Eating fish that have high oil content (like salmon and mackerel) and taking omega-3 supplements from fish oil has an anti-inflammatory effect. Research appearing in the March 7, 2005 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine may explain why this anti-inflammatory effect takes place. Consuming fish oil provides the raw material for the body to produce a powerful anti-inflammatory substance called resolvin E1. The researchers believe that the substance prevents inflammatory cells from migrating to sites where there is damage and inflammation, as well as lowering the activity of cells involved in inflammation.
The study also found one possible reason why cox-2 inhibiting drugs (like Celebrex and Vioxx) increase the risk of cardiovascular problems. The cox-2 enzyme that is blocked by these drugs is involved in making resolvin E1. The drugs rob the body of a powerful anti-inflammatory mechanism. This is speculation, but it does make sense.