Fish oil could be therapy for periodontal disease

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Fish oil could be therapy for periodontal disease.

San Diego, CA — Periodontitis, inflammation of the tissue surrounding
the teeth, affects more than half of adults and is linked to an
increased risk of stroke and other heart problems. To evaluate whether
fish oil supplementation could be an adjunct therapy for periodontitis,
Dr. Alison Coates from the University of South Australia and colleagues
from the School of Dentistry at University of Adelaide in Australia
reviewed evidence from eight unique studies that involved humans.

Their review of these studies showed that improvements in clinical
measures were common in all studies, but were scientifically significant
in two that used a combination of fish oil and aspirin. Although this is
not conclusive evidence, intake of fish oil is recommended for health
benefits beyond the teeth.

“I would recommend that people ensure they have a sufficient intake of
long chain omega-3 fatty acids in their diet for general health,” said
Coates. “In Australia, these types of fatty acids are considered to be
essential with ~500 mg recommended as the suggested dietary target. This
equates to approximately 2 fatty fish meals per week.”

There are no serious dangers to consuming fish oil. At high levels of
fish oil above the GRAS limit, people may experience a delayed clotting
time and at very high doses potential gastric upset. If people are
taking blood thinning medication, then they should consult with a doctor.

The group reports that the evidence for fish oil being effective in
reducing periodontal symptoms is building but there is a need for more
well designed studies that evaluate the supplement both alone and in
combination with aspirin to be able to tease out whether fish oil by
itself is effective. It is important that compliance to treatment is
considered and that the dose and length of supplementation is
appropriate. A clinical trial is underway in Australia that is
investigating the effects of fish oil as adjunct therapy for periodontitis.

Results from this study will be presented April 24, 2012 at the
Experimental Biology 2012 meeting in San Diego, CA.

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