The Omega 3 Summit has recognized the health benefits of Omega 3 oils
We have talked at length about the health benefits of Omega 3 oils on this website. Unfortunately there are still many people who rate Omega 3 oil supplements along with many of the more esoteric nutritional supplements.
Many of the more esoteric nutritional supplements have very little scientific backing. But the same is not true for the health benefits of Omega 3 oils.
This has been backed up in the last few days, on 4 March 2011, with recommendations just released from the Omega 3 Summit
The Omega 3 Summit took place on the 3rd and 4th of March 2011 in Bruges, Belgium. It was a global summit intended to examine the health benefits of the Omega 3 fats and to “start the turnaround” in long chain Omega 3 consumption worldwide.
The summit was addressed by some eminent experts on the subject. Not only were the health benefits of Omega 3 oils considered but also the best sources of these oils, and the sustainability of those sources.
And the official press release issued at the end of the summit emphasises the importance this worldwide summit placed on the health benefits of the long chain (LC) fatty acids EPA and DHA.
A document was signed by attendees of the summit observing that “brain and heart disorders resulting from LC-Omega 3 (EPA + DHA) deficiency are the biggest challenges to the future of humanity”.
That’s a serious statement. It indicates the level of concern that these experts have in the decline, particularly in the western world, of our intake of the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA.
The summit also observed that “associated costs are currently bankrupting health care systems and threatening wider economic instability worldwide”.
That is also a very serious observation, and underlines the fact that many modern lifestyle diseases may well be prevented by an adequate intake of the Omega3 oils, and that the growing number of people suffering from these diseases threatens to overwhelm our health care systems.
And it is a recognition, by people expert in the field, that increasing our intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids will help prevent many of these conditions.
The issue of Omega 3 oil dosage was also considered, with the recommendation being a dietary intake of greater than 1000 milligrams of long chain Omega 3 oils for anyone consuming a Western type diet.
Another matter which attracted their attention was the poor conversion of ALA, one of the Omega3 fats, into DHA. ALA is the fatty acid commonly found in plant sources, and DHA is the fatty acid commonly found in fish. ALA is effectively a precursor to DHA and must be converted to DHA in the body, however this conversion is very poor, and for this reason many of the commonly recommended plant sources of the Omega 3 fats are not an adequate source of essential fatty acids.
That’s because plant sources of Omega3 contain ALA, not DHA. Flax seed is the most commonly recognized of these plant sources. Only fish oil capsules contain high levels of both DHA and EPA.
Whilst it is true that the health benefits of many of the less mainstream nutritional supplements are far from proven, and whilst these health benefits are rarely recognised by mainstream experts, there is now no doubt about the health benefits of the Omega3 essential fatty acids, as well as the fact that these are now formally recognized and mainstream.
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