Archive for July, 2009

Should you be taking a fish oil tablet for diabetes?

Every year around a million people in the US are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Although not usually fatal type 2 diabetes is a serious disease, and can have a major effect on the life of the sufferer. Is there a link between fish oil and diabetes reduction?

The increase in the rate of diabetes in our population has scientists worried. Along with the impact on the lives of the diabetes sufferers and their family there are enormous costs imposed on the health system and the sufferer, often for life. So what can be done to lower the incidence of diabetes in the population?

Certainly there are a range of lifestyle factors which can help with the reduction in diabetes, such as dietary changes, levels of exercise and losing weight. However here we concentrate on the benefits of Omega 3 fats, so we want to look at Omega 3 and diabetes.

There is now little doubt that there is clear evidence supporting the link between fish oil and diabetes relief. Fish oil is of course the major source of Omega 3 fatty acids, and almost all good Omega 3 supplements utilize fish oil for their Omega 3. The main fats that are of benefit to diabetes are known as EPA and DHA. We have written about these elsewhere on this site.Fish oil and diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood. The disease causes insulin in the blood to be unable to sufficiently deal with the levels of blood sugar, so these become elevated.

And the insulin is less able to assist with the uptake of the fats into the cells, so levels of fats in the blood rise. People with diabetes tend to have lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and higher levels of triglycerides in the blood, and the figures also show that people with type 2 diabetes have a 6 times higher risk of heart attack and a 3 to 8 times higher risk of heart disease than people who do not.

So what is the fish oil and diabetes link? Is there any evidence that taking Omega 3 fish oil has any effect on diabetes? Yes, scientists are now convinced that Omega 3 fish oil and diabetes relief are inextricably linked, and that taking fish oil lowers some of the risks inherent to sufferers of diabetes.

Why is there a link between diabetes and fish? Because fish oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid, and studies have shown that polyunsaturated Omega 3 fats reduce the amount of triglycerides in the blood, reduce abnormal heart rhythms, reduce blood pressure by small but significant amounts, and improve blood clotting regulation.

A large study on the link between fish oil and diabetes found that taking one gram of fish oil a day reduced cardiovascular mortality by 30% and the risk of death by heart attack by 45%. Blood pressure is lowered and circulation problems reduced. As the risks of heart problems are way higher for diabetes sufferers this is excellent news indeed.

A number of studies have now confirmed that diabetes and fish oil intake are linked, that more Omega 3 in the diet helps reduce the negative effects of type 2 diabetes.

How should you be getting your fish oil? Well of course eating fish high in fat is a good way, the American Heart Association recommends eating 2 fish meals a week, but there are also warnings for certain people of eating too much fish due to the incidence of some heavy metals and in particular contaminants like mercury in fish.

So by far the best way to get daily Omega 3 in the diet is to take the very best Omega 3 supplements. The best ones use fish from the southern ocean, the cleanest ocean in the world. These fish are naturally high in DHA and EPA, and the oil taken is then purified by a process called molecular distillation so that the are no detectable levels of nasty contaminants in the oil.

And the best Omega 3 supplements also have higher levels of DHA, the most important Omega 3 fat, than regular fish oil capsules.

So it seems clear, if you suffer from type 2 diabetes there are good reasons to include quality fish oil your diet daily.
The lowering of the risks of death and disease are so striking it’s worth making the effort to up your intake of fish oil, daily.

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We know about the benefits of fish oil supplements to the heart. But beware.

We have talked about the health benefits of fish oil supplements before, to a range of health conditions, but in particular to the heart. However a study has now posed a warning.

The study has suggested that a high fat diet, and in particular a diet high in saturated fat foods, can cancel many of the heart benefits of omega fish oil.

The heart benefits of fish oil are well known, they include a reduction in the incidence of cardio vascular disease including fatal and non fatal heart attacks, as well as strokes.

But although you may be able to get these benefits from taking Omega 3 fish oil supplements you may be doing yourself a disservice if you’re taking your fish oil supplements and also eating lots of foods high in fat.Benefits Of Fish Oil

A new study has found that the benefits of fish oil supplements are highest when combined with a low fat diet, and that a high fat diet could cancel out some or all of the benefits. The study studied rats with heart failure. It looked at the correlation between the benefits of Omega 3 supplementation when combined with a diet high in saturated fats.

The study was conducted by scientists from a range of institutions led by William C. Stanley, Ph.D., from the University of Maryland-Baltimore. It concluded that even though the benefits of fish oil for the heart are known, these benefits can be cancelled out when a high saturated fat diet results in the fat levels in the heart blocking out the heart benefits of the fish oil taken.

It was thought that the high fat levels in the heart blocked the capacity of the heart cells to absorb the helpful polyunsaturated Omega 3 fats from the fish oil.

This study was conducted on rats which already had heart problems, so it’s difficult to know if these conclusions can be applied to people who take Omega 3 capsules but who don’t have any heart disease.

However there are also well known reasons why a diet of high saturated fat foods is not good for your health, so whether or not you already have heart disease there are still very good reasons why you ought to be taking Omega 3 capsules, AND be eating a diet low in saturated fats.

That way you get the health benefits of Omega 3 fish oil along with the health benefits of a good diet. What could be better?

There’s no doubt any more about the benefits of taking fish oil. But fish oil isn’t the only thing that offers health benefits. A diet high in fruit and vegetables and low in saturated fats is also well known to be extremely healthy, and there is also ample evidence that a lifestyle high in exercise is also one of the best things you can do for your health.

Combine Omega 3 supplements with a good diet and plenty of exercise, and watch those nasty fats, and you’ve got a recipe for good health.

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Clear links are now shown between more fish oil and memory improvement.

The benefits of Omega 3 fats found in fish oil just go on and on. Evidence is now clear that there is a strong link between increased intake of fish oil and memory loss, or at least the reversal of memory loss.

And as well as improving memory, there is also evidence that taking more Omega 3 for brain development in infants is very important, and that more fish oil can also help us to improve our learning ability.

The range of brain related improvements from taking fish oil supplements is impressive. Researchers are now saying that taking Omega 3 for brain improvement includes reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

A recent study showed that taking Omega 3 fish oil supplements for 6 months can improve our chances in each of these areas.  485 healthy people were tested using fish oil supplements, and the results showed improvements in age related memory loss,  and increased learning ability that was “almost double the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance”.Fish Oil and Memory Loss

So now it seems clear that along with a whole host of other benefits, Omega 3 memory supplements are well worth taking. Of course they aren’t memory supplements, they’re fish oil, but fish oil in your diet may well reduce the age related memory loss we all seem to suffer over time.

The active component identified in the study was DHA, a fatty acid that makes up the majority of the fats in our brains. DHA is found in the fish oil, and if you take the best fish oil supplements you ought to be getting plenty of DHA every day.

How do you find the best fish oil supplements? It’s not an easy process to do, you need to consider a wide range of factors like the source of the fish oil, in other words what fish are used and the purification process used to remove dangerous contaminants like mercury and heavy metals, and the amount of DHA found in each capsule.

All fish oil capsules are NOT the same.

We have done those comparisons and found that Xtend Life fish oil capsules offer the cleanest and best value fish oil for you.

Remember, you need to take the recommended dose daily. That’s every day. Don’t forget now. 🙂

We never cease to be amazed at the benefits of Omega 3 fats.

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There is a clear Omega 3 depression link. Whether Omega 3 cures depression or Bipolar is not entirely clear, but it may well help a lot.

As anyone who has depression will tell you, it’s the worst thing that can happen to you. It puts you on a merry go round of ups and downs, and may well bankrupt you with the cost of all the pharmaceuticals you may well be prescribed.

Does something as simple as Omega 3 help depression? There are now Omega 3 depression studies that are saying it does. In fact there are a number of studies showing that levels of Omega 3 and depression are linked.

As with all these things the link between Omega3 and depression are not yet fully proven, but there is sufficient evidence to strongly suggest that for those suffering from depression taking Omega 3 fish oil supplements may well be worthwhile. At the very least they are very good for many other areas of your overall  health.

The evidence is strong. To quote some of the findings of a recent study:Omega 3 and Depression

“There appears to be a plausible link between rates of seafood consumption and rates of both depression and Bipolar Disorder, with lower seafood consumption being linked to higher rates of depression and Bipolar Disorder.”

And: ” Omega-3 supplementation may have an antidepressant role”.

Work is continually being done on the use of Omega 3 for depression. There are still many more areas to be studied, such as the ratios between Omega 3 fats and Omega 6 fats, and in particular the link between Omega 3 and specific disorders, such as Bipolar Disorder.

It was in the 1990s that studies started to pinpoint a link between depression and Omega 3 fatty acid intake. Studies started to notice a negative correlation between seafood intake and rates of depression. As seafood intake increased rates of depression were lower and vice versa. It seemed that in societies where consumption of seafood was low there was a higher rate of depression.

Unfortunately it takes a long time to establish a link that is sufficiently fully proven. Studies are still underway, and as the results are published more specific recommendations will emerge about what doses of Omega 3 fats to be taken for depression and how an increase in Omega fats will affect current intake of various pharmaceuticals.

However from the evidence now available it would seem for anyone who does suffer from depression there is a powerful reason to be taking daily Omega 3 capsules.

Not only is there a good possibility that they may help your depression, but they are good for your health generally. Omega for depression is an emerging area of study, but there are now clear links between the intake of Omega 3 fats and a reduction in a wide range of health problems, such as heart related health problems.

So if you suffer from depression trying Omega 3 capsules may be one of the best things you could do.

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