New Study Shows Potential Benefits of Omega-3s in Treating Lung Disease

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In a perfect world, or at least one close to perfect, medical conditions would be easily treatable and their results easily identifiable. For instance — should you be diagnosed with, say, inflammation in the knees, a simple prescription or treatment plan would rid not only the immediate pain but also the long-term degenerative effects of arthritis.

But as we all know, we don’t live in a perfect world, and quite often, it takes continued work and multiple angles of treatment to solve (or at least reduce the impact of) severe medical conditions.

But one important compound continues to impress doctors and medical researchers for its ability to treat inflammation throughout the body — omega-3 fatty acids. We’ve talked repeatedly on this blog about the effects of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Oil (GLX3) on treating joint pain and inflammation. A new study shows that omega-3 fatty acids, of which GLX3 is built around, might also be able to improve lung health.

An exciting new study for users of Omega-3 supplements

Researchers at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry recently discovered data that has the potential to reshape how we treat lung infections. Omega-3 fatty acids, the main active ingredient in GLX3, might just be the combattant doctors and researchers have been looking for to coincide with existing treatment plans, potentially adding a painless ongoing treatment option to keep inflammation down and maybe even wipe it out entirely.

The RSM found omega-3s to be proactive in removing a type of bacteria called Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) from the lungs. NTHi is a common effect of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and some other lung diseases, and can often affect people who have smoked for years, even decades.

“Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) exert multiple functions in humans and are crucially involved in limiting and resolving inflammatory processes,” the US National Library of Medicine reported in December of 2018. Because of how effective Omega-3s have been in fighting inflammation in other parts of the body — such as joint pain stemming from osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis — it makes sense that the same compounds could be effective in reducing inflammation in the lungs, as well.

Now doctors finally have the research to prove it.

Another check in the box

While studies have not promoted a specific drug or treatment plan, and research is still being conducted, the results appear to be yet another positive benefit of taking a supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The study did not identify specific intake requirements for people wishing to use omega-3s to treat lung disease, but emphasized that study is ongoing and so far, results appear to be quite positive.

Richard Phipps, a Professor of Environmental Medicine at the school and the director of the URSMD Lung Biology and Disease Program, spoke about the findings in a news release from the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Our biggest concern with patients who have COPD is bacterial infections, which often put their lives at risk,” Phipps said. “If we can figure out how to predict who is likely to get an infection, physicians could put them on a preventative medication.”

Adding a potential new layer to treatment plans

For patients with COPD and other inflammatory issues of the lungs, the old way of thinking often consisted of simply removing whatever was thought to have caused the inflammation in the first place. While this was effective in certain cases — preventing patients from seeing worsening effects — the question remained of what to do in situations where an ongoing treatment plan was needed.

The study referenced by the Rochester School of Medicine was conducted on mice. It involved treating the lungs of mice with omega-3s, to which they found significant results and even a potential hope that their findings could have major impact on the future of the medical world (involving humans instead of mice, of course).

What’s more, the treatment used on the mice did not prevent further operation or procedure being undertaken if necessary. So, if you were to take part in a COPD treatment plan built around omega-3s, it will not interfere with a procedure to remove the source of the problem, should it be necessary.

“We never really knew why diets high in omega fatty acids seemed good,” Phipps said in the release. “(B)ut now we know it’s because they provide the precursors for molecules that help shut down excessive inflammation.”

So, if you are (or were) a smoker and are worried about your lungs, talk to your doctor about whether or not a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids might be of benefit to you. You may be surprised to learn that something as simple as a daily omega-3 supplement can help you reduce inflammation not just in your joints, but throughout your entire body.

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