A recent Harvard report confirmed that DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 supplements can substantially improve periodontal outcomes for individuals suffering from periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a severe gum infection that breaks down the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. It is the second most common disease in the world with between 30 and 50 percent of the United States population suffering from it.
Omega-3 is linked to the potential anti-inflammatory DHA effects. Additionally, DHA supplements are associated with reduced pocket depth between the teeth and the gums and reduced gingival index, which is used to evaluate the extent of gum disease. There have been previous studies that confirmed a link between omega-3 fatty acids and potential dental health benefits.
However, the anti-bacterial aspects of omega-3 fatty acids have been largely ignored. While there is evidence that at relatively low doses, DHA can inhibit oral pathogens growth, more research is needed. There is potential for DHA to find a place in the nutraceuticals market.
In the recent Harvard report, adults suffering from mid-range periodontitis took part in a double blinded parallel trial with a placebo control group. Participants were given either 2,000 mg of DHA daily or a soy / corn oil placebo that they took for three months. All of the participants also took 81 mg of aspirin daily.
In the DHA group, participants exhibited improved pocket depth and gingival index. They had increased red blood cell membranes between 3.6 and 6.2 percent while their placebo group counterparts had no measurable increases.
The DHA group also had notable reduction in interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta) and inflammatory biomarkers C-reactive protein levels. The systemic CRP levels remained largely the same. These findings confirm that there is potential therapeutic efficacy for DHA in patients with periodontitis.
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