December 15, 2023

In addition to their influence on eicosanoids, dietary polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), such as Omega-3s and 6s, also modulate immune response through particular molecular mechanisms. They alter cell membrane composition (see ‘PHOSPHOLIPIDS’ section), hence affecting membrane dependent functions such as cell signalling and phagocytosis (where cells engulf harmful microbes and foreign particles to protect the body). They also change the biosynthesis of cytokines (signalling molecules used extensively in cellular communication).¹ The immune system is highly reliant on accurate cell-to-cell communication and any damage to the signalling systems will result in an impaired immune responsiveness.²  Errors in cellular information processing are responsible for autoimmune diseases and some cancers.


  1. Pace-Asciak CR, et al. The red wine phenolics trans-resveratrol and quercetin block human platelet aggregation and eicosanoid synthesis: implications for protection against coronary heart disease. Clin Chim Acta 1995;235(2):207-19.
  2. Hughes DA. Effects of dietary antioxidants on the immune function of middle-aged adults. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 1999; 58:79-84.