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NewsBites January 2011 Issue

Omega-3s vs. Gum Disease

The omega-3 fatty acids from fsh oil that protect your heart might also be good for your teeth and gums. A new study reports that relatively modest amounts of omega-3s in the diet were associated with signifcant decreases in risk of periodontitis (gum disease). Re- searchers looked at data on more than 9,000 US adults from national nutrition surveys. People consuming the most DHA, one of the principle omega-3 fatty acids found in fsh, were 22% less likely to suffer periodontitis. EPA, the other important fsh-oil omega-3, and linolenic acid, found in vegetable oils, were also associated with lower risk, but not as strongly. Although the study can’t prove cause and effect, it’s possible that omega-3s might suppress the infammatory response that leads to gum disease. Such a dietary therapy, researchers said, “might be a less expen- sive and safer method for the prevention and treatment of periodontitis.” Journal of the American Dietetic Asso- ciation, November 2010; abstract at<http://www.adajournal.org/article/S0002-8223(10)01343-X/abstract>

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