Experts Recommend More Omega-3s

Despite recommendations from most recognized health experts, many people in the U.S. continue to eat low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their normal diets. Instead they opt for foods that contain less healthy fats, like saturated fats and trans fats.

According to the Detroit Free Press, experts say that omega-3s support healthy heart function, while most other types of fats have the opposite effect. This is why consuming nothing but processed foods and beef can have such a damage impact on heart health.

Instead of the normal Western-style diet, eating more fish can be one of the most effective ways to get higher levels of omega-3s into a diet. Experts recommend fatty saltwater fish like swordfish or salmon. These varieties of fish have some of the highest levels of the nutrient.

One of the reasons why it is so important to consume omega-3s as part of a healthy diet is because the human body cannot make the nutrient itself. Unlike vitamin D or many other types of nutrients, which the body can produce naturally, the only way to get the benefits of omega-3s is through diet. Therefore, adding it to a diet or taking nutritional supplements is critical.

“There is substantial evidence to suggest that our levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids may be the most potent cardio-protective factors in the human diet,” said Harvard researcher William Butler. “Optimal omega-3 intake can have a profound effect in safely reducing the risk of cardiac disease and promoting health in men, women and children of all ages.”

Despite the many health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, relatively few people are aware of the important role that they play in their health. Even fewer actually make efforts to incorporate foods containing these nutrients into their diets.

In order to remedy the situation, a group of nutrition researchers recently decided to celebrate an International Omega-3 Awareness Day this week. Officials said that the event is important for helping people understand how critical omega-3s are to their health.
Officials added that studies have shown a high percentage of the people in the U.S. are omega-3 deficient. This contributes to an unnecessarily high rate of disease. They said that inspiring people to consume more of the nutrient could be a major public health victory.

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Statement Calls for Higher Omega-3 Consumption

In an effort to inspire more individuals to seek ways to support their brain health, attendees of the Global Omega-3 Summit on Nutrition, Health and Human Behavior, which was recently held in Brugels, Belgium, signed a policy statement that calls for educating lawmakers and the public on the importance of omega-3 fatty acids.

The statement says that the health benefits of the nutrients have been proven. Study after study has shown that omega-3s are an effective means for supporting heart and brain health and that they are an indispensible part of a healthy diet.

However, far too many people fail to get adequate amounts of omega-3s into their diet. To remedy this, the statement recommends that individuals immediately reduce their intake of unhealthy saturated fats and replace them in their diet with more omega-3s.

Furthermore, the statement says that educating stakeholders, which include lawmakers, the public and healthcare professionals, about the benefits of omega-3s will play a critical role in increasing consumption.

The nutrients can be found in fatty fish and some vegetables. Additionally, krill oil supplements have high levels of omega-3s.

As individuals age, they often begin to experience joint health problems. These are most common in the knees, making mobility an issue for millions of seniors. However, experts say that certain nutrients may be able to support strong joint health well into adulthood.

Dr. Mehmet Oz recently wrote in the Calgary Herald that omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. This is one of the main culprits behind joint health issues, and reducing swelling may help support improved function.

He said that omega-3s are most abundant in fish. Salmon and tuna are among the best sources of the nutrient. Even canned tuna can provide extremely high levels of omega-3s, which may make adding more of the nutrient to a diet relatively simple.

Studies have also shown that omega-3s can support healthy weight, which is another major factor that Oz said can impact joint health.

Joint health problems are the leading cause of disability in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Researchers Continue to Find Heart Health Benefits to Omega-3s

Study after study continues to affirm the heart health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Experts say that the evidence is fairly conclusive and that anyone who is concerned about their cardiovascular condition should consider adding more of the nutrient to their weekly diet.

The latest in this string of research came from the University of California, San Francisco. Investigators from the school assessed the heart health of a group of patients after a period of five years and examined the level of omega-3 consumption during the study period, according to news station THV.

Their results showed that those who consumed the highest levels of the nutrient had the best heart health. The researchers said that their findings confirm the understanding that omega-3s benefit the cardiovascular system.

“The results of our study do underscore the recommendations of the American Heart Association, that patients with known coronary artery disease should be getting at least one gram a day of omega-3 fish oil,” lead researcher Raimin Farzaneh-Far told the news source.

The findings confirm the results of a 2002 study published in the journal Circulation, which was among the first to assert the heart health benefits of omega-3s.

New findings indicate that omega-3 fatty acids can positively affect ocular health. A research team at the Children’s Hospital in Boston found that omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish oil, promote the growth of healthy blood vessels while simultaneously hindering the development of abnormal vessels.

A previous study of the impact of omega-3, which was conducted by the same researchers, examined the effects of omega-3 on mice. The study revealed that the pathologic vessel growth in the retinas of mice that were fed an omega-3 diet was 50 percent lower than in the mice that were fed diets rich in omega-6. Western diets are more likely to contain omega-6 than omega-3.

In the recent study, the researchers isolated the compounds and enzymes within omega-3 that caused the positive outcome observed in the mice. An examination of the components of omega-3 revealed that its benefits are not inhibited by taking aspirin or non-steroid anti-inflammatory medication.

Lois Smith, a senior researcher and an ophthalmologist at the Children’s Hospital, is also collaborating with the National Eye Institute to study the effects of omega-3 on ocular diseases.

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Responses to Omega 3 Fish Oil News

News about Omega 3’s gained attention early last week. Gaining less attention were the vast rebuttals to the flawed report.

NutraIngredients.com posted several rebuttals, which do an excellent job summarizing the responses:

 

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Krill Omega-3 Sport, new from Purity Products

The Krill Omega-3 Sport breakthrough lies in the ground-breaking marriage of ECO Krill Oil with Purity’s elite, ultra-pure, super-concentrated fish oil. Each two soft gel serving contains 1100 mg of omega-3 fatty acids from krill and fish oil. Each serving supplies a minimum of 300 mg of krill oil, in keeping with current krill science that reveals meaningful benefits for joint comfort and flexibility.

A leading choice for discriminating consumers, fitness enthusiasts, amateur, professional and Olympic athletes, supplements carry the badge “NSF Certified for Sport” are tested by a 3rd party laboratory and guaranteed to be free of banned substances.

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Experts offer tips on keeping your brain healthy

You can always do more to take better care of your brain, even if you haven't been experiencing any memory problems. In fact, a handful of Texas-based researchers have focused their efforts into finding more information on brain health, in order to help brains nationwide stay in better shape.

"The more knowledge we can share about the brain, the more we can empower individuals to take charge of their cognitive health," said Sandra Chapman, Ph.D., of the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas (UT).

As an ongoing yearly tradition at UT, Chapman and her associates are planning to host a series of lectures they've titled "The Brain: An Owner's Guide." This year, the speakers will focus on how the brain controls thought and action, decisions and emotions that affect our lives, and how the internet has changed the way brains work.

Chapman also recently published a book on the subject on brain health, titled "Make Your Brain Smarter." In the tome, she presents the theories that aging does not impact brain health the way many people assume it does. In addition, having a good memory may not necessarily mean your brain is in the best shape, according to her findings.

Some suggested vitamins for healthy brains
While scientists continue to advance our knowledge of how the brain works, there a few things some people are already convinced may help improve the brain's overall functioning.

For example, writing for the official website of television health celebrity Dr. Oz, Dr. Rovenia Brock, Ph.D., recommends consuming omega-3 fatty acids, known to be especially present in fish oil for the improvement of brain, joint, eye and heart health. The names of the two omega-3 acids most commonly found in fish oil are called eicosapentaenoic (EPA) acid and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). For people who don't already consume fish frequently, Rovenia encourages them to munch down a 500 milligram (mg) supplement per day. DHA, states Rovenia, is already
present in the brain's nerve cells and additional DHA could aid the brain's development and functionality.

Likewise, the Alzheimer's Prevention and Research Foundation (APRF) notes that omega-3 acid from fish oil could potentially lessen an individual's chances of developing memory loss or dementia during old age. Exercise and consuming additional healthy foods could also reduce chances of brain deterioration.

However, the awareness and research organization provides a handful of other substances a person could consume regularly to help their minds keep fit.

In addition to omega 3….
Next on its list of measures that could help prevent brain deterioration, the APFR lists taking a comprehensive multivitamins on a daily basis. The organization postulates that brain damage has been linked to low blood levels of folic acid. Therefore, a multivitamin for brain health should contain 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid, as well as 500 mg of vitamin C.

The organization also recommends the antioxidant CoEnzyme Q10. It's said that this antioxidant will improve overall energy, especially if an individual is older than 35 years of age. While it occurs naturally in the body, the amount of CoEnzyme Q10 within humans starts to reduce over the years, which results in a loss of energy. In terms of dosage, the APRF says people should take between 200 and 400 mg of the antioxidant. Another antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid, and gingko biloba are also also on the APRF's compilation of potentially brain enhancing supplements.

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Eat healthy for a glowing complexion

 

While many people know that antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids are substances that may improve their heart health and overall well-being, they may not know that these healthy nutrients may also improve the appearance of skin. As we get older, skin can start to show the signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging, and the way that people eat can help combat this process.

Recently, The Gambit, a New Orleans news source, spoke to local dermatologist Barbara Bopp of East Jefferson Hospital, who explained how a healthy diet can help people achieve glowing skin.

Omega-3s are for more than heart health

According to the doctor, consuming more omega-3 fatty acids is one of the best ways that people can enhance their complexion. These healthy lipids can help the skin maintain moisture and may reduce a person's risk of developing a number of common skin conditions.

Health Magazine also spoke to dermatologists who touted the benefits of omega-3s for the skin. According to the news source, omega-3s may enhance brain health, and a 2005 study in the Journal of Lipid Research also found that omega-3s may help reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.

Bopp told the Gambit that omega-3s can be found in walnuts, avocados and fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna. However, for people who do not consume any of these foods, there are fish oil supplements that can also provide a healthy dose of omega-3s.

Antioxidants help combat toxins

Along with natural aging, the pollution people encounter during their day-to-day lives can make skin look older. Luckily, antioxidants can help fight off the effects of these toxins. According to Bopp, antioxidants can neutralize the free radicals from the environment that cause wrinkles. These highly charged ions come from car exhaust, cigarette smoke and other common forms of pollution that can damage skin cells.

Antioxidants can be found in blueberries, strawberries, green tea, pecans and many other healthy fruits and cruciferous vegetables.

Discovery Health states that unlike topical creams and moisturizers, antioxidants can help protect the skin from the inside out. Vitamin C, in particular, is an antioxidant that has been shown to benefit the skin. This nutrient is present in many citrus fruits, including oranges.

Bopp concluded by saying that people who want their skin to retain its youthful glow should be sure to drink plenty of water to keep their complexion hydrated. 

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Joint Health – Fish Oils

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Joint Health – Fish Oils

Fish oils promote joint flexibility and ease of motion. In a study published recently in Nutrition, supplementation with 3000 mg of fish oils daily promoted healthy joint movement and flexibility in a group of middle-aged men.2 This is just one example of the evidence that confirms the benefits that fish oils can provide to your joints. Recently, a meta-analysis of clinical studies concluded that consumption of fish oils led to the promotion of feelings of comfort and ease in the joints of individuals supplementing with them.3 Fish oils play a vital role in supporting the recovery of joint comfort and function associated with everyday activities.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Joint Health – Glucosamine Sulfate

References:
2. Herbert AA, Kondo CR, Almendra CL, Matsuo T, Dichi I. Supplementation of fish oil and olive oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition 2005;21:131-136.
3. Goldberg RJ, Katz J. A meta-analysis of the analgesic effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for inflammatory joint pain. Pain 2007;129(1-2):210-23.

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New study confirms metabolic benefits of astaxanthin

Astaxanthin, an antioxidant found in krill oil supplements, may play an important role in supporting metabolic health, according to a new study published in the Journal of Food Science.

The findings are the latest in a string of research supporting the idea that astaxanthin has numerous health benefits. In recent months it has also been shown to play a role in heart health and in supporting healthy brain function.

In the current study, researchers from the China Medical University administered astaxanthin to a group of mice and compared the effects to mice fed a normal diet. The results showed that the mice receiving the astaxanthin had strong metabolic health.

Findings from the study further bolster the case that astaxanthin can provide powerful cardio-metabolic support. Individuals who are concerned about these areas of health may benefit from taking nutritional supplements containing the nutrient.

Krill oil supplements have become popular in recent months, as they are an excellent source of omega-3s in addition to astaxanthin. This makes taking these products a solid way to support many areas of health. 

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