Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators (SPMs): An Unlikely Hero for Inflammation Response

Key Points:

  • Specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) are lipid mediators (or bioactive lipids that communicate with our cells). By doing this, they work to support healthy inflammation on a cellular level. While types of SPMs are still being discovered, the ones we do know about are powerful agents to help support a healthy inflammation response.
  • The exciting thing about SPMs is that they target the immune system cells, working to change their behavior instead of blocking inflammation altogether.
  • While SPMs can be made by the body, their precursor — omega-3 fatty acids — cannot. This is why it’s important to choose a high-quality SPM supplement and eat a diet rich in seeds, nuts, and wild-caught seafood.

You know the old enemy of everything from creaky joints to headaches — inflammation — is said to be at the root of every modern illness.

It’s true that many illnesses and autoimmune diseases are accompanied by mass amounts of inflammation.

But did you know inflammation is actually a desired response to acute illness or injury? It’s a tool your body uses to promote healing, increase blood flow, and protect tissue.

Inflammation isn’t a problem until it stays in the body and tissues long-term.

We aren’t meant to remain in a chronic state of repair. But when the body isn’t able to resolve an issue, inflammation levels go unchecked. Over time, this irritation can deplete systems in the body and create more chronic symptoms.

Luckily, there are tools we can use to promote healing and gently decrease the amount of excess inflammation the body experiences.

Some of them are called specialized pro-resolving mediators — which is a mouthful. The full name isn’t so important. All you need to know is that they’ve been studied for their powerful effects on supporting a healthy inflammation response, especially in the cell.*

Table of Contents:

What Does SPM Mean?

Specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) are lipid mediators that support a healthy inflammation response on a cellular level.* They’re the downstream metabolites of omega-3 fatty acids, and if you’ve heard of SPMs before, it’s probably in the context of fish oil supplements and their benefits.

SPMs are naturally occurring in the body — and their job is to downgrade the inflammatory response after acute infection (they change the behavior of cells to promote healing).

Unfortunately, most of us don’t consume enough omega-3 fatty acids to create the desired amount of SPMs. And with environmental toxins on the rise, it’s easy to get stuck in a chronic inflammatory response state.

In order to maintain a healthy immune system, fight chronic pain, and relieve brain fog, our cells need SPMs now more than ever.*

Types of SPMs

When we metabolize omega-3 fatty acids, our bodies create several pro-resolving mediators, all with different roles in the fight against inflammation. While we’re still discovering more types of SPMs, here are some we know about:

  • Lipoxins — Target cardiovascular and neurological health.
  • Resolvins — Studied for their benefits in chronic inflammatory response. It’s also reported to be neuroprotective and found to reduce oxidative stress and inflammatory-related pain.
  • Protectins — Currently being researched for their ability to resolve insulin resistance. These SPMs are also known for their ability to guard the brain and retina against inflammation.
  • Maresins — These SPMs help stimulate tissue regeneration, which is particularly helpful after chronic low-grade inflammation. They’ve also shown exciting potential for fighting metabolic illness, nervous system dysregulation, and improving kidney function.

Remember, SPMs need omega-3 fatty acids as a precursor, and most of us aren’t getting enough of those through our diet. Ensuring supplementation of these fatty acids alongside a diet rich in seeds, nuts, and wild-caught seafood is a powerful way to boost SPM production (and, as a result, fight inflammation).

How SPMs Fight Inflammation

Inflammation is facilitated by the body as part of the healing process. It’s necessary to overcome infection, eliminate toxins, and heal acute injuries to muscles or bones (and the reason you experience swelling after an injury).

However, low-grade inflammation can become a chronic issue if the root infection or injury isn’t properly resolved. This triggers a domino effect, with rampant inflammation putting extra pressure on the immune system, brain, organs, and ultimately, your cells.

In this case, it’s crucial to find a resolution so that chronic inflammation doesn’t damage tissue and continue to degrade the body despite its good intentions to heal and restore it.

What’s so exciting about SPMs is that they don’t block inflammation altogether (again, we need inflammation in small doses). Instead, they target immune cells, working to calm them down and change their behavior. When the immune system stops overreacting, inflammation can naturally recede.

Symptoms of Inflammation

Not everyone who has chronic inflammation is aware of it. If you’re not sure, keep in mind that inflammation accompanies almost any chronic or acute illness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be a sign that you are actually dealing with chronic inflammation:

  • Chronic pain
  • Water retention
  • Blotchy skin
  • Brain fog
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Skin conditions like psoriasis, hives, and rash
  • Weight gain
  • Insulin resistance
  • Swelling in the extremities
  • Gut dysbiosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Nervous system dysregulation or other neurological conditions

Targeting Cellular Inflammation

Whenever we’re targeting inflammation, it’s so important to look at the cell.

In the case of a physical, biological, or chemical threat (like pollution, mycotoxins, or trauma), our cells undergo a phenomenon known as the Cell Danger Response, whereby your cells effectively “shut down” in the face of inflammation.

This cell signal interruption isn’t harmful in the short term, as it’s designed to protect the cell. However, in the case of chronic, unresolved inflammation, this phenomenon can be detrimental to the health of the cell.

Cells in the Cell Danger Response not only behave abnormally but also stop communicating with each other. These cells may also lose the ability to scavenge free radicals or reconnect to essential systems, organs, and tissues within the body.

SPMs can play a vital role in helping cells come out of the Cell Danger Response.

Other Ways to Fight Inflammation

Alongside targeting cellular inflammation, reducing inflammation in the body is a difficult job — one that requires multiple resources. Here are some that can help:

  • Healthy diet Processed foods are no friend to lowering inflammation. Make sure to eat lots of seeds, nuts, and wild-caught seafood (for the SPM benefits), plenty of organic fruits and veggies, plus anti-inflammatory herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, black pepper, and rosemary.
  • Mitochondria support — The powerhouse of the cell needs extra TLC when inflammation is widespread. Focusing on mitochondria can help your cells get out of the Cell Danger Response.
  • Nervous system regulation — If your body is in a chronic state of low-grade inflammation, you may need to spend time rewiring your brain and downregulating the fight or flight response.
  • Reduce EMF exposure — Your body doesn’t need extra, non-natural electromagnetic fields interrupting the healing process.
  • Grounding — The earth’s electric current is naturally anti-inflammatory. Walking barefoot in the grass or the sand, even swimming in a natural body of water, can be a healing, anti-inflammatory practice.

SPM Supplement Benefits

Remember, we can create SPMs in our bodies, but only if we have an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids (these fats can only be obtained through diet). However, modern diets are grossly lacking in omega-3-rich foods. Most people are not routinely eating nuts, seeds, and wild-caught seafood — and therein lies the problem.

Supplementing with high-quality fish oil is one of the best ways to ensure your cells are up to the task of regulating the inflammatory response and helping the cell come out of the Cell Danger Response.*

Introducing BodyBio Fish Oil+

At BodyBio, we believe nourishing our cells is a crucial component of everyday healing. When we overlook cellular function, it becomes extremely difficult to boost the immune system, increase energy, and fight inflammation-induced chronic illness.

That’s why we’re thrilled to announce our newest product, BodyBio Fish Oil+.

Specifically targeting SPM production, Fish Oil+ uses caviar (a whole food source) to bring your cells back to full force. It’s scientifically proven to support a healthy inflammation response and comes in phospholipid form — to cross the blood-brain barrier and cell membrane to quickly and easily get to work inside your cells.*

Experience SPM Benefits in Real Time with Fish Oil+


Valente, M., Dentoni, M., Bellizzi, F., Kuris, F., & Gigli, G. L. (2022). Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators in Neuroinflammation: Overview of Studies and Perspectives of Clinical Applications. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 27(15), 4836. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27154836

Liu, C., Fan, D., Lei, Q., Lu, A., & He, X. (2022). Roles of Resolvins in Chronic Inflammatory Response. International journal of molecular sciences, 23(23), 14883. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232314883

Ferreira, I., Falcato, F., Bandarra, N., & Rauter, A. P. (2022). Resolvins, Protectins, and Maresins: DHA-Derived Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators, Biosynthetic Pathways, Synthetic Approaches, and Their Role in Inflammation. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 27(5), 1677. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27051677

Basil, M., Levy, B. Specialized pro-resolving mediators: endogenous regulators of infection and inflammation. Nat Rev Immunol 16, 51–67 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nri.2015.4

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