SATURDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Resolvins, a new family of biologically active products of omega-3 fatty acids, may be able to remedy the inflammation of periodontal disease and restore gums to health, say Boston University researchers.
Two types of resolvins are made from the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which keep blood triglycerides under control and may inhibit the progression of atherosclerosis. EPA and DHA help reduce inflammation and are often used to help people with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease, according to background information in a new release from the International & American Association for Dental Research.
Resolvins of the E series (RvE1) are derived from EPA, and resolvins of the D series (RvD1) are derived from DHA. Previous research showed that RvE1 provided protection against soft tissue and bone loss associated with gum disease and actually restored lost soft tissue and bone to healthy levels.
In this new study, the researchers caused gum disease in rabbits by applying P. gingivalis, the bacteria that causes gum disease in humans. Treatment with RvD1 was beneficial.
The study was to be presented Saturday at the research association's meeting in Miami.
The finding supports the researchers' hypothesis that DHA-derived resolvins, as well as those derived from EPA, have the potential to resolve inflammation and restore periodontal health, the association said in its news release.
The American Academy of Periodontology has more about gum disease.
SOURCE: International & American Association for Dental Research, news release, April 4, 2009