Thursday, April 12, 2018 by Michelle Simmons
Consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of death from any cause by approximately 33 percent, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology. The study also found that blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids are a better indicator of death risk from any cause than cholesterol.
The researchers of the study measured the serum cholesterol levels and blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids in 2,500 people in order to determine a person’s risk of developing certain diseases. All of the participants in the current study did not have any cardiovascular disease when the study started.
Although the researchers mainly concentrated on total mortality or death from any cause as an endpoint, they also observed deaths due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes. Moreover, they reported the associations between levels of omega-3 fatty acids and the risk for any cardiovascular disease occurrence. The participants of the study were 66 years of age, and they were followed the researchers for disease outcomes until around the age of 73. Other factors that could influence the outcomes were also taken into consideration.
The findings of the study showed that higher EPA and DHA levels were linked to a lower risk for total cardiovascular disease events, total coronary heart disease events, and total strokes. Furthermore, this was most evident in deaths from all other causes, indicating that the beneficial health effects of EPA and DHA in the body are not limited to one pathological process, such as plaque accumulation in the arteries.
“When baseline serum cholesterol levels were substituted for the Omega-3 Index in the same multi-variable models, the former was not significantly associated with any of the tracked outcomes whereas the latter was related to 4 of the 5 outcomes assessed,” explained William Harris, lead author of the study.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that can only be obtained from the diet since the body cannot produce them. There are three most important types of omega-3s: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), DHA, and EPA. ALA is primarily found in plants, while DHA and EPA are primarily obtained from animal foods and algae. Some of the foods that are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, fish oils, flax seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, and walnuts. Omega-3 fatty acids provide many health benefits. Listed below are some of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
Read more news stories and studies on living longer by going to Longevity.news.
Tagged Under: Tags: cardiovascular disease, cholesterol levels, death, death risk, DHA, disease risk, docosahexaenoic acid, early death, eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA, fatty acids, healthy fats, healthy food, ingredients, longevity, mortality, nutrients, omega 3, omega-3 fatty acids, prevention, total mortality