It is already well knows that Omega-3 fatty acids provide a number of important health benefits. However a further study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that they may help lower a person's risk of dying from an inflammatory disease by more than 30%.
Diet rich in fish and nuts correlated with reduced risk of death from non-cancer and non-cardiac diseases
Researchers investigated whether dietary omega-3 fatty acids - primarily alpha-linolenic acid, EPA, and DHA - and/or a diet rich in fish and nuts correlated with a reduced risk of dying from non-cancer and non-cardiac diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Conducted over a 15 year period
The study included 2,514 people aged 49 years or older and was conducted over a 15 year period - they were surveyed through food questionnaires about the amount of dietary omega-3 fatty acids, nuts and fish they ate.
- Women who ate the most total omega-3 fatty acids had a 44% lower risk of dying from an inflammatory disease compared with women who ate the least.
- Men and women who ate the most nuts had as much as a 51% lower risk of dying from an inflammatory disease compared with people who ate the least.
- For both men and women, eating increasing amounts of alpha-linolenic acid was also associated with a decreased risk of dying from an inflammatory disease.
Further to this the study found that increasing the consumption of nuts by as little as 1.4g per day was associated with a 49% reduced risk of dying from chronic inflammation-related diseases.
The research was conducted as an observational study and therefore does not prove a cause and effect association - further research is needed to understand fully the role of omega-3 fatty acids, nuts and other foods to treat people with inflammatory diseases.