A few years ago, after I started taking about 3 tablespoons/day of flaxseed oil, my dentist told me my gums were much healthier. They were less red, more pink. Friends and blog readers who took flaxseed oil in similar amounts noticed the same thing. Tyler Cowen’s gums improved so much he no longer needed gum surgery.
An epidemiological study in the November Journal of the American Dietetic Association reports correlations between omega-3 intake and periodontitis (an extreme form of inflamed gums). The more omega-3, the less periodontitis. I’m sure that sufficient omega-3 intake cures periodontitis so this study has methodological interest for me. One interesting point is that the study reached a correct conclusion — contrary to the nihilism of John Ioannidis. Another is that the correlations were weak. The risk of periodontitis was only 20% lower in the group (quintile?) with the highest omega-3 intake. Although there were 9000 subjects, there was no significant correlation with linolenic acid, the form of omega-3 found in flaxseed oil.
Thanks to Sean Curley.