Higher intake of omega 3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of pnemonia. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Intake of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids and fish and risk of community-acquired pneumonia in US men.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;82(3):668-74. PMID: 16155282
BACKGROUND: Essential fatty acids modulate inflammation and glucose metabolism and may alter infection risk. OBJECTIVE: We examined the association between intakes of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids and fish and the risk of community-acquired pneumonia. DESIGN: We prospectively evaluated 38,378 male US health professionals aged 44-79 y at the outset. We updated medical and lifestyle information biennially through questionnaires and diet every 4 y with the use of a validated food-frequency questionnaire. We excluded men who reported pneumonia, myocardial infarction, stroke, other heart disease, arterial surgery, cancer, or asthma before 1990 or those with incomplete dietary data. Community-acquired pneumonia was determined by blinded medical record review of chest radiographs. RESULTS: During 10 y of follow-up, there were 441 new cases of nonfatal community-acquired pneumonia. Pneumonia risk was lower in men in the highest energy-adjusted quintiles of intake than in men in the lowest quintiles of intake of linoleic acid [multivariate relative risk (RR): 0.70; 95% CI: 0.51, 0.96; P for trend = 0.01] and alpha-linolenic acid (multivariate RR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.50, 0.93; P for trend = 0.01). Pneumonia risk decreased 4% for every 1-g/d increase in linoleic acid intake (multivariate RR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.93, 0.99). Pneumonia risk was reduced by 31% for every 1-g/d increase in alpha-linolenic acid intake (multivariate RR: 0.69; 95% CI: 0.51, 0.93). Intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid were not significantly related to pneumonia risk. CONCLUSION: Higher intakes of alpha-linolenic and linoleic acids and possibly of fish may reduce the risk of pneumonia.