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Omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil: health benefits

8/17 9:13:13

Hello, Dr. Zilberter,

I am thinking about taking omega pills, but want to know more about it.  Do they really have all the positive effects on our body as some of the informercials and others claim?  It sounds too good to be true.  Any advice or helpful links, please?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Dear Lee,

Fish oils are excellent sources of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA and DHA in turn are important components of cell membranes and as such play a vital role in overall health. Studies have shown that Greenland Eskimos, who have a very high intake of fish oils, have a very low incidence of heart attacks, asthma, diabetes, psoriasis, and allergies -- Nutrition Reviews, Vol. 54

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to fetal development and their deficiency pregnancy can lead to sensory deficits and lower intelligence -- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71 (suppl)

Research results indeed suggest that even a modest dietary intake of seafood (around 1-2 oily fish meals a week) may lower the risk of heart disease and mortality from coronary heart disease -- Circulation, Vol. 111

Fish oils (and copper) have both been found useful in the treatment systemic lupus erythematosus, disease that can progress to life-threatening conditions in the heart, lungs, kidneys and brain) -- Journal of Rheumatology, Vol. 31

There are at least a dozen studies that show a clear protective effect of fish or fish oil against breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Dr. Pepping (a consulting pharmacist at the Kaiser Permanente) recommends two servings of cold-water fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel or herring) per week, 2-4 grams of fish oil capsules per day or 15-30 ml of flaxseed oil per day as a preventive measure -- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 73

Recent research has shown the development of atherosclerotic plagues can be reduced by taking fish oil prior to eating fatty meals -- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71


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