JAN 18, 2024 9:00 AM PST

Omega-3 Slows Pulmonary Fibrosis

WRITTEN BY: Savannah Logan

A new study published in the journal Chest has shown that omega-3 fatty acids, which have been previously shown to lower the risk of heart disease and blood clots, may also slow the progression of pulmonary fibrosis and improve lung function.

The study included data from more than 300 patients with clinically diagnosed pulmonary fibrosis. Plasma omega-3 fatty acid levels were measured for each patient, which is a measure of omega-3 fatty acid intake. Then, over a period of 12 months, their disease progression and transplant-free survival were measured. Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition in which scarring in the lungs, usually caused by exposure to toxins or pollution, makes it difficult to breathe. Poor lung function can also negatively affect the heart, and cardiac conditions are very common in patients with pulmonary fibrosis. The goal of this study was to see how omega-3 fatty acid intake is related to disease progression and survival in pulmonary fibrosis patients.

The results showed that higher plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids were associated with better ability to exchange carbon dioxide, representing better lung function. Additionally, patients with higher omega-3 plasma levels showed longer transplant-free survival rates. In general, higher omega-3 fatty acid blood plasma levels could predict better clinical outcomes for the patients.

The authors noted that more research is needed to confirm these results and determine a potential mechanism of action. This may help determine whether nutritional interventions with omega-3 fatty acids could be beneficial for pulmonary fibrosis patients. Previous studies have linked omega-3 fatty acid intake to a lowered risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. Nutritional interventions can have a positive impact on many conditions, and omega-3 fatty acids in particular seem to have a wide range of benefits.

Sources: Chest, Science Daily

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Savannah (she/her) is a scientific writer specializing in cardiology at Labroots. Her background is in medical writing with significant experience in obesity, oncology, and infectious diseases. She has conducted research in microbial biophysics, optics, and education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
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