Fish and flaxseed oil have become popular dietary supplements, and are an excellent source of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). These fatty acids can modulate the immune response, and have been used to modulate the inflammation associated with canine skin conditions. The immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects in cats are unknown. This study investigates the responses in cats to fish or flaxseed oil.
Fourteen female adult cats were diets supplemented with fish oil or flaxseed oil, or a control diet with relatively low levels of PUFA, and their immune response was checked periodically. Decreased inflammation (in response to a histamine response test) was seen in cats fed the supplemented diets. Fish oil appeared to be more effective in reducing inflammation than flaxseed oil. These supplements may be useful in managing inflammatory conditions in cats, such as allergies. [MK]
Related articles: Leemans J, Cambier C, Chandler T et al: Prophylactic effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and luteolin on airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation in cats with experimentally-induced asthma, Veterinary journal 184:111, 2010.