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A recent study based on a National Institutes of Health research project suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and dietary supplements, may be beneficial for lung health in healthy adults. The study emphasizes the significance of including Omega-3s in the diet, given that many Americans do not meet nutritional guidelines.

Consuming food rich in omega 3 fatty acids good for lung health

Patricia A. Cassano, correspondent author of the study, said that there is considerable knowledge concerning the impact of diet on cardiovascular ailments and cancer but the impact on lung disease is understudied.  The findings of this study contribute to the increasing body of evidence suggesting that the inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids, as a component of a wholesome diet, could potentially hold significance for maintaining lung health as well.

In the past few years, there has been a growing interest regarding the potential impact of nutritional interventions on the prevention of lung diseases. Previous research has indicated that omega-3 fatty acids could potentially play a beneficial role, largely attributed to their well-known anti-inflammatory properties. Nevertheless, comprehensive and rigorous studies exploring this correlation have been scarce – until now.

Researchers conducted a two-phase investigation on 15,063 participants to examine the link between blood omega-3 fatty acid levels and lung function changes over time. The first phase was an observational study as part of the NHLBI Pooled Cohorts Study, which investigates personalized risk factors for chronic lung disease.

Omega 3 fatty acids associated with reduced lung function decline rate

The longitudinal study found that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fatty fish and supplements, were linked to a reduced rate of lung function decline. Another part of the research used genetic data from over 500,000 European patients and found that higher omega-3 levels correlated with better lung function.

Researchers are teaming up with the COPDGene study to investigate the link between omega-3 fatty acid levels in the blood and the rate of lung function decline in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including heavy smokers. They aim to determine if similar positive associations exist.