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.
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.