People who consume optimal amounts of the omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA from fatty fish or supplements, live longer, state researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. More than 70,000 study participants between the ages of 50- and 76-years-old were followed for incidence of mortality through 2006, at which time there had been 3,051 deaths. When dietary intakes were compared to mortality risk, the researchers found that a higher combined intake of EPA and DHA from diet and supplements lowered mortality risk by 18% and death from cancer by 23%. The researchers conclude that, “…intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may reduce risk of total and cancer-specific mortality.”
In Perspective: It is important to note that not all omega-3s are created equal. There is no body of evidence at this time to show the omega-3 ALA, in the form of flax, walnuts, soy and other plant-based foods, has any benefit in reducing mortality risk.
Bell G, Kantor E, Lampe J, et al: Intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from diet and supplements in relation to mortality. American Journal of Epidemiology 2014;179:710-720.