Researchers discover 6 incredible benefits from Omega-3 fish oil supplements
[Aug. 2, 2023: Staff Writer, The Brighter Side of News]
Individuals looking to consume more healthy fatty acids via food should eat more oily fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and related oils. (CREDIT: Creative Commons)
The growing popularity of fish oil supplements indicates that people are keen to enjoy their myriad health advantages without needing to eat fish multiple times daily. This is largely because of the significant role omega-3 fatty acids have in our body's processes.
Three main types of omega-3 fatty acid supplements exist: Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). For those aiming to boost their consumption of these beneficial fats naturally, foods like oily fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and their respective oils are recommended. Plus, items like eggs and milk often come enriched with all three kinds of omega-3 fatty acids.
The pilot study examined the feasibility and acceptability of a 12-week behavioral program for weight loss and improved cardiovascular health. The program was specifically crafted to cater to Somali and Hispanic immigrants residing in Southeast Minnesota. A group of community-based "health promoters" orchestrated the peer-led initiative.
Even amidst the complexities of the pandemic, the study achieved a 100% participant retention rate. The participants gave the program high marks, having observed weight reduction, decreased blood pressure, and improved health behaviors. The researchers are affiliated with the Rochester Healthy Community Partnership, a community-academic research scheme initiated in 2004 in Rochester.
In a different context, health specialists frequently advocate for the incorporation of more fish oil into your diet. The following are six advantages gleaned from actual investigations demonstrating the tangible worth of omega-3s.
Omega-3 supplements could add 5 years to your life!
Add oily fish to the dinner menu tonight, especially if you want to live longer. Research finds that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood contributes to a lifespan about five years longer than the norm. The exciting finding comes from scientists at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute in Spain and The Fatty Acid Research Institute in the United States.
Just a one-percent increase in omega-3 levels reduces a person’s risk of death as much as quitting smoking, scientists claim. Their study shows measuring these levels in the blood can be an extremely effective tool for calculating life expectancy.
“Having higher levels of these acids in the blood, as a result of regularly including oily fish in the diet, increases life expectancy by almost five years,” says study author Dr. Aleix Sala-Vila.
Lowers risk of heart attack, cardiovascular disease
Harvard University conducted an analysis on the subject of omega-3 fish oil supplements and found an association between daily ingestion and a reduced risk of heart attack and most cardiovascular diseases.
Their research included data from over 120,000 adults across 13 randomized trials worldwide, including three recent large-scale trials. They found that people who received a daily omega-3 fish oil supplement had an 8% lower risk of heart attack, death from coronary heart disease.
Researcher suggest that omega-3 dosages above the typical amount (840 mg/day) used in most randomized clinical trials may provide even greater reductions in cardiovascular risk.
Fish oil may be an effective treatment for depression
Stem cell technology provides scientists with a research tool of seemingly limitless capacity. Using “depressed” human stem cells, scientists in Chicago find that fish oil can be added as an “antidepressant.”
Their study took skin cells from two types of depressed patients: those who previously responded to antidepressants, and those who didn’t. It shows that fish oil produces an antidepressant effect in stem cells taken from adults who have been clinically diagnosed as depressed.
Results of the study also show that a stem cell model can be used to study response to treatment and that fish oil as a treatment, or companion to treatment, for depression warrants further investigation.
Omega-3 fatty acids stabilize memory in patients with Alzheimer’s
Researchers examined 33 people with mild to moderate symptoms of Alzheimer’s. From that group, 18 took omega-3 supplements in the morning and evening while the other 15 did not. Spinal fluid samples were taken from participants, which can contain biomarkers of the disease. Study authors also gave a memory test at the start of the study and six months later. Although the fluid samples didn’t show a significant change, the group’s performance in memory tests was clearly visible.
Results show that memory function of the patients in the group that had taken omega-3 remained strong, whereas the patients in the control group deteriorated in the same amount of time.
May help lower breast cancer risk
Fish oil supplements appear to alter the breast microbiome and reduce cancer risk. That conclusion comes from researchers with the Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Their study involved human breast cancer patients in a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Patients consumed either a placebo or fish oil supplements for two to four weeks before undergoing a lumpectomy or mastectomy.
The results reveal that adding fish oil to a patient’s diet changes the microbiome in both non-cancerous and malignant breast tissue. Researchers say that those taking the supplements for four weeks had more Lactobacillus — a type of bacteria scientists say can decrease breast cancer tumor growth — in the normal tissue surrounding a tumor. The team also found fewer Bacteroidales and Ruminococcus microbes in the group’s breast tumors. The significance of this change, however, is still unclear.
Omega-3 fatty acids can improve attention in children, compared to ADHD drugs
For the study, 92 children diagnosed with ADHD between the ages of 6-18 were separated into two groups. The first group received high doses of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) for 12 weeks, while the other group was given a placebo for the same amount of time. Results show that the children in the experimental group who already had low levels of EPA in their blood improved significantly in focused attention and vigilance scores.
It suggests that fish oil supplements are at least as effective for attention as conventional pharmacological treatments among those children with ADHD who have omega-3 deficiency. However, parents should always consult with their children’s psychiatrists since the study suggests there could be negative effects for some children.
The omega-3 supplements only worked in children who had lower levels of EPA in their blood. For those children with omega-3 deficiency, fish oil supplements could be a preferable option to standard stimulant treatments.
Before making any change to your diet or lifestyle routines, you should always consult with your doctor first. There are also numerous companies selling omega-3 fish oil supplements. It’s important to do the research and know who you’re purchasing dietary supplements from, where they’re made, and their overall quality before buying.
For more science and technology stories check out our New Discoveries section at The Brighter Side of News.
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