on November 29, 2012
at 06:10 AM
Good question, I'm also curious about this. I've found mixed things while looking into this myself. It probably matters what type of infection you're talking about and what omega-3 displaces in the diet. These are some of the rodent studies I've come across:
Decreased infection from omega-3:
"A fish-oil enriched diet therefore increases survival in mice following Klebsiella pneumoniae infection, whether compared to a standard diet, olive-oil enriched diet or corn-oil enriched diet".
"Mice were fed for 5 wk with specifically designed diets with high contents in either omega-3 (??-3) or ??-6 PUFA and compared to a control diet. P. aeruginosa...was then instilled intratracheally...the ??-3 group had the lowest mortality".
Increased infection from omega-3:
"Female mice were fed for 28 d one of two semipurified high fat diets containing either lard or refined menhaden fish oil, rich in long-chain (n-3) PUFA...Compared with lard-fed mice, na??ve mice in the fish oil treatment group had higher bacterial loads in their liver and spleen...dietary (n-3) PUFA can significantly impair host resistance to a primary as well as a secondary L. monocytogenes infection".
"Survival of mice (n = 12/treatment group) injected intraperitoneally with 2 x 10(6) colony forming units of live Listeria monocytogenes was determined...we found that the survival of mice fed the diets with soybean oil or menhaden fish oil was significantly lower than those fed lard".
"After 13 weeks half the number of animals from each group was infected i.m. by 180 colony forming units of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain H37Rv...controls (fed cocoa butter) and (n-6)-rich fed animals showed the same mycobacterial counts in the spleen whereas (n-3)-rich fed guinea pigs demonstrated an increased number of mycobacteria".
Finally, in an old study, coconut oil increased the survival from tuberculosis in rats compared to flaxseed oil.