Kaiser Permanente has been studying the effects of an omega-3-rich diet on the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Doctor Annette Langer-Gould of Kaiser Permanente took special interest in this study due to the large amounts of fatty acids omega-3s provide.
Not only do these omega-3s provide lots of health benefits, but they also seem to play a role in the onset of certain neurological conditions.
According to Medical News Today:
“Fish or other seafood consumption,” she told us, “is particularly interesting because it is the main determinant of circulating and tissue levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFAs).”
“Omega-3 PUFAs have been shown to be neuroprotective during aging and suppress MS-related inflammation through multiple mechanisms in cell cultures and animal models. This provides at least two biologically plausible mechanisms whereby higher omega-3 PUFA intake and biosynthesis could protect against development of MS.”
– Dr. Annette Langer-Gould
In the study, Langer-Gould and her team began working with over 1,100 participants – half of which with a diagnosis of a clinically isolated syndrome of MS.
The team took into account the participants’ diet – particularly their intake of fish and dietary supplements of fish oil.
The participants were then put into one of two groups based on their diets. They were either “high-intake” (having one serving of fish per week plus daily fish oil supplements) or “low-intake” (less than one serving of fish per month with no intake of fish oil supplements).
After analyzing the data from the participants, Langer-Gould and her team made a fascinating discovery. They found there was a link between a consistently high intake of fish and a 45 percent lower risk of MS, in comparison to having a low intake of fish.
Although this is exciting news, the team does take into account that a person’s genetic makeup influences the risk of MS.
Still, Langer-Gould says that these “findings could certainly lead to lifestyle modification interventions that could improve overall health for MS patients and perhaps prevent MS in their offspring.”