DHA Omega-3 Fights Progression of Dental Disease February 18, 2010

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease

In a recent study published in the Journal Nutrition, Japanese researchers (Niigata, Japan) found that high DHA Omega-3 levels inversely correlated with progression of periodontal disease in older people.

Periodontal Disease – Gingivits

Periodontal diseases are those diseases that affect one or more of the periodontal tissues – which are tissues that both surround and support the teeth. While many different diseases affect the tooth-supporting structures and tissues, plaque-induced inflammatory lesions make up the vast majority of periodontal diseases. Bacteria in plaque around the teeth slowly damage and erode the gum tissues. The infected gums undergo inflammation and can eventually lead to tooth loss. A common periodontal disease is Gingivitis.

The study also revealed that omega-3 fatty acids were strongly effective against a wide range of oral bacteria while perhaps preventing inflammation.

The study involved participants for 5 years with groups getting low dose of DHA vs high dose of DHA and over this course of 5 years the progression of periodontal diseases were monitored. The group that consumed the lowest amount of DHA showed 1.5 times more disease progression than the group that consumed highest amount of DHA.

Possible Mechanism

“In periodontal diseases, bacteria trigger inflammatory host responses that cause destruction of the alveolar bone and periodontal connective tissue,” quoting the researchers.

“According to previous reports, DHA and EPA inhibit arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism to inflammatory eicosanoids. They also give rise to mediators that are less inflammatory than those produced from AA or that are anti-inflammatory” according to the researchers.

Source: Nutrition

Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2009.09.010
“Longitudinal relationship between dietary ?-3 fatty acids and periodontal disease”

Authors: M. Iwasaki, A. Yoshihara, P. Moynihan, R. Watanabe, G.W. Taylor, H. Miyazaki

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