Following my father's steps and legacy, I became an autodidact when the subject is related to improve our health and overcome physical challenges.
Now, imagine a pill that was proven to reduce mortality rates by two digits percentage rate, improve cognition and reduce metabolic disorders like obesity and fatty liver disease.
Not good enough? How about a supplement that is also able to fight depression, some types of dementia and even cancer, autoimmune disease and kidney disorders?
Well, this is not an invention of a distant future. Actually this is real and exists right now, available to all of us. The name of this magic ingredient is "FISH OIL".
Several clinic trials revealed in the past the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids the cardiovascular system. But more recent data shows so much more. A series of benefits that can impact virtually every aspect of our health.
A meta-analysis published last year found that highest consumption of Omega-3s from fish oil was associated with a 14% reduction in the risk of dying from any cause, compared to the lowest category of consumption. (1)
ANTI- INFLAMMATORY FATS
Studies also have shown that omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA have benefits in metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes, in neurological disorders like depression and Alzheimer's, as well as in auto-immune disease and cancer.
Omega-3s favourably affect this wide variety of conditions because they reduce the body's overall burden of Inflammation. (2) By fighting inflammation, omega-3s helps us combat numerous age-related issues.
Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of conditions that includes some combinations of high blood pressure, belly fat, high blood sugar, and abnormal lipid profiles. The main driver of this syndrome is obesity. Omega-3 supplements show remarkable effects on the causes of these disorders.
Obesity is a major risk factor for chronic illnesses, in large part because in obese individuals, fat cells churn out massive amounts of inflammation-inducing proteins (called cytokines). (3) These proteins play a role of promoting insulin resistance as well as fatty liver disease and diabetes.
A POWERFUL BRAIN SHIELD
Omega-3s play vital roles in the brain's structure and function. The problem is that as we get older our brain the omega-3 fats reduce gradually, leading to brain plasticity loss, which is the ability to form new connections and retain memories. (4). The good news is that supplementation with Omega-3 can favourably alter brain structure and function, fighting age-related conditions such as memory impairments and Alzheimer's. (5)
Depression comes from many different forms and can arise for any number of reasons. Studies show consistently that omega-3s have benefits against depression, regardless of the cause.
In a recent study, young adults with symptoms of depression were randomly assigned to take placebo or 1,000mg EPA / 400 mg DHA daily (6). After only 21 days, an amazing number of 67% taking omega-3s "no longer met the criteria for being depressed". This is a clear evidence of the power of this supplement in so many aspects of the human body activities.
BEWARE! NOT ALL FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS ARE THE SAME
If you go to the nearest pharmacy chain store to buy their shelf available commercial formula of "natural fish oil" supplement, you will find enormous jars of softgels at a very cheap price. But when you take a closer look, you will see the recommended dose contains 3,600 mg of fish oil, but only 1,080 mg of total omega-3 fats. And you will not find how much of EPA and DHA is in the formula. That means only 30% of the daily serving may be beneficial EPA/DHA.
To achieve the desired intake, you would need to take 6 large softgels of this commercial products and get fishy burps all day long. Seriously!
Now, another important thing is the purity and quality of the fish-oil. Want to run a test with a cheap fish oil softgel brand? Put it in a freezer and leave overnight. If it gets frozen, that indicates a very low quality supplement.
In summary, check for the following when buying your supplement:
- High Potency per Serving
- High EPA and DHA Content
- Source Of the Fish Oil (Sea Harvest Pelagic Fish Oil are the Best)
- Check if it is tested for impurities
- Choose softgels with flavor or that do not leave you with that fishy aftertaste
Now, If you really want to get an upgrade in your healthy lifestyle, this is the contribution I can leave for you in this blog post. After all that's all about keep up with my father's legacy.
(1) Fish, long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids consumption, and risk of all-cause mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis from 23 independent prospective cohort studies. Wan Y1, Zheng J2, Wang F1, Li D3,4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28802305
(2) Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: from molecules to man. Calder PC1,2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28900017
(3) Obesity and the role of adipose tissue in inflammation and metabolism. Greenberg AS1, Obin MS. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16470013
(4) Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and the brain: a review of the independent and shared effects of EPA, DPA and DHA. Simon C. Dyall. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4404917/
(5) Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Memory Functions in Healthy Older Adults. Külzow N1,2, Witte AV3, Kerti L4, Grittner U5, Schuchardt JP6, Hahn A6, Flöel A1,2,4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26890759
(6) Short-term supplementation of acute long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may alter depression status and decrease symptomology among young adults with depression: A preliminary randomized and placebo controlled trial. Ginty AT1, Conklin SM2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26188642