Natural Fish Oil May Help Prevent Gum Disease
Between 1999 and 2004, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey researched results of over 9,000 adults age 20 and over. One of the criteria reviewed was consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. In this case, consumption was measured not regarding supplementation but rather by asking what the participants had eaten within the previous 24 hours. This helped to determine a difference from naturally occurring omega-3 versus those found through supplements. After reviewing the dental records and exams for participants, they found that those in the top half of omega-3 consumption had significantly fewer cases of gum disease. In fact, those in the top third were 30% less likely to have gum disease than those with in the bottom third. Dr. Kenneth Mukami, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School said "There are a lot of benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. We have good evidence they prevent sudden death caused by heart rhythm disturbances. We have some evidence omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. This is a great example of another potential benefit." The researchers were unable to determine a recommended amount of fish oil to be consumed daily, as this study was in relation only to a single days diet. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least twice a week for overall health, which we now know includes prevention of gum disease.