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Omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood can lower risk of chronic kidney problems, finds study

Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood can moderately reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease and slow the decline in kidney function, researchers of a recent study published in The BMJ said.

The study's findings by an international team led by researchers at The George Institute for Global Health and the University of New South Wales support current guidelines that recommend adequate seafood intake as part of a healthy diet say researchers.

However, the researchers say these associations were not found with higher levels of plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids.

Animal studies suggest that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) may have beneficial effects on kidney function. Still, evidence from human studies is limited and relies mainly on dietary questionnaires, which can be prone to error.

To explore this further, the researchers pooled the results of 19 studies from 12 countries and looked for links between levels of n-3 PUFA biomarkers and the development of CKD in adults.

The researchers of the study analysed eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) for evaluation.

While the former three are found in seafood, ALA is found mainly in plants, including nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables.

After accounting for other factors, including age, sex, race, body mass index, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, heart disease and diabetes, the researchers found that higher levels of total seafood n-3 PUFAs lowered the risk of CKDs by a modest 8%.

“Although our findings do not prove a causal relation between seafood n-3 PUFAs and CKD risk, they are supportive and consistent with current clinical guidelines that recommend adequate intake of seafood as part of healthy dietary patterns, especially when seafood replaces the intake of less healthy foods,” they wrote in the paper.

 “Further randomised controlled trials are warranted to assess the potential beneficial role of seafood n-3 PUFAs in preventing and managing CKD,” they added.

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