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Sunday, March 4, 2018
Omega-3s Linked to Lower MS Risk
Fatty acid biosynthesis may play a protective role
by Judy George, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today
March 01, 2018
LOS ANGELES -- Omega-3 fatty acids may play an important role in lowering the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers suggested.
Consuming fish at least once a week -- or at least once a month with regular fish oil use -- was associated with a 44% reduced risk of MS or its precursor, clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), reported Annette Langer-Gould, MD, PhD, of Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, CA, and co-authors, in an early-release abstract from the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, to be held here in April.
"These findings provide more evidence that a diet rich in fish and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids has health benefits," Langer-Gould said. "In addition to promoting improved cardiovascular health, a high fish or seafood diet may also reduce the risk of developing MS."
A marine diet is the best source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), she noted. High fish intake has been associated with a lower risk of MS, but it's unclear whether this is due to PUFAs or other nutrients.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene cluster that modulate fatty acid levels have been associated with cognition, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation, she noted, but whether they're associated with MS also is unknown.
For this study, Langer-Gould and colleagues examined the diets of 1,153 people from the MS Sunshine Study, a multi-ethnic, matched case-control cohort of incident MS or CIS recruited from Kaiser Permanente Southern California, to determine the association of fish consumption and 13 tag SNPs in FADS1, FADS2, and ELOV2 with the risk of MS. The researchers defined high fish intake as eating fish at least once a week or more, or one to three servings per month plus fish oil supplements, and adjusted findings for age, sex, smoking, genetic ancestry, and the HLADRB1*15:01 allele.