Having a healthy diet could help fight future diseases. In fact, new research conducted at Harvard University suggests that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are found in fish oils, may help individuals prevent dental problems, such as periodontitis, also known as gum disease.
More specifically, the investigators discovered that the n-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) were associated with periodontitis.
The scientists studied data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of over 9,000 patients and discovered that PUFAs contributed to a decreased prevalence of periodontitis.
Overall, the study indicated that the the risk of developing periodontitis was reduced by 20 percent in the subjects who consumed the highest amount of DHAs. Although it was smaller, there was also a reduction in the prevalence of this disease for those who consumed EPA.
The researchers noted that n-3 fatty acids may also help in preventing other problems which are associated with inflammation, such as stroke. The findings also indicated that this may be a safer and less expensive method to help in preventing periodontitis.
People that would like to increase their intake of n-3 fatty acids could consume foods such as salmon or nuts.