Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Gum Disease

Omega-3 fatty acid intake is inversely associated with periodontitis in the US population, according to research published in the Journal of the American Dietic Association.

The new study found that that a moderate dietary intake of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) were associated with a decreased prevalence of periodontitis of up to 20 percent.

“To date, the treatment of periodontitis has primarily involved mechanical cleaning and local antibiotic application. Thus, a dietary therapy, if effective, might be a less expensive and safer method for the prevention and treatment of periodontitis,”wrote the researchers, led by Dr Asghar Naqvi from Harvard Medical School.

“Our results also suggest that DHA ([in] doses recommended by the American Heart Association …) may be as or more potent in influencing periodontitis,” they added.

The study was said to be the first to demonstrate an antibacterial activity of omega-3 fatty acids and their esters against oral pathogens.