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Harvard Researchers Find Omega-3's May Help Reduce Gum Disease

Researchers from Harvard Medical School recently conducted a study which found that omega-3 fatty acids may help fight periodontitis. Their findings were published in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Periodontitis , also known as gum disease, is a very common chronic inflammatory disease that creates an infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. This infection can result in bad breath odor, bleeding gums and loss of teeth.

Current treatments for periodontitis include mechanical cleaning and local antiobiotic applications, and the researchers sought to determine if dietary intervention may help prevent periodonitis.

They analyzed data on over 9,000 participants who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2004.

The researchers found that people who consumed the most omega-3 fatty acids had a 20% reduction in periodontitis risk. The researchers noted that it is safe to assume that the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3's likely played a large role.

This study follows on the heels of a study conducted earlier this year by researchers at the University of Kentucky. They reported that omega-3 fatty acids have the potential to inhibit the growth of oral pathogens.

Omega-3’s can potentially provide many other health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of some cancers, improving joint health and even providing a boost to your mood.

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