Omega 3 Health Benefits: Healthy Gums and Teeth?

Omega 3 Health Benefits: Healthy Gums and Teeth? If you are eating foods that are rich in omega-3 such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna, you may have a lower risk of developing gum disease, a study suggests.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that those who consumed intermediate high amounts of DHA, a main fish-derived omega-3 fatty acid, were less likely to develop the disease. The researchers studied more than 9,000 adult participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2004, where eight percent of them had gum disease.

They found that the top third of patients in terms of DHA intake had a 22 percent reduction in their chance of developing gum disease, compared to those in the lowest third. Says senior researcher Dr. Kenneth J. Mukamal of Harvard Medical School on their research, “[A]nti-inflammatory treatment with omega-3’s seems to help experimental periodontitis in rabbits. Our hope was to extend that to humans.”

omega 3 health benefits

Despite their findings linking the fish oil to healthier gums, the researchers hesitate to give full credit to omega-3 as other factors might also be involved.

Reuters reports: “Mukamal cautioned that the findings don’t yet confirm that omega-3’s have a true protective effect on the gums. For example, tooth loss could have affected diets of the participants, rather than the other way around. They also didn’t obtain enough information in the study to pinpoint just how much omega-3 is best for the prevention of periodontitis, should it eventually prove to be protective.” The researchers based their findings on the participants’ recollections of their diets over the previous 24 hours.

For related stories on this topic, check out our post on whether DHA Fish Oil supplement can make smarter babies. If you’re interested in other food-related entries, check out our previous post on salmonella in bean sprouts, the purple potato and its health effects, and anorexia children eating disorder.

Omega 3 Health Benefits: Healthy Gums and Teeth? Posted 1 December 2010.