Pharmacological effects of an Orally Dosed Enzymatically Liberated Fish Oil in a House Dust Model of Allergic Asthma: a promising route to help improve asthma control


Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are a type of dietary fat that are essential for human health. There are two main types of PUFAs: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Both types of PUFAs are important for many bodily functions, including brain function, cell growth and maintenance, and immune system function. Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly important for heart health. They have been shown to help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. They also play a role in brain health, as they are important for cognitive function and may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as in plant-based sources such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts.

It is worth mentioning that the regular consumption of whole fish  is linked to the above mentioned benefits but also to a  reduced risk of allergic conditions, including asthma. Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a substance, such as pollen or house dust mites, that is normally harmless. This overreaction causes symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes, skin rashes and wheezing. Inflammation is a key component of the allergic response. When the immune system overreacts to an allergen, it triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals, such as histamine, that cause the characteristic symptoms of an allergic reaction (also known as type 2 / Th2-driven inflammation). Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation by blocking the production of inflammatory chemicals. However, in terms of reducing the risk of allergies in adults as well as in infants and young children, omega-3 supplementation has generally not been able to replicate the benefits observed with consuming whole fish.

OmeGo, from Hofseth BioCare (HBC), is a different type of fish oil supplement. Rather than processing the oil to remove and concentrate the omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), HBC uses natural enzymes to release all the oil from fresh Norwegian Atlantic salmon. The enzymes, called proteases, only digest the protein of the salmon and leave the oil fraction untouched, complete and natural. This means that OmeGo not only contains EPA and DHA (in the ratios naturally found in whole salmon) but also all the other important elements of fish oil including another omega-3, docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), linoleic acid (an omega-6), the highly effective natural antioxidant astaxanthin and lipopeptides (microcolins). The idea behind this minimal processing (and gentle liberation of the oil) is to  produce a purer and more bioavailable form of fish oil. This should mean that OmeGo can replicate the benefits of eating whole, fresh fish and, according to the manufacturer, enable both full traceability and no issues from contaminants such as heavy metals and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).

Hofseth BioCare researchers from Norway: Dr. Crawford Currie, Dr Bomi Framroze, Dr Christian Bjerknes, and Dr Erland Hermansen together with  Prof. Dave Singh and Dr Simon Lea (Division of Infection, Immunity and Respiratory Medicine at The University of Manchester) examined the extent to which oral OmeGo could replicate  the health benefits of eating entire fish and lessen lung inflammation in a typical animal model of allergic asthma (house dust mite model / HDM model). The study was  recently  published in the peer-reviewed journal Biomedicines.

The research team reported that in a HDM mouse model of asthma, oral OmeGo administration dramatically decreased lung and systemic eosinophilia compared to cod liver oil (the vehicle control) which contained five times more EPA and DHA than OmeGo. This enabled the researchers to assess the role of  EPA and DHA alone, compared to all the elements of whole fish oil, to deliver anti-allergic health benefits. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell (immune cell) that are important to protect against infection but can also become overactive and help cause allergic reactions. The study also showed that  high-dose OmeGo dramatically decreased IL-4, a key mediator in the onset of lung inflammation in asthma, including Th2 cell proliferation and IgE generation, a result consistent with the reduction of eosinophils.

The authors also looked at how OmeGo regulates other  inflammatory mediators that are important in the pathogenesis of asthma. Beyond eosinophil regulation, oral OmeGo dramatically decreased neutrophil levels in the lung  and the overall amount of lung fibrosis (lung scarring as measured by an increase in collagen levels). Airflow restriction is a common result of inflammation and airway remodelling (lung scarring) in chronic asthma and reduces lung function so this could be an important health finding. In their work, HDM sensitization led to a leukocytosis that was driven by neutrophils and eosinophils. There was little to no influence on macrophage counts and none at all on lymphocyte numbers, according to the research. With respect to lung and systemic inflammation, fevipiprant (a pharmaceutical-designed CRTH2 antagonist that inhibits eonsinophil function) and OmeGo had largely comparable effects, with notable reductions in eosinophil and neutrophil counts as well as total lung collagen. In contrast, cod liver oil had no effect on any of the endpoints and was no different to negative control.

In conclusion, a recently published study showed that OmeGo dramatically decreased lung and systemic inflammation in an HDM mouse model of induced asthma when administered orally. Dr Currie, the lead author,  noted that “OmeGo  could be a pragmatic and cost-effective means to help control airway inflammation and remodelling and support lung function by reducing eosinophils and neutrophils, which are both important drivers of airway inflammation in asthma”. He added that “the reduction in lung collagen deposition supports OmeGo’s broad inflammation-resolving health effects which could help support overall health, not just lung health”. A clinical study in  patients with OmeGo, combined with standard treatment, in mild to moderate asthma is ongoing  to assess its promising therapeutic profile as an intervention to help improve symptom control for people with asthma.


Currie C, Framroze B, Singh D, Lea S, Bjerknes C, Hermansen E. Assessing the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of an Orally Dosed Enzymatically Liberated Fish Oil in a House Dust Model of Allergic Asthma. Biomedicines. 2022;10(10):2574.

Go To Biomedicines.