How omega-3 fatty acids can help maintain lung health
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in nuts and seeds, plant oils, and fortified foods apart from fish and fish oil supplements
New York Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fish and fish oil supplements, now appear promising for maintaining lung health, according to new evidence from a large, multi-faceted study in healthy adults.
Omega-3 fatty acids, carrying anti-inflammatory benefits, have previously been known to boost heart health, prevent heart disease and stroke, as well as reduce risk of cancer.
The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, provides the strongest evidence to date of the association between Omega 3 and lungs.
It showed that omega-3 fatty acids, also found in nuts and seeds, plant oils, and fortified foods, can help prevent decline in lung function.
"We know a lot about the role of diet in cancer and cardiovascular diseases, but the role of diet in chronic lung disease is somewhat understudied," said corresponding author Patricia A. Cassano, director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
"This study adds to growing evidence that omega-3 fatty acids, which are part of a healthy diet, may be important for lung health too," Cassano added.
To investigate the link between omega-3 fatty acid levels in the blood and lung function over time the researchers developed a two-part study.
In the first part, the researchers conducted a longitudinal, observational study involving 15,063 Americans, with an average age of 56 years. The participants were generally healthy when the study began, and the majority had no evidence of chronic lung disease. They were followed for an average of seven years and up to 20 years.
The longitudinal study showed that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in a person's blood were associated with a reduced rate of lung function decline.