CAT | Fish Oils
We know from past research that fish-derived Omega-3 fatty acids provide a multitude of health benefits for the whole body—from supporting the heart, brain and nervous system to protecting our eyes and joints. Now, three new studies spotlight the role of Omega-3 fish oil in a healthy diet and why we should consume more of these healthy fats and fewer saturated and trans fats.
Fish Oil May Protect Against Diabetes
Past evidence has shown that fatty fish consumption can help protect against diabetes by having a positive effect on glucose metabolism. In a recent study conducted by scientists in Sweden, similar results were seen in the case of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), which shares characteristics of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes including weight gain and insulin resistance. They found that one or more servings of fatty fish per week consumption was indeed associated with a reduced risk of LADA.
Omega-3 Fats Linked to Increased Brain Volume
Scientists no longer believe that age-related brain shrinkage and nerve cell death is irreversible. In fact, a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that older adults who consume high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids showed signs of new tissue development and an increase in gray matter—the areas of the brain involved in memory, emotions, muscle control, sensory perception and decision making.
Americans Still Eating Too Many Unhealthy Fats
Results of a new long-term study published last month in the Journal of the American Heart Association show that although consumption of saturated fats and trans fats have declined in the last three decades, Americans are still consuming far more unhealthy fats than experts recommend. The American Heart Association recommends limiting trans fats to one percent (or less) of total calories consumed and saturated fats to between five and six percent of total calories, while at the same time increasing the amount of healthy Omega-3 fats consumed from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring.
Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 EPA and DHA are good-for-you fats used by every cell in your body to support and manage vital functions such as a healthy inflammation response and proper heart, joint, eye, brain, digestive and immune function.‡ However, the body does not produce these essential fats on its own, so the only way to get them is through diet or supplementation. For this reason, many people benefit from taking a high-concentration, purity-guaranteed fish oil supplement daily.‡
Because extensive evidence shows that fish-derived Omega-3s support optimal digestion and overall health, many leading health organizations provide helpful recommendations. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 2 grams of Omega-3 oils per day, which is consistent with digestive care expert Brenda Watson’s H.O.P.E. Formula.
And, because scientific research confirms that Omega-3 supplementation promotes heart health by helping to maintain healthy cholesterol, triglyceride and blood pressure levels already within the normal range,* the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming about 500 mg per day of EPA and DHA for people who are healthy and want to maintain good heart health. For those with documented coronary heart disease, the AHA recommends 1 gram (1,000 mg) per day, and those with high triglycerides should aim for 2 to 4 grams (2,000 to 4,000 mg) per day.
Is there such a thing as too much Omega-3?
Due to its potential blood-thinning effects, it is recommended that you consult your physician when taking high doses of Omega-3 EPA/DHA—particularly doses greater than 3 grams (3,000 mg) per day.
Does it matter how much Omega-3 is in my capsule?
Yes. Be sure to look at the total amount of Omega-3 in each capsule—not the total amount of fish oil, as supplements vary greatly in the amounts of Omega-3.
What is the best time to take fish oil? And should I take fish oil with food?
Fish oil may be taken with or without food at any time of the day, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
*Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA & DHA Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.