August 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

The following research published in the Am J Clin Nutr (2009;90:415–424) shows the beneficial effects of fish oil supplementation in human gene expression but the same mechansims would also occur in animal genes:

Epigenetics, Dietary Fat, and Omega-3s

The ability of dietary fatty acids to improve the outcomes of many conditions has been well established. In addition to the well-known interactions on the metabolism of eicosanoids, one of the most interesting areas of research on the mechanisms of action of fatty acids is epigenetics—a term that refers to the ability of diet, lifestyle, and even thoughts to change gene expression and physical outcomes. This aspect of polyunsatured fatty acids (PUFA) biology may open a new dietary approach to a wide spectrum of common diseases.

fish oil capsules

In a study to show that diet can affect gene expression, 111 healthy, elderly subjects who received high EPA+DHA supplements showed a decreased expression of genes involved in inflammatory and  atherogenic-related pathways—such as nuclear transcription factor kappaB signaling, eicosanoid synthesis, scavenger receptor activity, adipogenesis, and hypoxia signaling.

Analysis revealed that the 1.8 grams EPA+DHA daily supplements resulted in altered gene expression of 1040 genes, while 4 grams of sunflower oil altered expression of 298 genes. The altered genes were involved in inflammatory and atherogenic-related pathways. It was noted that 900 uniquely changed genes were in the EPA+DHA group. This research shows that intake of EPA and DHA actually alters the gene expression profiles in cells to be more anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic.

The ability of essential dietary fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA from fish, to decrease disease states has become well known. The detrimental effects correlated with high ratios of arachidonic and omega-6 fatty acids are also well known, but more specific knowledge depends upon a better understanding of the mechanisms of action of these fatty acids in the body. The discovery that fatty acids can directly govern the activity of gene expression opens new perspectives on both PUFA biology and therapeutic approaches to health conditions.

Dog Naturopath, Sar Rooney’s comment: This is further research that shows the benefits of therapeutic amounts of EPA/DHA fish oils and their ability to prevent and/or treat disease. However, what this article fails to include is information on the dangers of taking fish oils that have not been purified during the manufacturing process and therefore still contain mercury, cadmium, aluminium, lead, PCB’s and other harmful chemicals. Most ‘cheap’ fish oil supplements contain dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals so remember ‘You always get what you pay for.”   See your naturopathic physician for advice about high potency fish oils supplements with guaranteed purity for you and your dog.

Please consult a qualified animal naturopath for advice about nutritionally-balanced diets and naturopathic medicines for the treatment of animals. 

Yours In Great Health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., DC., ND., DASc., GDSc. (Hons) Zoology, MHATO, MATMS

Naturopathic Practitioner, Researcher, Lecturer, Canine Naturopath

Science-Based Naturopathy for Canine Wellbeing 


Canine naturopathic health care with a clinical focus on skin conditions, inflammatory bowel disorders, chronic infections, arthritis and disease prevention.

Helping dogs achieve optimal wellness with personalised, professional naturopathic health care and individually-prescribed high-quality herbal medicines and supplements 

Naturopathic Animal Services
E:   [email protected]


Appointments are available by email, phone & skype


Want to keep up to date on the latest in dog health? Join me on Facebook:



Reference: M. Bouwens, O. van de Rest, N. Dellschaft, et al. Fish-oil supplementation induces anti-inflammatory gene expression profiles in human blood mononuclear cells. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90:415–424.



Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to replace any veterinary or medical advice or treatment. 




Natural Animal Health for pets, specialising in natural health for dogs. Naturopathic dog therapy with a holistic approach to animal health may complement conventional vet treatments. We offer expert naturopathic advice for dogs from a qualified animal naturopath that specializes in natural dog health. We are based in South Australia's Adelaide Hills region but consult throughout Australia and internationally, with clients in South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, the ACT, NSW, the NT, Tasmania, Western Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and other countries throughout the world. While we specialise in dogs health problems and natural animal therapy we also treat people with naturopathic medicine and offer clinic services in natural health. Many clients have found natural animal therapy to be more effective or less invasive than conventional vet services. Our clients have a common interest in the health and wellbeing of their dog and are looking for natural preventative health programs and natural remedies for dogs such as herbal medicines and homeopathy that are often not offered by veterinary practices or veterinarian clinics in Australia and New Zealand. Canine natural pain relief and natural animal therapy for inflammation are common conditions that may benefit from naturopathic animal health treatments and holistic pet care.

The information on this website is copyright. All rights reserved world wide. None of the information on this website may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form, in whole or in part, or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, or transmitted by email, without written permission from Sara Rooney.