Omega-3 fats from seafood linked to lower risk of chronic kidney disease

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In a study from The George Institute for Global Health, scientists found higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood are linked to a lower risk of chronic kidney disease and a slower decline in kidney function.

Kidneys that function properly are critical for maintaining good health, however, more than one in seven American adults is estimated to have chronic kidney disease.

Chronic kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as they should.

Because of this, excess fluid and waste from blood remain in the body and may cause other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.

Omega-3 fats are a key family of polyunsaturated fats. There are three main omega-3s:

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) come mainly from fish, so they are sometimes called marine omega-3s.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the most common omega-3 fatty acid in most Western diets, is found in vegetable oils and nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds and flaxseed oil, leafy vegetables, and some animal fat, especially in grass-fed animals.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the associations of omega-3 fatty acids in the body with the risk of chronic kidney disease.

They reviewed data from 19 studies in 12 countries up to May 2020. More than 25000 people’s data were analyzed.

During a follow-up of 11 years, there were 4944 cases of chronic kidney disease.

The researchers found that higher levels of seafood omega-3 fats were linked to a lower chronic kidney disease risk.

People with the highest total seafood omega-3 fats level had a 13% lower risk of chronic kidney disease compared with those with the lowest seafood omega-3 fats level.

But plant-derived α linolenic acid levels were not linked to incident chronic kidney disease.

The team also found the association was consistent across age (≥60 v <60 years) and in people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease at baseline.

Based on the findings, the team concludes that intake of higher seafood derived omega-3 fat levels were linked to a lower risk of incident chronic kidney disease, but this association was not found for plant-derived omega-3 fats.

These results support the beneficial role of seafood derived omega-3 fats in preventing chronic kidney disease.

The study was conducted by Kwok Leung Ong et al and published in The BMJ.

If you care about kidney health, please read studies about how to protect your kidneys from diabetes, and drinking coffee could help reduce the risk of kidney injury.

For more information about kidney health, please see recent studies about foods that may prevent the recurrence of kidney stones, and eating nuts linked to a lower risk of chronic kidney disease and death.

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