Categories: Health & Fitness

Omega-3: their benefits for lung health revealed (study)

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Abundant in fish, especially fatty fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon, trout, etc.), but also in certain vegetable oils, omega-3 fatty acids are known to promote good cardiovascular health.

According to a new scientific study, published in theAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (Source 1), researchers report observing the protective effect of omega-3 fatty acids on lung function.

The team conducted this study in two parts. Initially, 15,063 healthy Americans were recruited. The average age of the group was 56 years old and 55% of the participants were women. All were followed for an average of 7 to 20 years. Regular analysis of blood samples has shown that high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood are associated with a reduced rate of lung function decline. The strongest associations were with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of fatty acid that comes mostly from oily fish, and also available as a dietary supplement (fish oil capsules).

In a second step, the scientists analyzed the genetic data from more than 500,000 European patients, via the British biobank (UK Biobank). They then used genetic markers present in the blood as an indirect measure of the levels of omega-3 fatty acids from the diet. Again, higher levels of omega-3s have been associated with better lung function.

Towards individualized recommendations?

Emphasizing that this work could, in the future, lead to individualized dietary recommendations for people at high risk of chronic lung disease, the researchers however point out that this will require conduct studies with people with lung diseases (including COPD), which was not the case here.

Remember that in France, the National Agency for Health Security (Anses) recommends put fatty fish on the menu at least twice a week, precisely to enrich your diet with omega 3 fatty acids. Oleaginous fruits and the oils derived from them are also an interesting source of omega 3 fatty acids, of the ALA type. Enriched foods, that is to say products from animals fed with omega-3, also contribute to intake, specifies ANSES.

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