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Omega-3 Can Check Air Pollution Damage

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Air pollution around the world is rising at an alarming rate, according to the World Health Organization, with virtually all cities in poorer nations blighted by unhealthy air and more than half of those in richer countries also suffering.

A study suggests that eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids could significantly reduce damage caused by air pollution. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in a variety of foods, including in oily fish, soy beans and spinach, could reduce inflammation and oxidative stress caused by air pollution by up to half. However, the research also shows air pollution particles can penetrate through the lungs of lab animals into many major organs, including the brain and testicles. This raises the possibility that the health damage caused by toxic air is even greater than currently known.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to have many other benefits and the key thing is they are not like a drug, but a nutrient with so many benefits. Two to four gm per day would be the equivalent dose in humans to that given to the mice. The research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids could provide an immediate, practical solution for reducing the disease burden of air pollution.


Li X.-Y., et al., 2017, “Protection against fine particle-induced pulmonary and systemic inflammation by omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids,” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-General Subjects; 1861(3): 577-584. [Web Reference]

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