University of Oregon

Department of Human Physiology Graduate Studies in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

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Omega-3 fatty acids as a potential preventative modality in sports medicine: A critical review of current research

Jodi Scheider MS ATC

The efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids’ ability to control inflammatory responses in chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis has been well documented. (2-6, 10, 12, 16, 20, 27, 29, 30)

However, the connection between the potential anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids on controlling sports induced inflammation has yet to be established. Current evidence warrants further research into this area so that Certified Athletic Trainers and other Sports Medicine practitioners can fully understand the potential role nutrition plays in controlling and limiting the inflammatory response following sports related trauma. This article will review current research on fatty acids and pose questions to the potential effectiveness of fatty acids in sports medicine.