Washington: Researchers have found that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can lower inflammation in healthy, but overweight, middle-aged and older adults, suggesting that regular use of these supplements could help protect against and treat certain illnesses.Four months of omega-3 supplementation decreased one protein in the blood that signals the presence of inflammation by an average of more than 10 percent, and led to a modest decrease in one other inflammation marker.In comparison, participants taking placebos as a group saw average increases of 36 percent and 12 percent, respectively, of those same markers.Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous conditions, including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the frailty and functional decline that can accompany aging.Study participants took either 2.5 grams or 1.25 grams of active omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in their supplements. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are considered “good fats” that, when consumed in proper quantities, are associated with a variety of health benefits.Study participants taking a placebo consumed pills containing less than 2 teaspoons per day of a mix of oils representing a typical American’s daily dietary oil intake.“Omega-3 fatty acids may be both protective so that inflammation doesn’t go up, as well as therapeutic by helping inflammation go down,” said Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.
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