The Omega-3 DHA May Aid People With Periodontitis
Periodontitis (more commonly known as gum disease) is one of the most common diseases in the world and some studies report that between 30% and 50% of Americans suffer from it. A recent study suggests that taking a daily supplement of DHA omega-3 fatty acids may help improve the symptoms associated with periodontitis.
Participants in the study included 55 adults with moderate periodontitis who were given either 2,000 mg of DHA or a placebo of soy/corn oil every day for three months. Both the DHA and placebo group were given 81 mg of aspirin daily as well.
Out of the 46 people who completed the trial, DHA levels in red blood cell membranes increased from 3.6% to 6.2%. No increases were observed in the placebo group.
In regards to gum health, the DHA group had a decreased average depth in the pockets between the teeth and the gums. They also had a lower gingival index, which is the test used to assess how far periodontitis has progressed. Finally, inflammatory markers in the gum tissue of the DHA group were significantly reduced when compared to baseline and to the placebo group.
Researchers from Harvard University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 26, 2014, in the Journal of Dental Research.
DHA is one of the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; the other is EPA. Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, better moods, and aiding your immune system.
Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s. For vegans like the ones in this study or for folks who just don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.