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The Extraordinary Benefits of Omega-3
Research on the incredible health benefits of omega-3s is published almost daily. The marine omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) play a crucial role in brain, nervous system, and eye development. Here are some of the findings.
In a Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada position statement the foundation recommends consuming more polyunsaturated fat, especially omega-3 fatty acids (fatty fish, flaxseed). In their statement they claim omega-3 fat helps prevent blood from sticking and clotting and helps lower triglycerides.
In the American Heart Association’s scientific statement on omega-3s’ effect on heart health, it endorses raising DHA and EPA levels by eating fish or taking a daily fish oil supplement.
Studies show omega-3 fatty acids improve blood flow through the constricted arteries of heart disease patients. EPA and DHA support normal blood pressure, while increasing protective high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Higher HDL substantially reduces heart attack risk.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada offers tips for making healthy food choices and recommends including foods rich in omega-3 oils, such as cold-water fish and walnuts.
For adults, omega-3s improve mood, memory, recall, reasoning, and focus and support brain health as we age. Chicago’s Rush Medical Center found people with the highest levels of DHA had a 60 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s than those with the lowest levels. The University of Sheffield Psychiatry Department researchers found omega-3 fish oil supplements help alleviate the symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, and psychosis.
Omega-3 EPA has a positive effect on inflammatory response. EPA competes with pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid in the body. This means EPA helps regulate body inflammation, which may benefit painful inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. Patients with psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and bronchial asthma have also experienced benefits.
Decreased frequency and severity of migraine attacks were noted in a study at the University of Cincinnati. The majority of people who took fish oils experienced a 40- 50 percent reduction in migraine frequency and severity. Participants took nine fish oil capsules daily, with each providing 180 mg of EPA and 120 mg of DHA.
ENDOCRINE SYSTEM HEALTH
Recent studies find taking fish oils improves insulin sensitivity and reduces insulin resistance in older adults. Since insulin resistance may lead to type 2 diabetes, this is welcoming news. The Norwegian Institute of Health established the role of omega-3 fatty acids in controlling diabetes. The study shows giving cod liver oil to children during their first year of life reduces the juvenile diabetes risk by as much as 25 percent.
INFANT AND TODDLER HEALTH
Omega-3 is helpful for brain development. Many pregnant and nursing mothers shape their baby’s intelligence and happiness by supplementing with fish oil. Exciting studies show children (and adults) with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dyspraxia, and compulsive disorders experience a greatly improved quality of life when taking a daily dose of approximately 700 mg of combined EPA and DHA.
We simply cannot afford to ignore the lifelong benefits of fish oils. At all ages, from the cradle to our golden years, omega-3s help keep us vibrantly healthy, strong, and sharp!
Courtesy of Carlson Labs. Visit: www.carlsonlabs.com