Archive for September, 2010

Omega 3 supplementation may help prevent or reduce the incidence of diabetes

There is a growing body of evidence that one of the major causes of much disease in our society is inflammation. Inflammation is a silent killer, and many of us are completely unaware that it may be happening to us right now.

It has been well known for some time that the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA have very strong anti-inflammatory properties. For many years doctors have prescribed low doses of aspirin for their anti-inflammatory properties, however this can have side effects. Taking Omega 3 supplementsor eating more fish does not have serious side-effects.

Suggestions now are that inflammation also has a significant role in the onset of diabetes amongst overweight or obese people. Type II diabetes can occur when an overweight person starts to suffer from inflammation.

Whilst there is a clear link between being overweight or obese and contracting diabetes it is not demonstrated that it is simply the fact of being overweight that causes the diabetes. There must be a cause for the diabetes, and being overweight triggers the cause.Omega 3 and diabetes

And it seems one of the major culprits is now considered to be inflammation in those who are overweight or obese. Several studies have found that inflammation in overweight people can be provoked by immune cells which are called macrophages and that this in turn leads to insulin resistance, and then to Type II diabetes.

The researchers have also demonstrated that obesity alone without the inflammation is not a cause of insulin resistance. This research has been done on mice and goes by the long winded name of  “JNK1 in hematopoietically derived cells contributes to diet-induced inflammation and insulin resistance without affecting obesity.” You can read it here.

Of course there are drugs specifically targeted at reducing inflammation, however in many cases the side effects may outweigh the benefits. However foods such as fish high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids can also combat inflammation very successfully without side-effects.

And of course there are also foods which you should avoid as these have a negative effect, and in particular it is best to avoid alcohol, refined sugars, hydrogenated oils and saturated fats. In see a complete anti-inflammatory food pyramid here if you are interested in learning more about what you should not be eating and what you should.

The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega 3 essential fatty acids may well be the reason why they are so beneficial to so many areas of the health, but this is still in the process of being proven. However many studies are now suggesting that increasing your intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, most easily by taking fish oil supplements, may have a positive and beneficial effect on so many areas of your health.

Diabetes may also now be one of those conditions positively affected, or possibly even prevented, by increasing your dietary intake of essential fatty acids.

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Daily Omega 3 supplementation my help prevent cancer of the Pancreas

Can taking supplements containing Omega 3 daily help prevent pancreatic cancer? We’ve looked at the link between increasing your intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and reducing your cancer risk before. But not in relation to pancreatic cancer.

Whilst pancreatic cancer may not be one of those cancers in the headlines every day it is still estimated that over 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer by the end of 2010, and that almost 37,000 will die. In fact pancreatic cancer is the 4th most common cause of death from cancer in the US.

Whilst cancers such as bowel cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer are in the news every day pancreatic cancer is not.

Unfortunately for those who contract cancer of the pancreas the prognosis is not good, and remission is unusual.
Omega 3 and Pancreatic cancer
So pancreatic cancer is like so many other cancers, it’s much better to prevent it than to treat it.

So can taking daily Omega 3 supplements prevent cancer of the pancreas?

A new study is suggesting that this may in fact be the case, that increasing your intake of the essential Omega 3 fatty acids, in conjunction with increasing intake of vitamin C and vitamin E may reduce your risk of contracting cancer of the pancreas by more than 30 percent.

If you read our website you will know that the average intake of the essential fatty acids known as the Omega 3 fats has declined dramatically over the last century. The Omega 3 fatty acids are found primarily in fish and fish oil, and this decline is a result of the fact that most of us are now eating less fish.

The new study has analysed data from people living in the San Francisco Bay area and compared data from people suffering from pancreatic cancer to those who were not.

It was found that a high intake of saturated fat was associated with a rise in the risk of pancreatic cancer of around 60 percent.

The study noted that ” These results support the hypotheses that a high intake of saturated and certain monounsaturated fatty acids may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, whereas greater intake of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and E may reduce the risk.”

This of course does not prove that if you increase your intake of Omega3 fats you will avoid pancreatic cancer. However there is a growing body of evidence that a number of cancers can be positively affected by an increase in Omega 3 intake, and that there may be a correlation between increasing the intake of essential fatty acids and a reduction in the risk of various cancers. Of course more study is always necessary. And it is unlikely that if you already have pancreatic cancer that taking fish oil supplements will reverse that.

However there is also a wide body of evidence now accepted by such mainstream organisations as the American Heart Association that there are multiple proven health benefits from increasing your intake of the essential fatty acids, and that a possible reduction in the risks of pancreatic cancer is really just one of many potential health benefits, including a reduction in the risk of death from heart attack.

Taking Omega 3 daily is very important for your overall health. Daily Omega 3 supplements ensure a continuous supply of these essential fatty acids, and at a cost effective price.

So whilst it is too early to say that taking Omega 3 daily supplements will prevent pancreatic cancer is not too early to say that daily Omega 3 supplements will do a power of good for your health. However not all fish oil supplements are high quality, and it pays to know exactly what you’re buying.

Day after day, week after week, more emerges about the health benefits of increasing your intake of the essential fatty acids. Don’t ignore the experts and make sure you take your Omega 3.

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The role of Omega 3 on the mental health of soldiers is now being tested

We have previously discussed the research links between Omega 3 and depression as well as Omega 3 and brain health including the use of essential fatty acid supplementation to help improve memory function as well as brain development in infants.

There is now a growing body of evidence that the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, primarily found in seafood and in particular in the oil from oily fish, can have a profound effect on mental health and increasing the intake of the Omega3 fats may even reduce the incidence of depression in those suffering from this particular disease.

There is also clear evidence that as the essential fatty acids, and in particular DHA, make up a large percentage of the brain that having inadequate levels of the Omega3 fats in the diet as a young child or even before birth may impact on the full and proper development of brain function.Omega 3 and mood

There is now an interesting development in this area. The US Army has decided to test the impact of Omega 3 fish oil supplementation on the mental health of soldiers serving in Iraq.

Of course soldiers in a war zone will be more dramatically impacted by the incidence of mental problems and mood related disorders than the average citizen because of the circumstances in which they find themselves.

So an army doctor now serving in Iraq has been approved to conduct a study to see whether increasing the levels of essential fatty acids in the diet of soldiers helps with the proper regulation of their moods.

Obviously as this is is in its early stages it is too early to provide you with results, however we shall do so when they become available. However it is interesting to see the degree to which the mainstream medical community is now accepting that slightly more alternative options such as dietary supplementation may well have a significant role in good health including in good mental health.

We shall bring you the results when we are able. And if you are interested in finding out more about the health benefits of taking fish oil capsules please read the rest of our website using the navigation on the right.

This is where you will find much more information about the benefits to your health of supplementing your diet with more essential fatty acids known as the Omega3 fats.

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Taking fish oil supplements offers a range of health benefits to those growing older, possibly including reducing the risk of Alzheimers

For millions of savvy consumers taking fish oil supplements is an every day occurrence. As so many of us become more aware of the importance of increasing our dietary intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) sales of fish oil supplements are skyrocketing.

And this is good. Science has now clearly established a wide range of health benefits from increasing our intake of the essential fatty acids known as the Omega 3 fats. Is a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease one of those health benefits?

The some time science been studying a link between an increase in intake of Omega 3 fatty acids and a reduction in the incidence of depression. Read our article about Omega 3 and depression if you’re interested.

And it has also been known for a long time that the Omega 3 fats, and in particular DHA, make up a large part of our brain, and that an adequate supply of DHA during infancy, and in fact before birth, can help with brain development, for the development of our nervous system and also for the development of vision in early life.Omega 3 and Alzheimers

But now a new study is also showing that these benefits to the brain from increasing our Omega 3 intake may even extend to a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers at UC Irvine have found a link between low levels of DHA in brain tissue and a higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. And they have linked this low-level of DHA in the brain to an inability in the liver to synthesise shorter molecule fatty acids found in plants into DHA. Much of the brain’s DHA comes from the liver.

Whilst of course this doesn’t prove that taking fish oil supplements, or for that matter eating more fish, will prevent Alzheimer’s, it is certainly one more piece of evidence to support the conclusion that good mental function depends on an adequate supply of the essential fatty acids known as the Omega 3 fats and in particular DHA.

And in fact the abstract of the study notes “Reduced brain levels of Docosahexaenoic acid, … a neurotrophic and neuroprotective fatty acid, may contribute to cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease.”

There seems to be growing evidence that taking fish oil supplements may well have a range of health benefits, not just to the heart but also to brain function.

So if you are considering taking Omega 3 supplements there is another reason for you to do so, they may well help protect you from Alzheimer’s disease. And that’s only one of a wide range of health benefits, many of which are now considered to be proven by mainstream medicine, including a reduction in the risk of death from heart attack.

Of course a possible reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is only one of the health benefits that taking fish oil supplements can afford to those of us who are getting a little older than we would like. One of the other extremely significant health benefits to older people from taking Omega 3 supplements is a reduction in the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in our older people.

That’s a very significant benefit.

If you’d like to read the study for yourself then click here.

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