Not eating oily fish regularly can shorten life expectancy more than smoking, study reveals
Lack of omega-3 in the diet can short life even more than smoking, research says
Scientists found low levels of the fatty acid could reduce expectancy by 5 years
The oil found in oily fish is known to be good for heart and reduces blood clots
A good level is 8% or higher, while intermediate is between 4% and 8%
A lack of omega-3 oil in the diet can shorten life even more than smoking, new research warns.
Scientists found that smoking knocked four years off life expectancy whereas low levels of the fatty acid — found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel — could reduce it by five years.
A good level is eight per cent or higher, intermediate is between four and eight per cent and low is four per cent and below.
Study lead researcher Dr Michael McBurney, of the University of Guelph in Canada, said: 'It is interesting to note that in Japan, where the mean Omega-3 Index is greater than eight per cent, the expected life span is around five years longer than it is in the United States, where the mean Omega-3 Index is about five per cent.
'Hence, in practice, dietary choices that change the Omega-3 Index may prolong life.
'In the final combined model, smoking and the Omega-3 Index seem to be the most easily modified risk factors.
'Being a current smoker, at age 65, is predicted to subtract more than four years of life, compared with not smoking, a life shortening equivalent to having a low vs. a high Omega-3 Index.'
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, used statistics from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), one of the longest running studies in the world.
Note: A boatload of vitamin D, pun intended