Omega 3 Fish Oil and What the Experts Say

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each day, 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:
What the Experts Say about Omega 3 Fish Oil

The “heart healthy” benefits of fish oils have been shouted from the rooftops. In 2002, the American Heart Association (AHA) concluded that the daily consumption of 500 mg to 1800 mg of EPA + DHA (either as fatty fish or supplements) promoted a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. According to the AHA, daily intakes of 2000 mg to 4000 mg of both EPA and DHA promote healthy plasma triglyceride levels. Further conclusions by the AHA in their 2002 scientific paper include the fact that omega-3 fatty acids support normal heart rhythms and promote healthy blood pressure maintenance. In March of 2004, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its agreement with the conclusions reached by the AHA.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science in its 2005 advisory on macronutrient intakes identified increased heart and cardiovascular health as specific potential health benefits to be derived from increased consumption of coldwater fish and fish oils.12 The US government also has chimed in; on September 8, 2004, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” This “Qualified Health Claim” from the FDA is significant as it was the result of petitions from manufacturers of omega-3 fatty acid products. FDA reviewed published scientific data and based its conclusions on the outcome of the review, which was extremely favorable towards the potential benefits of fish oil consumption for cardiovascular health.

Tomorrow’s topic: Omega 3 Fish Oil and Healthy Vision

12. Institute of Medicine. Macronutrients and healthful diets. In: Panel on Macronutrients, Panel on the Definition of Dietary Fiber, Subcommittee on Upper Reference Levels of Nutrients, Subcommittee on Interpretation and Uses of Dietary Reference Intakes, and the Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients). The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2005, pp. 769-879.

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