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Omega-3 Deficiency Causes 96,000 Deaths a Year


How important is getting enough omega-3 fatty acids? Very, according to a report in the Public Library of Science Medicine Journal. Harvard researchers looked at twelve dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors such as tobacco smoking and high blood pressure and used a mathematical model to determine how many fatalities could have been prevented if people took control of their health. Amazingly, they found that between 72,000 and 96,000 preventable deaths each year due to omega-3 deficiency. (Danaei G et al. PLoS Med. 2009 Apr 28;6(4):e1000058.)

We think we know why. The scientific community continues to find good stuff that omega-3 fatty acids do for our bodies. Just take a few of the following findings that have been published:

Omega-3s Decrease Inflammation

Researchers from the Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics Group at Wageningen University found that after six months of fish oil intervention, healthy elderly subjects had less inflammation markers in their blood. The study is said to be the first to show that DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) can affect gene expression to a more anti-inflammatory status. (Bouwens M. et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 90:415-424. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27680.)

Omega-3s Could Save Your Eyesight

Researchers from the National Eye Institute in Bethesda found that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids could help prevent age-related macular degeneration. Omega-3s were shown to retard the progression of lesions in a mouse model of age-related macular degeneration. The omega-3s were also associated with an improvement in some lesions. (Tuo J. et al., American Journal of Pathology. 175: 799-807, doi:10.2353/ajpath.2009.090089.)

Omega-3s Keep You Thin

New findings reported in the British Journal of Nutrition indicate that overweight and obese people have blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids almost one percent lower than people with a healthy weight. (Micallef M., et al. British Journal of Nutrition. Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1017/S0007114509382173.)

The Anti-Aging Bottom Line:
Why become a statistic? Take supplemental omega-3s to keep you living a long and healthy life. In addition to the research presented here, scientists have found that omega-3s also have brain and heart benefits. To make sure that you’re reaping their rewards, take at least 500 – 800 mg of omega-3s daily.

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5 responses to “Omega-3 Deficiency Causes 96,000 Deaths a Year”

  1. […] publishing in the journal Nutrition show that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and natural foods including nuts and seeds can lower levels of dangerous […]

  2. […] are a naturally great tasting source of healthy omega-3 fats, minerals, vitamins and protein that have long been associated with good health. Interestingly, it […]

  3. […] people consume far less than the ideal amount of omega-3 fatty acids and too much of the inflammation-promoting omega-6 fatty acids. While our ancestors consumed about […]

  4. […] deficiency is the sixth biggest killer of Americans and more deadly than excess trans fat intake, according to a new study. The Harvard University researchers looked at 12 dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors such […]

  5. […] documented evidence that beneficial omega-3 fatty acids from dietary sources and supplementation slash the overall risk of an early death. The long-chain fats DHA and EPA elicit a profound effect on the heart and brain to ameliorate […]