Seafood-derived omega-3 fatty acids, effective in chronic kidney disease

▲ Studies have shown that certain types of omega-3 fatty acids are effective in preventing chronic kidney disease. (Photo = DB)

[메디컬투데이=한지혁 기자] Certain types of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be effective in preventing chronic kidney disease.

A study on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on chronic kidney disease was published in the British Medical Journal (The BMJ).

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a disease that affects about 850 million people, accounting for more than 10% of the world’s population. It is more common in the elderly and has risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

Damage to kidney tissue can occur over a long period of time and is often asymptomatic in the early stages. As the disease progresses, the kidneys eventually become unable to remove excess water and salt, resulting in edema, which can cause serious problems in many parts of the body.

Managing blood pressure and blood sugar is important for maintaining kidney health, and weight management through exercise and diet is also known to be effective. According to the results of a recent animal study, sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids may also benefit kidney function.

In this study, an Australian research team analyzed data from a total of 19 studies conducted in 12 countries to evaluate the association between long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) and chronic kidney disease.

A total of 25,570 participants were included in the study, and their ages ranged from 49 to 77 years. 4944 patients, or 19.3% of the total, were diagnosed with chronic kidney disease during an average follow-up of 11 years.

After a detailed analysis of the participants’ diets and nutritional intake, the researchers found that participants with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids derived from seafood had an 8% lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

The omega-3 fatty acids that showed relevance were ‘eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)’, ‘docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)’, and ‘docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)’ respectively.

Experts responded positively to the results of this study, but cautioned patients suffering from chronic kidney disease about omega-3 intake. In particular, special attention is required in that major sources of omega-3 fatty acids contain a large amount of phosphorus, which is fatal to patients with chronic kidney disease.

On the other hand, plant-derived omega-3s, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is mainly found in nuts and seeds, had no significant effect on the risk of chronic kidney disease.

Medical Today Reporter Han Ji-hyeok ([email protected])

[저작권자ⓒ 메디컬투데이. 무단전재-재배포 금지]

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