Fighting Inflammation with Food
Omega-3 fatty acids may help lower the risk of dying from inflammatory disease by more than 30%
Omega-3 fatty acids and foods such as nuts are known to have a wide range of important health benefits, and now a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that they may help lower a person's risk of dying from inflammatory disease by more than 30%.
When nutty is a good thing
In this study, researchers explored whether dietary omega-3 fatty acids--primarily alpha-linolenic acid, EPA [eicosapentaenoic acid], and DHA [docosahexaenoic acid]--and/or a diet high in fish and nuts were associated with a reduced risk of dying from non-cancer and noncardiac inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Participants were 2,514 people age 49 years or older who enrolled in the Blue Mountains Eye Study. They were surveyed through food questionnaires about the amount of dietary omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, and fish they ate, and were followed for 15 years. Results showed:
The study authors comment that "increasing the consumption of nuts by as little as 1.4 g per day...was associated with a 49% reduced risk of dying from chronic inflammation-related diseases."
Further fatty acids and inflammatory disease facts
(Am J Clin Nutr doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.009977)
Jane Hart, MD, board-certified in internal medicine, serves in a variety of professional roles including consultant, journalist, and educator. Dr. Hart, a Clinical Instructor at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, writes extensively about health and wellness and a variety of other topics for nationally recognized organizations, websites, and print publications. Sought out for her expertise in the areas of integrative and preventive medicine, she is frequently quoted by national and local media. Dr. Hart is a professional lecturer for healthcare professionals, consumers, and youth and is a regular corporate speaker.