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Study Finds Multiple Benefits of Omega-3’s for Mature Adults

Previous research has found that low-grade, chronic systemic inflammation is associated with respiratory and musculoskeletal disorders and impaired neurodevelopment. A recent study suggests that supplementation with the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA may provide benefits for cognitive health, age- and disease-related decline in muscle mass, and critically ill surgical patients mainly to due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

For their study, an expert panel reviewed clinical trials related to DHA, EPA and cognitive decline, sarcopenia and frailty in mature adults, and nutritional management in critically ill patients.

The researchers found that doses of 3000 mg/d of DHA plus EPA or more (with preferably more than 800 mg/d EPA) may have positive effects on physical performance in older adults. They also found that adding DHA and EPA to intravenous feeding provided benefits for critically ill surgical patients. Specifically, the risk of infection was lowered by 40%, the risk of developing sepsis was reduced by 56%, and mortality rate was 16% lower. In addition, the length of stay in ICU and in the hospital were significantly shortened.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University Medical Center Groningen, Sapienza University, and the University of Oxford. It was published online ahead of print on August 24, 2020 in the journal Nutrients.

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