relieve the pain associated with inflammation and promote tissue regeneration.

The relationship between SPMs and omega 3s

Doctors have extolled the virtues of Omega-3 fatty acids, one type of polyunsaturated fatty acids, for years. Study after study indicates that a diet rich in omega 3s can help relieve a massive number of issues, including depression, heart disease, ADHD, autoimmune deficiency, mental disorders, Alzheimer’s and more. That’s to say nothing of the role omega 3s play in neonatal care and early childhood brain development.

Among the incredible array of benefits that Omega-3s have demonstrated in the lab is their ability to aid in relieving chronic inflammation. With the discovery of SPMs, scientists suspect they may have discovered why. Though SPMs aren’t considered polyunsaturated fatty acids (like omega 3s), they are invariably linked. As it happens, the surface of Omega-3s and other polyunsaturated fatty acids provide the perfect breeding ground for the development of SPMs in your body.

The ongoing fight against inflammation

Researchers are making consistent headway in the quest to understand the human body’s inflammation response. The latest studies indicate the inflammation response may not be self-regulating, as previously thought. In other words, when the inflammation process starts, there is no mechanism to stop it until the natural introduction of SPMs.

Therefore, as we age and our bodies go into a state of near-constant inflammation, we’re unable to supply as many SPMs as we require. Though more research is needed to cement that conclusion, preliminary reports are promising.

Can we live forever?

The quest to live for a thousand years was once thought impossible. However, as our understanding of the human body and the processes that govern it improve, the notion that we can substantially increase our lifespan is getting less far-fetched every day. Sure, gaining a measure of control over the body’s natural tendency toward inflammaging may not be the sole key to a centuries-long life, but learning to live in harmony with our body’s natural processes is certainly one step closer to that goal.

SPMs and their effect on inflammation are an exciting area of study that’s bound to yield more results the more it’s investigated.

Back to blog