Scientists in Japan discovered a type of fat found in fish oil can prevent the virus from reproducing, according to the Daily Mail.
Influenza is an infectious disease caused by influenza virus that spreads rapidly when a person sneezes and coughs.
Influenza virus causes people to have high fever, headache, body aches, fatigue and sore throat. Flu viruses can also cause life-threatening pneumonia.
Salmon contains a lot of omega-3 - (Photo: Shutterstock)
Currently there is a flu vaccine, but because the virus is constantly changing, new strains are constantly appearing so the current influenza vaccine has only about 60% protection effect. Antiviral drugs are not effective when given to an infected person for at least two days.
Yumiko Imai scientist at Akita University (Japan) and colleagues researched to find effective drugs to fight the flu. They studied PD1 fat in human lung cells that were infected with many influenza viruses. This is the natural fat found in omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil.
The team found PD1 could prevent reproductive viruses, including the H5N1 bird flu virus.
Other trials in flu-infected mice also suggest that when using PD1 in combination with other antiviral drugs may increase survival rates.
The results were similar even if the patient had been infected for 2 days.
The research results promise the ability to develop a more effective anti-influenza drug.
The study was published in the journal Cell.