Omega-3 deficiency causes up to 96,000 deaths

 A new study found that a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet causes up to 96,000 preventable deaths annually in the United States.

Among the dozen dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health examined, low omega-3 intake ranked as the sixth highest killer, responsible for 72,000 to 96,000 preventable deaths in 2005.

Tobacco smoking was attributed to 436,000 to 500,000 preventable deaths, followed by high blood pressure (372,000 to 414,000), obesity (188,000 to 237,000), physical inactivity (164,000 to 222,000) and high salt intake (97,000 to 107,000).

The study found low omega-3 intake to be a greater risk factor than high trans fatty acid intake (63,000 to 97,000 preventable deaths).

The study was published in the April issue of PLoS Medicine.

Researchers from the University of Washington and University of Toronto also contributed to the study. Among the study's authors was Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of the Harvard School of Public Health, who has conducted numerous studies on the dietary significance of the omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon and tuna.

Mozaffarian said in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that omega-3s should be considered more than just a healthy part of a diet, but among the most important treatments for coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death.

Back to home >


Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500