What Is The Effect Of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids On Intestinal Permeability? 


You might need several things in your life to stay healthy; however, omega-3 fatty acids are something you need to survive. They are crucial in maintaining the functionality and structure of every single cell in your body. From providing energy to protecting you from several diseases, omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of your diet.

Read on to learn everything about omega-3 fatty acids and their effects on intestinal permeability. 

What Is Intestinal Permeability? 

Our intestinal tract is lined with just a single layer of enterocytes that are epithelial cells lining the surface of our body organs. Furthermore, epithelia are responsible for transferring nutrients between the bloodstream and the intestine. It further protects against foreign invaders and caters to absorption, excretion, diffusion, and secretion. (1)

Increased intestinal permeability leads to gaps between the tight intersection points, joining epithelium cells and allowing harmful pathogens to pass through them. After entering the intestinal barrier, microbes get absorbed into the bloodstream resulting in inflammation through a specialized mechanism and diagnosis by Toll-like receptors. Excessive intestinal permeability can lead to many autoimmune and gut-associated disorders featuring many chronic diseases. 

What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids? 

Omega 3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids with a wide range of anti-inflammatory benefits. Since our body cannot produce Omega 3 on its own, you have to fulfill its requirement through a diet either through supplements or natural foods. 

There are 3 fundamental types of omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) can be found in sardines, shellfish, salmon, mackerel, pollock and other blue fish. 
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that you can take via perilla, soy, flaxseed, walnuts,  canola  and other similar.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is widely present in herrings, trout, mussels, oysters, and other seefood

Research shows that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is far lower than the required amounts, leaving people prone to many diseases. 

How Do Omega 3 Affect Intestinal Permeability? 

Omega 3 are the fatty acids or nutrients you receive from your food or supplements to build and maintain a healthy body. They are excellent energy sources and keep your heart, immune system, lungs, and blood vessels working accurately. 

Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are known to reduce intestinal permeability while modifying the gut microbiota. It does so by encouraging butyrate-producing species and coping with the inflammation following the action of pro-resolving mediators. (2)

Role Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids In Intestinal Permeability 

Fat quality in our diet plays a vital role in influencing the permeability of the intestine. (3)

  • An evaluation of studies on the effects of dietary fat on gut permeability states that saturated fatty acids contribute to the leakage of postprandial LPS. On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids tend to prevent leakage. The most significant reason behind the phenomenon is that omega 3 fatty acids increase intestinal alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme that degenerates LPS.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids also modify the gut microbiota while encouraging the growth of butyrate-producing species. Byproducts produced from omega 3 fatty acid metabolism include specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) that assist in treating inflammation. 
  • Another function of omega-3 fatty acids is that it favors the dose-dependent boost in blood SPMs that can last for up to 24 hours. 
  • Omega 3 has impressive anti-inflammatory properties that support a healthy immune system and protect against many chronic diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It further minimizes LDL cholesterol and maintains blood pressure while decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 
  • Omega 3 fatty acids assist in treating autoimmune diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and improve digestion. 
  • Omega 3 provides great anti-aging health benefits to your hair and skin.
  • It augments bone strength and works excellent for your joints. 
  • Omega 3 proves very beneficial in the child's early development and healthy pregnancy. It improves their gut functions and brain health explicitly.

How Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Alter The Gut Microbiota? 

Omega 3 plays a vital role in restricting intestinal permeability by altering the gut microbiota. It does so by boosting the production of short-chain fatty acids that tend to reduce inflammation and increase the immune system effectively. (4)

A research project published in the Natural science journal states that omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to increase the diversity of healthy bacteria in the intestine. It means that its health effects are limited to the gut and overall health. If the gut bacteria are less diverse and limited, it can lead to many stomach problems like IBS and can be as dangerous as colon cancer. 

So people who intake high levels of omega 3 in their diet are less likely to be attacked by such diseases. 

Bottom Line 

Omega 3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids that you need for survival and are widely known for their anti-inflammatory benefits. They effectively reduce the intestine permeability, which further minimizes the chances of inflammation and enhances digestion.

Adding Omega 3 into your diet facilitates the diversity of gut bacteria, making you immune to many diseases. So, don't forget to add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, and then get ready to watch its wonders! 


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7835870/
  2. https://nyaspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06553.x
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6357022/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5751248/#:~:text=Some%20studies%20have%20shown%20that,systemic%20concentration%20of%20LPS%20and