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Chinese researchers say the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 intake can lead to better overall health, and they also point out that the PUFA from the ocean seems to be particularly beneficial to the local population.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are considered to have beneficial properties for some chronic diseases, but the epidemiological evidence of the association between mortality and specific PUFA intake has so far been limited and contradictory.
Therefore, researchers from Zhejiang University in China conducted a study to determine the relationship between PUFAs and mortality in Chinese and American adults.
Fights in fat and mortality
They tracked 14117 participants in the Chinese health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) from 2011 to 2011 and 36032 participants in the national health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES).
They subsequently found that a total of 1007 people died in CHNS, with a median of 14 years, while in NHANES, 4826 people died, with a median age of 9.1 years.
They wrote: "dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are associated with reduced mortality in CHNS, however, the opposite relationship is not observed in NHANES.
"The overall mortality rate was positively correlated with the CHNS intake of alpha linoleic acid (ALA), while NHANES found that ALA and linoleic acid (LA) were negatively correlated with the mortality of various causes.
They added that higher dietary intake of peanut four acid (AA) has been associated with a decrease in all-cause mortality in two surveys.
In addition, PUFA intake at omega-6 /omega-3 ratio of 6e10 was associated with a lower risk of CHNS death.
Different statistics show different fat effects
However, self reported dietary intake measured by NHANES 24 hour dietary recall may not reflect long-term dietary patterns, and lack of data on CHNS specific causes of death.
In addition, researchers did not adjust the intake of trans fatty acids because of insufficient data. However, they pointed out that this is unlikely to change the result, because China's intake of trans fatty acids is very low.
They concluded that "PUFAs divergence in different subtypes is related to mortality, and the correlation between Chinese and American populations is also different.
"The intake of omegs-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and AA from the sea may be more protective for Chinese people compared with the US population; high intake of ALA and LA may reduce the risk of death in the United States, but will increase the mortality of the Chinese people.
"These findings suggest that the overall health promotion effect of a balanced diet of omega-6 /omega-3 is maintained. In addition, the omega-6 /omega-3 ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids with 6e10 can reduce the risk of total mortality in the Chinese population."