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Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Protective Against All-Cause Premature Death, Study Reveals

A recent study has revealed that higher levels of circulating n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) appear to be protective against all-cause premature death.

Photo: Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids | InStyleHealth

Generating data from 17 prospective group studies, researchers evaluated total and cause-specific mortality outcomes in an overall sample of 42,466 individuals. Overall, 15,720 of them died, generating a mortality rate of 37%. At baseline, the average age was 65 years old and 55% of them were women.

Regarding the causes of mortality, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and cancer each accounted for approximately a third of deaths, while the remaining could be attributed to all other causes.

In comparison, the median PUFA concentrations of the top vs bottom quintiles, experts found that the higher levels tended to subdue risk of mortality.

High circulating levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) reduced all-cause mortality risk by 9%, while docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) led to a decrease of 11%.

With high concentrations of docosapentaenoic acid, as well as of the combination of EPA and DHA, had a slightly stronger efficacy, reducing all-cause mortality risk by 13%.

Likewise, the elevated concentrations of n-3 PUFAs also appeared to reduce mortalities due to cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and other causes, according to experts.


Source: Nat Commun 2021;12:2329

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