Benefits of omega-3 fatty acids tally up | Science News

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Benefits of omega-3 fatty acids tally up

The fish oil compound may help patients battling sepsis and age-related diseases

By
5:11pm, January 19, 2010

Promising news about omega-3 fatty acids just keeps rolling in. A new study bolsters previous data suggesting that fish oil supplements high in omega-3s may benefit critically ill people in intensive care units by quelling inflammation. Meanwhile, another study finds that robust omega-3 levels protect the ends of chromosomes from damage, which suggests a benefit against age-related diseases.

Omega-3s are found naturally in fish, walnuts, certain vegetable oils and many other foods.

In a study in Critical Care posted online January 19, a team of British and Portuguese scientists tested the value of fish oil supplements in 23 people admitted to Padre Américo Hospital in Penafiel, Portugal. The patients were critically ill with sepsis, a life-threatening overreaction to a microbial infection spread in the blood. Although doctors use a host of drugs and around-the-clock care to treat sepsis, the death rate is still shockingly high, up to 35 percent.

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