Add another item to the growing list of health benefits from fish oil: Australian scientists have found omega-3 fatty acid supplements are an effective treatment for periodontitis, a common but serious infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth.
The researchers’ findings, based on a new analysis of scientific studies, suggest fish oil could be more widely used as an adjunct therapy to treat the condition, which affects more than half of adults and is linked to an increased risk of stroke and heart problems.
The analysis – led by Dr. Alison Coates, from the University of South Australia, and colleagues from the School of Dentistry at University of Adelaide in Australia — found fish oil led to improvements in patients involved in all eight studies examined, including two that tracked the effects of a combination of fish oil and aspirin.
"I would recommend that people ensure they have a sufficient intake of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in their diet for general health," said Coates. "In Australia, these types of fatty acids are considered to be essential with 500 (milligrams) recommended as the suggested dietary target. This equates to approximately 2 fatty fish meals per week."
Researchers noted there are no serious known dangers to consuming fish oil, which has been linked to a variety of other health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Coates’ analysis was presented this week at the Experimental Biology 2012 scientific meeting in San Diego.