July 20 (UPI) — Omega-3 fatty acids from fish and fish oil such as those found in tuna, salmon and sardines show promise for maintaining lung health, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.
The study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine is the strongest evidence linking those fatty acids to good lung health.
“We know a lot about the role of diet in cancer and cardiovascular disease, but the role of diet in chronic lung disease is somewhat understudied,” said corresponding author Patricia A. Cassano, Ph.D., in a statement. “This study adds to growing evidence that omega-3 fatty acids, which are part of a healthy diet, may also be important for lung health.”
James P. Kiley, Ph.D., director of the NHLBI’s Division of Pulmonary Diseases, agrees.
“This large population-based study suggests that nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties may help maintain lung health,” Kiley said in a statement.
Omega-3 acids have anti-inflammatory properties, according to previous studies.
This latest study showed that higher levels of omega-3s were associated with better lung function.
The National Institutions of Health said in a statement, “Researchers conducted a longitudinal observational study involving 15,063 Americans in the NHLBI pooled cohort study — a large collection of NIH-funded studies that helps researchers study the determinants of personalized risk for chronic lung disease.”
It was a two-part study of generally healthy people with an average age of 56 and 55% of whom were women.
The United States Department of Agriculture dietary indications recommends people eat at least two servings of fish a week, but most Americans don’t.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in nuts and seeds.