Study Finds Association Between Omega-3 Consumption and Reduced Incidence of Frailty

Data from a study published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A in March 2024, “Association of plasma n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels and the prevalence of frailty in older adults: a cross-sectional analysis of UK Biobank,” suggests that omega-3 consumption may be associated with reduced risk of frailty in older adults.

The study examined nearly 19,000 senior citizens in the United Kingdom, cross-referencing how often the symptoms of frailty—weight loss, exhaustion, low physical activity, low grip strength and slow walking pace—occurred with their blood levels of omega-3s. Researchers found that blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids were inversely correlated with the likelihood of frailty. That is, the higher someone’s omega-3 blood levels were, the less likely they were to be frail.

The study also found that consumption of oily fish and fish oil supplements both corresponded with a lower frequency of symptoms of frailty.

When looking at eating and supplementation behaviors, after accounting for age, sex, ethnicity, whether subjects smoked or drank, body mass index, and other variables, the study found that both consumption of oily fish and the use of omega-3 supplements were associated with reduced risk of frailty.

After accounting for the variables mentioned above, those who took any amount of fish oil supplements were 28% less likely to be frail. In addition, the study found that the more oily fish subjects consumed, the less likely they were to be frail. Compared with those who never ate fish, subjects who ate fewer than one serving per week were 21% less likely to be frail. Those who ate oily fish two or more times per week were 41% less likely to be frail.

It should be noted that the study was strictly focused on identifying positive associations between the occurrence of frailty symptoms and omega-3 consumption and blood levels. The study did not test the use of a fish-based diet or omega-3 supplementation as a means of treating frailty. However, the study’s findings do suggest that further research is warranted.

Despite the potential health benefits of omega-3s, most people have little or no omega-3 fatty acids in their diets.

While the critical role that omega-3s play in brain health has been long recognized, it’s becoming increasingly clear that omega-3s play an important role in whole-body health. But 80% of the world’s population is consuming very little omega-3!

Food and supplement manufacturers have an opportunity to help meet the nutritional needs of an untapped consumer base. For consumers who don’t like eating fish or the taste of fish oil supplements, Nutriterra DHA Omega-3 Canola oil is the perfect solution, whether as a standalone supplement or an ingredient in an existing product. Nutriterra is the world’s first plant-based source of complete omega-3 nutrition, including DHA, EPA, and ALA. Nutriterra is a convenient, healthy, and fish-free way for consumers to enjoy the benefits of omega-3 nutrition.