Monday, February 16, 2009

Scientific Research: Omega-3s

As you will see from the scientific paper below, if you can take just one supplement, this one goes a long way for health. Consider these scientific statements from research done:

• 1,000 mg a day of a fish oil concentrate reduced the risk of sudden death from heart‐related causes by 45% - April 9, 2002 issue of Circulation

• Women who consumed a minimum of five servings of fish per week over a 16‐year period lowered their risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by more than a third, and reduced their risk of fatal heart attack by half. - April 10, 2002 issue of JAMA

• Men without heart disease were 81% less likely to experience sudden death due to fatal arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) when their blood levels of omega‐3 fatty acids were high regardless of their age, smoking habits or amount of other types of fatty acids in their blood. - April 11, 2002 New England Journal of Medicine

• Patients who ate fish and had high serum levels of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), (EPA), and (DHA) reduced their risk of all‐cause mortality in direct relation to the amounts consumed. Patients who consumed the most omega‐3 had a 55% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke, and a 51% lower risk of death from coronary artery disease. - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (July 2003).

Scientific Research on Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids


Omega-3 essential fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fats. These are one of four basic types of fat that the body derives from food. (Cholesterol, saturated fat and monounsaturated fat are the others). Consumption of high amounts of food rich in saturated fats has been associated with degenerative diseases such as heart disease and even cancer.

However, consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3s is actually good for you. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are reported to be beneficial in controlling many metabolic disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, psychological disorders, inflammatory conditions (including arthritis), skin disorders and non-insulin-dependent (or type II) diabetes.

Omega-3s are considered “essential” fatty acids because they are essential to human health but cannot be manufactured by the body. They must be obtained through the diet or supplementation. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are two important omega-3 fatty acids. Both EPA and DHA are found primarily in cold-water fish.

Cardiovascular Benefits
Omega-3 essential fatty acids may be helpful for a variety of health concerns. Its best-documented benefits are for heart disease and problems that contribute to heart disease.3 The body uses Omega-3s as one of the primary structural components to form membranes surrounding our cells.1, 2 Without a sufficient supply of
polyunsaturated omega-3s, the body will use saturated fat to construct cell membranes.

This results in cell membranes and blood vessels that are less elastic, which has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system. Studies suggest that EPA and DHA found in fish oil aid in reducing risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Studies have shown that the more omega-3 fatty acids people consume, the lower their overall blood pressure is.4, 5 Those who live in areas of the world where consumption of omega-3s from fish is higher tend to have higher levels of HDL (or good) cholesterol levels and decreased levels of triglycerides (fatty material that circulates in the blood).6, 7, 8

Supplements containing EPA and DHA have been shown to reduce LDL (or bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. Strong evidence also suggests that these substances can help prevent and treat atherosclerosis by inhibiting the development of arterial plaque and blood clots, which both tend to clog arteries.9, 10

Omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to decrease the stickiness of blood cells (called platelet aggregation).11 This reduces such complications as blood clots and stroke. DHA and EPA also act as antioxidants.12 These effects prevent damage to the heart and reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Joint Health
Omega-3 fatty acids may decrease inflammation and reduce pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.13 EPA and DHA are successful at keeping the body free from inflammation because they can be converted into natural anti-inflammatory substances called prostaglandins and leukotrienes, compounds that help
decrease inflammation and pain.14, 15

While most research has focused on the positive effects of Omega-3 essential fatty acids on rheumatoid arthritis, they may also be helpful for osteoarthritis and other joint conditions. In some laboratory studies, omega-3 fatty acids decreased inflammation and reduced the activity of enzymes that destroy cartilage.16,17

Diabetes
Diabetics may benefit from taking supplements that contain EPA and DHA. Low HDL and high triglyceride levels tend to be associated with people who have type II diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils have been shown to help raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower triglycerides (fatty material in the blood). 18,19

Osteoporosis
Studies suggest that people who are lacking in certain essential fatty acids (like EPA) are more likely to suffer from bone loss than those with normal levels of these fatty acids. Omega-3s such as EPA help increase calcium absorption in the body, in part by enhancing the effects of vitamin D, reducing urinary excretion of calcium and increasing calcium deposition in bone. All of these improve bone strength and enhance the synthesis of
bone collagen. These effects from essential fatty acids will benefit menopausal women, who are prone to bone loss, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Supplementation with calcium and omega-3 essential fatty acids has been shown to be effective in reducing and preventing osteoporosis in the elderly.20

Skin Health
Essential fatty acid metabolism seems to play a crucial role both in the pathogenesis and treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis.21 One study showed that people treated with medications and omega-3 fatty acids for psoriasis did better than those treated with medications alone.22 Another study administered
over a 12-month period indicated that that EPA could be beneficial for the long-term treatment of psoriasis.23

Eye and Nervous System Health
DHA plays a critical role in the development of the visual and central nervous system.24 Increased intake of
omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with a decreased risk of developing macular degeneration,25 which is a leading cause of vision loss in the elderly. Lower levels of brain DHA is associated with cognitive impairment.26

In 2001, the FDA allowed DHA to be added to infant formula. Not only does DHA help infant brain development, it may also prevent post-partum depression in nursing mothers.27 Human adults maintain a constant level of DHA in brain tissue. Supplementation of DHA may be helpful in the prevention of psychological disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.28,29 Scientific studies
have found that low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood are associated with depression.30

While DHA plays an important role in the development of the nervous system, it also protects nervous tissues31 and may be of benefit in preventing nerve damage.32

Buy a quality product that's digestible. Nature's Sunshine Omega 3 EPA has lemon oil for digestion so you can assimilate it without burping fish oils. If you're burping, you're not assimilating the fish oil for use.

1. Stillwell W, Wassall SR. Docosahexaenoic acid: membrane properties of a unique fatty acid. Chem Phys Lipids. 2003 Nov;126(1):1-27.
2. Broughton KS; Morgan LJ. Frequency of (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption induces alterations in tissue lipid composition and eicosanoid synthesis in CD-1 mice. J Nutr. 1994 Jul, 124:7, 1104-11.
3. Richter WO. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from fish reduce sudden cardiac death in patients with coronary heart disease. Eur J Med Res. 2003 Aug 20;8(8):332-6.
4. Ait-Yahia D, Madani S, Savelli JL, Prost J, Bouchenak M, Belleville J. Dietary fish protein lowers blood pressure and alters tissue polyunsaturated fatty acid composition in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Nutrition. 2003 Apr;19(4):342-6.
5. Woodman RJ, Mori TA, Burke V, Puddey IB, Watts GF, Beilin LJ. Effects of purified eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids on glycemic control, blood pressure, and serum lipids in type 2 diabetic patients with treated hypertension. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;76(5):1007-15.
6. Wolfram G. Dietary fatty acids and coronary heart disease. Eur J Med Res. 2003 Aug 20;8(8):321-4.
7. Dallongeville J, Yarnell J, Ducimetiere P, Arveiler D, Ferrieres J, Montaye M, Luc G, Evans A, Bingham A, Hass B, Ruidavets JB, Amouyel P. Fish consumption is associated with lower heart rates. Circulation. 2003 Aug 19;108(7):820-5. Epub 2003 Aug 11.
8. Marchioli R. [Omega-3 and coronary heart disease]. Minerva Cardioangiol. 2003 Sep;51(5):561-76. Italian.
9. Masley SC. Dietary therapy for preventing and treating coronary artery disease. Am Fam Physician. 1998 Mar 15;57(6):1299-1306, 1307-9. Review.
10. Hasler CM, Kundrat S, Wool D. Functional foods and cardiovascular disease. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2000 Nov;2(6):467-75. Review.
11. Galan P, De Bree A, Mennen L, Potier De Courcy G, Preziozi P, Bertrais S, Castetbon K, Hercberg S. Background and rationale of the SU.FOL.OM3 study: Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled secondary prevention trial to test the impact of supplementation with folate, vitamin B6 and B12 and/or omega-3 fatty acids on the prevention of recurrent ischeamic events in subjects with atherosclerosis in the coronary or cerebral arteries. J Nutr Health Aging. 2003;7(6):428-35.
12. Barbosa DS, Cecchini R, El Kadri MZ, Rodriguez MA, Burini RC, Dichi I. Decreased oxidative stress in patients with ulcerative colitis supplemented with fish oil omega-3 fatty acids. Nutrition. 2003 Oct;19(10):837-42.
13. Adam O. Dietary fatty acids and immune reactions in synovial tissue. Eur J Med Res. 2003 Aug 20;8(8):381-7.
14. Heller AR, Theilen HJ, Koch T. Fish or chips? News Physiol Sci. 2003 Apr;18:50-4.
15. Calder PC. Dietary modification of inflammation with lipids. Proc Nutr Soc. 2002 Aug;61(3):345-58.
16. University of Maryland Medical Center. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. 2008. Available at: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm Accessed January 27, 2009.
17. Curtis CL, Hughes CE, Flannery CR, Little CB, Harwood JL, Caterson B. n-3 fatty acids specifically modulate catabolic factors involved in articular cartilage degradation. J Biol Chem. 2000 Jan 14;275(2):721-4.
18. Shimura T, Miura T, Usami M, Ishihara E, Tanigawa K, Ishida H, Seino Y. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improved glucose and lipid metabolism in KK-Ay mice with genetic non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Biol Pharm Bull. 1997 May;20(5):507-10.
19. Lichtenstein AH, Schwab US. Relationship of dietary fat to glucose metabolism. Atherosclerosis. 2000 Jun;150(2):227-43.
20. Kruger MC, Coetzer H, de Winter R, Gericke G, van Papendorp DH. Calcium, gamma-linolenic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid supplementation in senile osteoporosis. Aging (Milano). 1998 Oct;10(5):385-94.
21. Das UN, Vijaykumar K, Madhavi N, Suryaprabha P, Sravankumar G, Ramesh G, Koratkar R, Sagar PS, Padma M. Psoriasis: current concepts and new approaches to therapy. Med Hypotheses. 1992 May;38(1):56-62.
22. Danno K, Sugie N. Combination therapy with low-dose etretinate and eicosapentaenoic acid for psoriasis vulgaris. J Dermatol. 1998 Nov;25(11):703-5.
23. Kojima T, Terano T, Tanabe E, Okamoto S, Tamura Y, Yoshida S. Long-term administration of highly purified eicosapentaenoic acid provides improvement of psoriasis. Dermatologica. 1991;182(4):225-30.
24. University of Maryland Medical Center. DHA. 2008. Available at: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/docosahexaenoicacid-000300.htm Accessed January 27, 2009.
25. Seddon JM, Cote J, Rosner B. Progression of age-related macular degeneration: association with dietary fat, transunsaturated fat, nuts, and fish intake. Arch Ophthalmol. 2003 Dec;121(12):1728-37.
26. Lipids. 2000 Dec;35(12):1305-12.
27. Medscape Medical News. ACS Abstract: AGFD 28 (495307). April 8, 2002.
28. Naturwissenschaften. 2003 Nov;90(11):521-3. Epub 2003 Oct 10.
29. Arch Neurol. 2003 Jul;60(7):940-6.
30. Jellin JM, Gregory PJ, Batz F, Hitchens K, et al. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 9th ed.Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2007.
31. Neuroreport. 2003 Dec 19;14(18):2457-61.
32. Diabetes. 2003 Oct;52(10):2578-85.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: All comments need to be approved before they post.