Omega-3 deficiency causes 96,000 US deaths per year, say researchers

by By Shane Starling, 26-Jun-2009
(www.nutraingredients-usa.com/)

Omega-3 deficiency is the sixth biggest killer of Americans and more deadly than excess trans fat intake, according to a new study. The Harvard University researchers looked at 12 dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors such as tobacco smoking and high blood pressure and used a mathematical model to determine how many fatalities could have been prevented if better practices had been observed.

The study, jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Association of Schools of Public Health, drew on 2005 data from the US National Health Center for Health Statistics. They determined that there were 72,000-96,000 preventable deaths each year due to omega-3 deficiency, compared to 63,000-97,000 for high trans fat intake.

Power of diet

“This is a very interesting analysis,” said Andrew Shao, PhD, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

“I think this analysis reinforces the long-held notion that the diet has a tremendously powerful impact on health and longevity and that the consumption of omega-3’s (along with fruits and veggies) by Americans is far from adequate.”

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Source: Public Library of Science Medicine Journal

Vol. 6, April, 2009

‘The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary, Lifestyle, and Metabolic Risk Factors’

Authors: Goodarz Danaei, Eric L Ding, Dariush Mozaffarian, Ben Taylor, Jurgen Rehm, Christopher J L Murray, Majid Ezzati

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