Effect of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on experimental periodontitis in the mouse.
J Periodontal Res. 2009 Apr;44(2):211-6. Epub 2009 Feb 6. PMID: 19210341
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Periodontitis is an infective disease caused predominantly by gram-negative anerobes. The host inflammatory response to these bacteria causes alveolar bone loss, which characterizes periodontitis. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have recognized anti-inflammatory effects; their oxygenated derivatives are key mediators in reducing inflammation. In this study we tested the hypothesis that dietary supplementation with tuna fish oil rich in the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid, would reduce alveolar bone loss in mice inoculated with periodontopathic bacteria. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Adult mice were fed experimental diets containing either 10% tuna oil or Sunola oil for 57 d. After 14 d, 35 mice on each diet were inoculated orally with Porphyromonas gingivalis, with a mixture of P. gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum, with carboxymethylcellulose or remained untreated. The mice were killed, and soft tissue biopsies from the oral cavity of treated mice were used to determine the polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations. The maxilla was removed, stained and digitally imaged to assess bone loss around the upper molars. RESULTS: n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels were significantly higher in oral soft tissues of mice fed tuna oil compared with the control group. Mice fed tuna oil and inoculated with P. gingivalis or with the combination of F. nucleatum and P. gingivalis exhibited 72% and 54% less alveolar bone loss respectively, compared with the treatment control group. CONCLUSION: Alveolar bone loss was inversely related to n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid tissue levels. In conclusion, fish oil dietary supplementation may have potential benefits as a host modulatory agent in the prevention and/or adjunctive management of periodontitis.