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Archive for the ‘Fish Oil’ Category

Omega-3 May Protect Healthy Men From Chest Pain

Increased Intakes of Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA, DPA, and DHA May Protect Men Against Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)…

The heart health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids are well documented, being first reported in the early 1970s in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements, and improved vascular function.

A new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, reported that increased intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may reduce the risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), an all-inclusive term for a range of symptoms including unstable angina and chest pains.

The Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort study involved 57,053 men and women. During an average follow-up time of almost eight years, 1,150 people developed ACS. Men who consumed more than 0.39 grams of PUFAs per day had an associated risk of ACS 27 per cent lower than men who consumed less than 0.39 grams per day.

“We found borderline significant negative associations between the intake of marine omega-3 PUFA and ACS among healthy men,” they concluded.

Omega-3 Needed For Heart Benefits…

Earlier this year, a review concluded that the science behind the cardiovascular health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids supports recommended daily levels of 500 mg or more.

Compelling evidence from studies involving almost 40,000 participants supports daily EPA plus DHA intakes of at least 500 mg per day for healthy individuals, while people with known heart disease or heart failure should aim for up to 1,000 mg daily, according to a review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The recommendations for healthy people are double the recommended levels determined by the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA).

Source: British Journal of Nutrition Published online : “Dietary intake of total marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid and the risk of acute coronary syndrome – a cohort study”

This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

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Omega 3 Fatty Acid (DHA) Is Crucial For Male Fertility Health

Male fertility depends on sperm-cell architecture. A University of Illinois study reports that the specific omega-3 fatty acid (DHA) is necessary to construct the immature sperm cell into a properly-formed “pointy-headed super swimmer” with an extra long tail for effective motility.

“Normal sperm cells contain an arc-like structure called the acrosome that is critical in fertilization because it houses, organizes, and concentrates a variety of enzymes that sperm use to penetrate an egg,” explained Manabu Nakamura, a University of Illinois associate professor of biochemical and molecular nutrition.

The study shows for the first time that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is essential in fusing the building blocks of the acrosome together. “Without DHA, this vital structure doesn’t form and sperm cells don’t work,” said co-researchers conducting the study.

Men concerned about their fertility may want to increase their intake of foods containing DHA. Most often recommended are omega 3-rich fish, such as salmon, mackeral, trout or tuna, known as excellent sources of this omega-3 fatty acid.

The scientists became intrigued with DHAs role in creating healthy sperm when they experimented with laboratory subjects that lack a gene essential to its synthesis. “We looked at sperm count, shape, and motility, and tested the breeding success rate. The male mice that lacked DHA were basically infertile,” they said.

But when DHA was introduced into the subject’s diet, fertility was completely restored. “It was very striking. When we fed theDHA, all these abnormalities were prevented,” they added.

The scientists then used confocal laser scanning (3D) microscopy to look at thin slices of  tissue in progressive stages of a sperm cell’s development. By labeling enzymes with fluorescence, they could track their location in a cell.

“We could see that the acrosome is constructed when small vesicles containing enzymes fuse together in an arc. But that fusion doesn’t happen without DHA,” they emphasized. In the absence of DHA, the vesicles are formed but they don’t come together to make the arch that is so important in sperm cell structure.

The role this omega-3 fatty acid plays in membrane fusion is particularly exciting, according to the researchers. Because DHA is abundant in specific tissues, including the brain and the retina as well as the testes, the scientists believe their research findings could also impact research relating to brain function and vision.

“It’s logical to hypothesize that DHA is involved in vesicle fusion elsewhere in the body, and because the brain contains so much of it, we wonder if deficiencies could play a role, for example, in the development of dementia. Any communication between neurons in the brain involves vesicle fusion,” they noted.

The Illinois research scientists will continue to study sperm; other laboratories are now studying DHA function in the brain and the retina.

Story Source:  University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Journal Reference: “Deficiency in the Omega-3 Fatty Acid Pathway Results in Failure of Acrosome Biogenesis in Mice”  Biology of Reproduction, 2011;

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment; Consult your doctor or  healthcare professional.

Prevent and Treat Nerve Damage With Omega 3 Fish Oils

Research from Queen Mary, University of London suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, have the potential to protect nerves from injury and help them to regenerate. When nerves are damaged because of an accident or injury, patients experience pain, weakness and muscle paralysis which can leave them disabled; Typically, recovery rates are poor.

The new study, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that omega-3 fatty acids could play a significant role in speeding recovery from nerve injury.

The study focused on peripheral nerve cells. Peripheral nerves are the nerves which transmit signals between the brain and spinal cord, and the rest of the body.

These nerves have the ability to regenerate but, despite advances in surgical techniques, patients usually only have good recovery when their injury is minor.

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for the body’s normal growth and development and have been widely researched for their health benefits. Because the body cannot manufacture omega-3 fatty acids, they have to be consumed in foods such as oily fish or as dietary supplements.

In this new study, researchers first examined isolated lab subjects’ nerve cells. They simulated the type of damage caused by accident or injury, by either stretching the cells or starving them of oxygen. Both types of damage killed a significant number of nerve cells but enrichment with omega-3 fatty acids in cells gave them significant protection and decreased cell death.

The researchers then studied the sciatic nerves. They found that a high level of omega-3 fatty acids helped the subjects to recover from sciatic nerve injury more quickly and more fully, and that their muscles were less likely to waste following nerve damage.

The research was carried out by a group led by Adina Michael-Titus, Professor of Neuroscience at Barts and The London Medical School and lead of the Neurotrauma and Neurodegeneration group in the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma, Queen Mary, University of London.

She explained: “Our previous research has shown that these fatty acids could have beneficial effects in a number of neurological conditions. This new study suggests that they could also have a role in treating peripheral nerve injuries.

“More work is needed but our research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids can protect damaged nerve cells, which is a critical first step in a successful neurological recovery.”

Story Source: Queen Mary, University of London.

Queen Mary, University of London (2012, January 11). Omega-3 fatty acids could prevent and treat nerve damage, research suggests.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement​ation Reduces Anxiety and Inflammati​on

A new study gauging the impact of consuming more fish oil showed a significant reduction both in inflammation and in anxiety among a group of healthy young people.

The findings suggest that if young participants can receive major improvements from specific dietary supplements, then the elderly and people at high risk for certain diseases might benefit even more.

The findings by a team of researchers at Ohio State University were published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. It is the latest from more than three decades of research into links between psychological stress and immunity.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, including EPA(eicosapentaenoic acid ) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have long been recognized as beneficial additions to the diet. Earlier research suggested that EPA and DHA might play a role in reducing the level of cytokines in the body, the compounds that promote inflammation, and perhaps even reduce depression.

Psychological stress has repeatedly been shown to increase cytokine production so the researchers wondered if increasing omega-3 may decrease that process, reducing inflammation.

To test their theory, they turned to a familiar group of research subjects: medical students. Some of the earliest work these scientists did showed that stress from important medical school tests lowered students’ immune status.

“We hypothesized that giving some students omega 3 supplements  would decrease their production of proinflammatory cytokines, compared to other students who only received a placebo,” explained researchers from Ohio State Unversity’s departments of psychology and psychiatry.

“We thought the omega-3 would reduce the stress-induced increase in cytokines that normally arose from nervousness over the tests.”

The team assembled a field of 68 first- and second-year medical students who volunteered for the clinical trial. The students were randomly divided into six groups, all of which were interviewed six times during the study. At each visit, blood samples were drawn from the students who also completed a battery of psychological surveys intended to gauge their levels of stress, anxiety or depression. The students also completed questionnaires about their diets during the previous weeks.

Half the students received omega-3 supplements while the other half were given placebo pills.

“The supplement was probably about four or five times the amount of fish oil you’d get from a daily serving of salmon, for example,” explaining concentration ratio of omega 3 fish oil supplements used in the study.

Changes in the medical curriculum and the distribution of major tests throughout the year, rather than during a tense three-day period as was done in the past, removed much of the stress that medical students had shown in past studies.

“These students were not anxious. They weren’t really stressed. They were actually sleeping well throughout this period, so we didn’t get the stress effect we had expected,” the researchers said.

But the psychological surveys clearly showed an important change in anxiety among the students: Those receiving the omega-3showed a 20 percent reduction in anxiety compared to the placebo group.

An analysis of the of the blood samples from the medical students showed similar important results.

“We took measurements of the cytokines in the blood serum, as well as measured the productivity of cells that produced two important cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa),” said Ron Glaser, professor of molecular virology, immunology & medical genetics and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.

“We saw a 14 percent reduction in the amounts of IL-6 among the students receiving the omega-3.” Since the cytokines foster inflammation, “anything we can do to reduce cytokines is a big plus in dealing with the overall health of people at risk for many diseases,” he said.

While inflammation is a natural immune response that helps the body heal, it also can play a harmful role in a host of diseases ranging from arthritis to heart disease to cancer. The study showed the positive impact omega-3 supplements in reducing both anxiety and inflammation.

The researchers said. “People should just consider increasing their omega-3 through their diet.”

In fact, some of the researchers acknowledged that already they take omega-3 supplements.

The study was supported in part by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

Story Source: Ohio State University. .
Journal Reference: Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: A randomized controlled trial. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2011;

Ohio State University (2011, August 1). Omega-3 reduces anxiety and inflammation in healthy students, study suggests.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice,diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

Positive Impact Of Omega 3 Fish Oil On Cognitive Functionin​g

Demonstrates Ability To Improve Cognitive Functioning, Memory and Health Of The Brain

Research Scientists Studied Supplementation With Omega 3-Rich  Fish Oil Capsules…

Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center have found crucial positive associations between Omega 3 fish oil supplements and cognitive functioning as well as differences in brain structure between users and non-users of fish oil supplements.

The findings suggest possible benefits of fish oil supplements on brain health and aging.

The results were reported at the recent International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, in Paris, France.

The study was conducted by research scientists at the Rhode Island Hospital Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center. Data for the analyses was obtained from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a large multi-center, NIH-funded study that followed older adults with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s Disease for over three years with periodic memory testing and brain MRIs.

The study included 819 individuals, 117 of whom reported regular use of Omega 3 fish oil supplements before entry and during study follow-up. The researchers compared cognitive functioning and brain atrophy for patients who reported regularly using these supplements to those who were not using fish oil supplements.

Compared to non-users, use of fish oil supplements was associated with better cognitive functioning during the study. However, this association was significant only in those individuals who had a normal baseline cognitive function and in individuals who tested negative for a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease known as “APOE4” consistent with previous research.

The key finding is that there was a clear association between fish oil supplements and brain volume. Consistent with the cognitive outcomes, these observations were significant only for those who were “APOE4” negative.

The researchers report “In the imaging analyses for the entire study population, we found a significant positive association between fish oil supplement use and average brain volumes in two critical areas utilized in memory and thinking (cerebral cortex and hippo-campus), as well as smaller brain ventricular volumes compared to non-users at any given time in the study. In other words, fish oil use was associated with less brain shrinkage in patients taking these supplements during the ADNI study compared to those who didn’t report using them.”

The researchers conclude, “These observations should motivate further study of the possible effects of long-term fish oil supplementation on important markers of cognitive decline and the potential influence of genetics on these outcomes.”

The team included researchers from The Miriam Hospital and the Brown University Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (Gonvatana and Cohen), and Department of Behavior and Social Sciences (Dunsiger).

Rhode Island Hospital, a member hospital of the Lifespan health system in Rhode Island

Story Source:
Lifespan (2011, August 17). Fish oil’s impact on cognition and brain structure identified in new study.

 

This article is for informational and  educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical  advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult with your doctor or healthcare  professional for medical and nutrition advice.

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