Research proves health benefits of omega-3 enriched chicken and eggs

New findings from a study delivered by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, on behalf of Devenish, prove that eating chicken and eggs naturally enriched with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can help lower blood pressure.

Published this week in Scientific Reports – one of Nature’s Research Journals – the study clearly shows that not only is omega-3 status improved by eating naturally enriched omega-3 chicken meat and eggs, but blood pressure is also lowered. Both of these effects are strongly associated with protection from heart attacks, strokes, dementia and depression.

Professor Alice Stanton of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and Director of Human Health at Devenish, led the study. “High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke and a common cause of premature death. An estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide are living with hypertension. Fewer than 1 in 5 people with hypertension have the problem under control.”

“It is already well known that eating oily fish, such as salmon or mackerel, that are rich in the long-chain omega-3 PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), lowers blood pressure. However, most people in the world do not consume the internationally recommended amount of one serving of oily fish per week. Indeed, some people eat no fish at all and as a result, less than 20% of the world’s population have optimal omega-3 PUFA levels in their bodies,” Professor Stanton said.

In a double-blinded, randomised controlled trial, 161 adults were randomly allocated to eat at least three portions per week of chicken meat and eggs, either standard foods or naturally enriched with sustainable, algae-based omega-3 DHA and EPA PUFAs. Eating the enriched foods resulted in clinically relevant reductions in diastolic blood pressure. The blood pressure reduction of 3mm Hg observed in the trial would be expected to translate into a 15% reduction in all cause and cardiovascular mortality.

“These findings reinforce our understanding that chicken and eggs naturally enriched with omega-3 DHA and EPA may provide the same numerous health benefits as eating oily fish.”

The chicken and eggs used in this research study came from birds fed with OmegaPro, an algae-based source of omega-3 PUFAs developed by Devenish.

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