What's an Omega-3 Index And Why is it Important to Your Health?
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential and required for human life. While many know the importance of omega fatty acids as part of a healthy lifestyle, it hasn’t been clear how low amounts of fatty acids in the blood are also linked to all types of death including heart disease and cancer until now.
A recent analysis1 consisting of 17 perspective studies and consisting of more than 40,000 participants over 16 years has shown a 15-18% lowered risk of all causes of death based on higher polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the blood. It is important to detect early signs of omega-fatty acid deficiencies for supplement therapy to aid in reducing the incidence of disease and risk of premature death.1,2
While the analysis does not show how polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were consumed by each participant, it’s important to recognize the best sources. The best sources of PUFAs are found in sea life, mostly cold-water fish. Fish have the highest concentrations of PUFA’s as well as the best ratio of omega-3 EPA and DHA which reduces chronic inflammation—the root cause of most diseases.
Omega-3 fatty acids 3, 6 and 9 also contribute to multiple biological roles, such as influencing inflammation, reducing oxidative stress and presenting neuroprotection and cardiovascular protection. There are 100 billion neurons that make up your brain consisting of 60% PUFAs, and every cell in the human body has a cell membrane made of PUFAs. We are made entirely out of cells and cellular performance is key to maintaining optimal health.
Quality fish oil supplements have an excellent ratio of omega-3 EPA and DHA and come without the harmful toxins such as mercury found in fish. A study in the UK shows taking fish oil supplements lowers the risk of cardiovascular and all diseases across 427,000 participants.3 “The Heart and Soul” study4 shows that lower levels of whole blood EPA and DHA levels are associated with all causes of mortality and an accelerated rate of telomere shortening over a 5-year period. Accelerated telomere shortening is associated with a shorter lifespan.
We’re all looking for the lifestyle improvements we can make to not only maintain but improve our health outcomes. According to this analysis, we can live a longer, fuller life with less disease by managing the omega-3 levels in our blood. Because omega-3s have a powerful influence on the health of every cell we have, we can expect to have more energy, vitality, and quality of life to continue to do the things we love longer.