Permalife Omegatone Natural Fish Oil is an excellent source of the omega-3 essential fatty acids – Eicosapentanoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexanoic Acid (DHA). EPA can help promote the formation of natural anti-inflammatory substances which may benefit skin, heart & joint health. DHA may benefit brain, vision, memory & learning functions. Together EPA & DHA are an essential combination of fatty acids to maintain the health of cells in your body.Omega-3s provide calories to give body energy and perform many functions in your lungs, heart, blood vessels, endocrine system and immune system.
Recommendations for use:
- To assist in lowering triglyceride and cholesterol levels, preventing cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, reducing blood clotting and high blood pressure and to improve heart rhythm.
- To assist in reducing the inflammation of rheumatic and osteo-arthritis, and to assist in the prevention of osteoporosis.
- To assist in the reduction of chronic inflammation and inflammatory bowel and lung conditions.
- To assist in the reduction of stress, depression, headache, and hyperactivity, and to assist memory and concentration.
- To improve circulation.
- To assist in the development of vision and brain development in infants and children.
- To assist in immune function.
- To assist with dry skin conditions, psoriasis, and eczema.
- To assist with menstrual and menopausal conditions.
Source of Omegatone
Omegatone is formulated from the oils of mackerel, sardine, salmon and anchovy.
Mackerel is also known as maccarello which is one of the most recommended oily fish for healthy diet. It is a slim torpedo-shaped fish which is found in deep tropical and temperate waters. It is rich source of minerals, essential oils, and vitamins. It is contains high quantities of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. It contains vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K and it is also rich in various minerals that include calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, selenium and sodium. Its trace minerals copper and zinc. It also contains the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 and protein. It has a number of health benefits as follows:
- Anti-Carcinogenic: Its antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 assists in the removal of cancerous agents from troubling cells. Thus it improves the cellular health and decreases the risk of some cancers. Omega-3 fatty acids present in mackerel can prevent breast, colon, prostrate, and renal cancers. It contains high amounts of vitamins B12 and selenium which are helpful in the treatment of cancer.
- Immunity: Mackerel strengthens the immune system by supporting the functions of organs which are weakened due to sickness. Omega-3 fatty acids present in it act as an anti-inflammatory agent, thus it helps in the management of arthritis. Coenzyme Q10 guards the cells from damage which elevates the risk of cancer. It increases the capacity of the body to fight infections.
- Cardiovascular: It supports heart health as the essential fatty acids aid to thin the blood. Thus this betters the blood flow and decreases the blood pressure. It inhibits the cholesterol build-up in the blood and thus inhibits the constriction of arteries. It decreases the risk of heart attack as the essential fatty acids present in it decreases the bad cholesterol levels therefore maintain good cholesterol levels. The rich calcium content present in it helps to normalize heartbeat and blood pressure.
- Brain and Nerve Development: Rich concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids are found in the brain. This helps to increase the memory and performance. It also inhibits the risk of Alzheimer′s disease. Essential fatty acids also play a role to prevent the problems of the central nervous system.
Anchovies are generally small, salt water fish of the Engraulidae family. It has more than 100 different species found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They are small, green fish with blue reflections as they have silver-colored longitudinal stripe which runs from the base of the caudal fin. These are oily fish which are powerhouse of various important nutrients. They are rich source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It contains Sodium, Selenium, Iron, Protein, Copper, Phosphorus, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin B2. It also contains amino acids- Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Cystine and Phenylalanine.
It has a number of health benefits as:
- Heart Health: Anchovies has large amounts of polyunsaturated fats that assists to decrease the presence of LDL cholesterol which builds up in the arteries and elevates the risk of atherosclerosis, strokes and heart attacks. Omega-3 fatty acid which is present in large quantities in anchovy eliminates the unhealthy cholesterol and inhibits it from binding to the walls of arteries.
- Tissue and Cell Repair: Proteins present in Anchovies benefit the functioning of cell metabolism and repair and regrowth of connective tissue.
- Skin Health: Omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin-E and minerals like selenium present in anchovy promote healthy skin.
- Bone Health: Vitamins and minerals found in anchovies, help to build up strong bones and inhibit the risk of osteoporosis and other bone disorders. Calcium present in anchovy offer protection to teeth from ailments.
- Eye Health: Anchovies are rich source of vitamin-A which is crucial for eye health. Thus anchovy reduces the risk of appearance of eye degradation as well as cataracts.
- Anti-inflammatory effects: Anchovies contain high quantities of omega-3 fatty acids which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Salmon lives in the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Its appearance varies from species to species. They are rich source of nutrients as Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Selenium, Vitamin B3, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Protein, Phosphorus, Vitamin B6, Iodine, Choline, Vitamin B5, Biotin, and Potassium. It has a number of health benefits as:
- Bones & Joints: Omega-3 present in salmon helps to stay away from osteoporosis. It is a natural anti-inflammatory food which helps to keep the bones strong.
- Brain and Neurological Repair: Omega-3 rich foods are found to enhance the efficiency of various brain functions. The nutrients as the vitamin A, vitamin D and selenium present in salmon protect the nervous system. They protect from the age-related damage and even act as an antidepressant.
- Heart Health: Being rich source of omega-3 fatty acids salmon helps to decreases the inflammation and the chance of developing atherosclerosis, stroke and hypertension.
- Better Eyesight: Omega-3s improves the drainage of intraocular fluid and reduces the risk of glaucoma and high eye pressure.
- Healthy skin: Salmon helps to provide glowing and suppler skin.
- Cancer: Omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon prevent the cancer, by killing tumors.
Sardines are small fish that belong to the clupeidae family. They existed in large numbers in the Mediterranean Sea and are also abundantly found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They can grow up to a maximum of 25cm. It is rich in protein, fat, vitamin B12, selenium, phosphorus, omega-3 fats, vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B3, iodine, copper and choline. It has numerous health benefits as:
- Decreases Inflammation: Sardines are wonderful source of essential omega 3 fatty acids which are known to decrease inflammation, thus it improves hearth health, brain function, and much more.
- Provides Many Essential Vitamins: Sardines contains vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium and calcium and it is a great source of phosphorus, choline, iodine, copper, and more.
- Protects Bone Health: Sardines are good source of many vitamins and minerals which are essential for the maintenance of healthy skeletal structure, especially calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D. Thus its consumption can prevent bone mineral loss and can assist to heal broken bones.
- Protects Against Mood Disorders: High contents of omega-3 fatty acids present in sardines can aid to prevent mood disorders as anxiety and depression.
The tuna fish belongs to the family of Scombridae. Following are the most commercially popular tuna species:
- Albacore: Albacore are of moderate size and moderately long-lived species of tuna, with a usual length of 3-4 feet, usual weight of 15-45 lbs and average lifespan of 9-12 years.
- Bigeye: Bigeye are considered as a large and long-lived tuna species which are able to reach lengths of eight feet or more.
- Blackfin: Blackfin are comparatively small in size, with an average length between 1-3 feet and often 10-20 lbs in weight.
- Bluefin: Bluefin are the largest commercial tuna species which can reach weights above 1,000 pounds and length of about 15 feet. Because of their larger size, Bluefin are slightly higher in mercury concentrations than most of the other species of tuna.
- Skipjack: Skipjack are a relatively small tuna species generally weighing between 5-6 pounds and averaging 1-2 feet in length. They generally have a lifespan of two to three years.
- Tongol: Tongol are comparatively less seasonal, migratory, and found primarily in the Indian and Western Pacific oceans. They are comparatively small in size, ranging from approximately 10-12 pounds and 1-3 feet in length.
- Yellowfin: Yellowfin are medium-to-large sized tuna species, with size from 1-2 feet to as large as 5-6 feet, and in even longer. They are comparatively fast growing and have an average lifespan of 4-8 years.
Following are the health benefits of tuna:
- Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Benefits: Tuna is rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which are helpful for proper regulation of the inflammatory system of body and inhibition of excessive inflammation. Some other antioxidants nutrients which are present in small amounts like vitamin C, zinc and manganese, are also provided by tuna.
- Other Health Benefits: Tuna provides cardiovascular benefits as its rich in omega-3 which can increase the presence of omega-3s in the cells along the blood vessel linings and membranes of red blood cells. This helps to improve the circulatory system and better the regulation of blood pressure. Tuna is also a good source of both potassium and magnesium which are important for heart function and healthy blood flow.
Use of Fish Oil Supplements During Pregnancy
According to research, the last three months of pregnancy are a crucial time for pregnant women to take fish oil supplements, as the baby′s brain experiences a growth spurt during that time, which continues through the first few months of the infant′s life. Evidence is increasingly accumulating about the benefits of high omega-3 fatty acid content in the fish oil supplements during pregnancy. These healthy fats are beneficial to the brain development of a healthy baby while in the womb. Pregnant women have an increased need for essential omega-3 fatty acids than women who are not pregnant. A baby while in the womb and as newborn depends entirely on the mother for omega-3 fatty acids as they cannot produce these fatty acids. Hence, the maternal omega-3 status during pregnancy is critical for the omega-3 status in the newborn because these nutrients are key building blocks for the brain and the nervous system. Yet, many pregnant women lack the important omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. Therefore improving maternal omega-3 status throughout pregnancy and lactation ultimately benefits the infant.
Benefits for Baby
Fish oil supplements taken during pregnancy help in the proper development of a baby′s brain and IQ, improve eyesight and lead to fewer behavioral problems later in life.
A recent study also shows improved hand-eye coordination and greatly improved comprehension in children whose mothers were given either high-dose fish oil or olive oil during pregnancy. The researchers based their findings on 98 pregnant women, who were either given 4 g of fish oil supplements or 4 g of olive oil supplements daily from 20 weeks of pregnancy until the birth of their babies. High cord blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids at birth (from fish oil) were strongly associated with good hand-eye coordination, while low levels of omega-6 fatty acids, found in many vegetable oils, were not.
Maternal intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation may be favorable for the later mental development of children. Children whose mothers received DHA supplementation during pregnancy and lactation scored better in mental processing tests carried out at four years than children whose mothers received placebo. Intake of DHA by the mother (but not infant intake) positively correlated with the mental processing ability of the children. Hence, optimizing DHA status of expectant women may offer long-term developmental benefits to their children.
Recent research indicates that mothers who take fish oil supplements in pregnancy can substantially reduce the chance of their children developing asthma later in life. Fish oil supplements during pregnancy can help to assure the proper development of the baby′s eyes as DHA is the key nutrient for the proper development of the retina of the eye. The beneficial actions of omega-3 fatty acids are not just limited to the baby, but also extend to the mother. They also have a specific effect on the health of the mother as well as the outcome of pregnancy.
Benefits for Mother
- Maternal supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may increase the duration of gestation, birth weight or both.
- Supplementation with fish oil reduces the reoccurrence risk of preterm delivery among women with a history of preterm births and may be of help in preventing miscarriage or abortion.
- A mother who takes fish oil supplementation during pregnancy may have less chance of developing pre-eclampsia (combination of high blood pressure, swelling and protein in the urine) as well as lower the risk of postpartum depression.
Recommended Intake During Pregnancy
Given concerns for mercury toxicity with overconsumption of certain fish, in order to meet these recommendations, pregnant women will need to consume omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil capsules, containing both EPA and DHA as they are good, mercury-safe means of supplementing the diet of a pregnant woman. Pregnant women can eat fish, such as catfish, flounder and salmon (less or no mercury) or take fish oil supplements. Women who do not eat fish might consider nonmarine sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil, walnut oil, canola oil, soybean oil or walnuts. However, there is less evidence supporting a cardiovascular benefit from these sources of omega-3 fatty acids. However, all pregnant women should avoid mercury-rich shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish because the relatively high content of mercury in them may impair fetal neurological development.
Dosage & Expectations
- Adults and children over 12 years: 1 capsule upto 3 times daily with food or as directed by your healthcare practitioner. Capsules may be opened and content mixed with food if desired.
- Children (under 12 years): 1 Capsule upto 3 times daily, should be opened and mixed with food.
Due to pollution, the fish in seas and oceans may be contaminated with various chemicals such as mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and dioxins that are toxic or dangerous to human health.
Fish lipid oil used in Omegatone is stringently tested for Heavy metals (including Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury & Lead), Pesticides, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCSs). These testing requirements are set in the British Pharmacopoeia.
Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to lower the risk of heart failure. One major cause of CHF is myocardial infarction or heart attack which is an irreversible injury to heart muscle. According to a clinical trial reported in the European Heart Journal, moderate intake of fatty fish and marine omega-3 fatty acids caused lower rates of heart failure. Men who ate fatty fish once a week had 12% less chances of developing heart failure compared to those who never ate fatty fish. Men who consumed approximately 0.36 g/day were 33% less likely to develop heart failure than men who consumed little or no marine omega-3 fatty acids (0.15-0.22 g/day). Higher intake offered no additional benefit. Consumption of baked or broiled fish is also associated with reduced risk of incident heart failure; consumption of fried fish was associated with an increased risk of heart failure.
The term â€˜acute coronary syndromeâ€™ comprises a range of coronary artery diseases (CADs), including unstable angina, ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI; often termed as â€œQ-wave myocardial infarctionâ€), and non-STEMI (NSTEMI; often referred to as â€œnon-Q-wave myocardial infarctionâ€). Symptoms of the acute coronary syndrome include chest pain, referred pain, nausea, vomiting, breathlessness (or dyspnea), sweating (or diaphoresis) and lightheadedness. Consumption of high levels of fish oil (more than 1 g/day) for a long time may reduce the risk of nonfatal heart attacks and acute coronary syndrome.
Impact of High Triglyceride Levels
Hypertriglyceridemia or high levels of triglycerides (TGs) in blood greatly increase the risk for heart disease.
- High TG levels are a causative factor for small, dense LDL (cholesterol in low-density lipoproteins or the ′bad′ cholesterol) particles that are more atherogenic than larger LDL particles.
- High TG levels reduce levels of HDL or ′good′ cholesterol.
- High TG levels may unfavourably affect the coagulation system and increase the danger of thrombosis (clot formation). An increase in the risk of thrombosis increases the risk of cardiac events.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and High Triglyceride Levels
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils markedly decrease TGs and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) levels in blood and help correct other risk factors for heart disease. The hypotriglyceridemic effect of fish oil appears to be caused mainly by blocking the production of VLDL-triglyceride, but an additional, independent effect upon the breakdown of VLDL molecules into simpler ones cannot be ruled out. They also increase HDL cholesterol. A unique effect of omega-3 fatty acids is to hasten the clearance of fat-containing particles from the blood following meals. This remarkable fat-clearing ability has important implications for prevention of heart disease. According to scientists, this rise in blood fat levels following a meal, known as postprandial hyperlipidemia, may be a potent contributor to atherosclerosis and thus to a heart attack.
Omega-3 fatty acids are required in higher doses to reduce elevated TG levels (2-4 g/day). A unique effect of omega-3 fatty acids is to hasten the clearance of fat-containing particles from the blood following meals. This remarkable fat-clearing ability has important implications for prevention of heart disease.
Fish oil supplementation raises HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations (+3%) and, particularly in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. They also lower the proportion of small dense LDL-C particles. The rise in LDL cholesterol of up to 5% seen with fish oil consumption is due to increase in LDL particle size i.e. LDL-C concentration may slightly increase but without appreciable change in the number of circulating LDL particles. In persons with hypertriglyceridemia that is resistant to treatment, fish oil supplements (more than 3 g/day of DHA and EPA) can lower the serum TGs by as much as 50% or more.
In older persons and those with high BP (or hypertension), fish oil supplementation considerably decreased both systolic (upper reading of BP) and diastolic BP (lower reading of BP). A study has shown a greater fall in both systolic and diastolic BP in men with high BP at risk of heart disease, with fish oil consumption. The men included in the study were assigned to five high-fat (40% of daily energy) and two low-fat (30% of energy) groups. The five high-fat groups were assigned to take either six or 12 fish-oil capsules daily, fish or a combination of fish oil and fish, or placebo capsules. The two low-fat groups took either fish or placebo capsules. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils improve BP control and may reduce the long-term continuous rise in BP in patients who had hypertension and who underwent a heart transplant. The study also illustrated a favorable effect of omega-3 fatty acids on kidney function in these patients.
Death from coronary heart disease (CHD) (heart attack and chest pain) can be due to heart failure, arrhythmias (abnormally fast or slow heart rhythm) or sudden cardiac death (SCD). Most SCD is due to ventricular fibrillation (abnormal irregular rhythm of the heart where the ventricles i.e. lower chambers of the heart, contract in a very rapid, unsynchronized manner ′fluttering′). The risk of death and sudden death is highest in the first months following a heart attack.
One of the most remarkable benefits of fish oils is their ability to prevent sudden death, SCD in particular. They have antiarrhythmic effect i.e. reducing potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias that lead to SCD and thus offer protection against cardiac sudden death. Fish oil is particularly effective in fighting the common but worrying heart arrhythmia known as atrial fibrillation abnormal heart rhythm that involves the two upper chambers or the atria of the heart. This is especially important, as atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke.
More than 2,000 men with previous heart attack were studied to examine the life-saving beneficial action of fish oil. Some were advised to regularly eat fish, while others were not asked to do so. The difference in mortality observed between the two groups after two years was dramatic. Men who consumed fish oil twice a week had a 29% lower rate of death than those who did not. According to the researchers, fish oil helped prevent death in these men with a history of heart muscle damage by stopping the abnormal heart rhythms. Another important study showed that regular consumption of fish is associated with a decrease in heart rate in healthy men. In a study, 9,758 men from Lille (France) and Belfast (Ireland) aged 50-59 years with no previous CHD were grouped according to the amount of fish they consumed on a normal basis.
- 27% ate fish less than once per week
- 47% ate fish once per week
- 20% had fish twice per week
- 6% ate fish more than twice per week
Regular consumption of fish is associated with decreased heart rate in healthy men which lower the chances of sudden death among fish eaters. In men who ate fish less than once per week, the average heartbeat was 67.5 beats/minute, whereas, the average heartbeat was 65.6 beats/minute in men who ate fish more than twice per week. In a small group of patients undergoing cardiac surgery, consumption of fish oil (2 g/day) for at least five days before elective CABG and until the day of discharge from the hospital markedly reduced the incidence of post-operative AF (54.4%) and was associated with a shorter hospital stay. Another study also found an association between fish oil consumption and reduced risk of atrial fibrillation. It has been shown that patients who develop arrhythmias often have low omega-3 fatty acid levels in their blood. This further affirms the usefulness of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation in promoting healthy heart rhythm.
In a group of 84,688 women aged 34-59 years, from the US Nurses′ Health Study, higher consumption of fish and n-3 fatty acids caused fewer deaths. Compared with fish consumption intake of less than once a month, eating fish at least five times a week lessened the risk of overall death by 32%. Compared with the lowest quintile of omega-3 fatty acid intake, the highest quintile was associated with a 25% reduced risk of overall death. The results also suggested that fish consumption is more protective against fatal CHD than nonfatal myocardial infarction. Oily fish consumption was associated with a 34% reduced risk of death due to CHD during 20 years of follow-up compared with no oily fish consumption. Consumption of 15 g/day of lean fish is equal to about 50 mg of omega-3 fatty acids; in contrast, 15 g/day of oily fish provides about 400 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
The Time-course of Any Benefit Appears Early
In a major clinical study, the GISSI-Prevenzione trial, in patients with recent heart attack, fish oil reduced mortality, entirely due to fewer SCDs. The protective benefits of fish oil were evident after only a few months of supplementation. In this large study of more than 11,000 adults, those who consumed 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA daily (taken as fish oil supplement) had a 42% reduction in SCDs within the three-month period following a heart attack compared to patients who received no omega-3 fatty acids. These life-saving benefits persisted beyond the initial 3-month danger period as evident by a death rate of 8.4% among the participants who had received the fish oil supplement and 9.8% among those who had not received the fish oil supplement by the end of the 42-month follow-up period.
People who eat more fish generally have a lower risk of CAD and death due to heart disease. A large clinical trial, JELIS, examined the effects of EPA on CAD in patients with high cholesterol levels. Some of these patients on statin drugs (to control cholesterol levels in the blood) but with no evidence of CAD were administered EPA, while others were not. The scientists investigated relationships between the occurrence of CAD, the number of CAD risk factors (obesity, hypercholesterolemia, high TG or low HDL-C, diabetes and hypertension) and EPA treatment. In the higher risk group (TG â‰¥150 mg/dl; HDL-C < 40 mg/dl), EPA treatment prevented the risk of CAD by 53%. In a meta-analysis of studies of 222,364 individuals, the risk of death due to CHD gradually declined in individuals who ate fish one to three times per month, once per week, two to four times per week, or more than four times per week than in those who ate fish less than once per month. The GISSI-Prevenzione Trial showed that the beneficial effects of fish consumption are related to intake of n-3 fatty acids, which have been shown in trials of supplements to decrease subsequent cardiovascular disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids have antiatherosclerotic effect i.e. fish oil consumption may modestly reduce chronic progression of atherosclerosis, commonly referred to as a â€˜hardeningâ€™ of the blood vessels (arteries). A clinical trial observed modest but statistically significant effects of fish oil supplementation on progression of coronary, but not carotid, atherosclerosis. Patients with CAD who took about 1.5 g of omega-3 fatty acids per day for two years had less progression and more regression of CAD on coronary angiography than did comparable patients who ingested a placebo. These patients also experienced fewer cardiovascular events. Another trial examined the effects of EPA (1.8 g/day for 2.1 years) on the progression of carotid atherosclerosis in 81 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. Individuals who were given EPA had less progression of both mean and maximal intimal medial thickness.
Taking a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial to patients with arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis as they slow down the development of the joint disease. Fish oil supplementation is, therefore, a valuable support to the conventional drug treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have shown that patients taking fish oil supplements for rheumatoid arthritis require fewer pain medications. In a recent study, a significant reduction in the patient-reported intensity of joint, duration of morning stiffness, number of painful and/or tender joints including consumption of painkillers (NSAIDs) has been reported with omega-3 fatty acids.
Asthma has been defined as a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, research suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplements may decrease inflammation and improve lung function in patients with asthma. One clinical trial of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation in children with asthma found that those who took fish oil supplements rich in EPA and DHA for 10 months had improvement in their symptoms compared to children who took a placebo pill.
An Australian study showed that eating oily fish more than once per week protects children against asthma. Omega-3 fatty acids are also useful in reducing exercise-induced asthma.
Earlier studies have reported a lower prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes in populations who took large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids found mainly in fish. People with type 2 diabetes are known to be at increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Diabetics typically have high levels of fats (TGs) in the blood, low levels of good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) and abnormal LDL (low-density lipoprotein) composition. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish lower TGs, reduce abnormal heart rhythms, lower blood pressure and improve blood clotting regulation. Clinical studies have shown that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids has cardioprotective effects in persons with type 2 diabetes without adverse effects on glucose control and insulin activity.
Fish oil may be useful in treating dyslipidemia in diabetes. Fish oil supplementation improved plasma VLDL cholesterol, VLDL TGs, and total TGs while having a transient deterioration in LDL cholesterol in patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM). Furthermore, fish oil supplementation had no significant deleterious effect on glycemic control. Plasma LDL cholesterol was temporarily increased in the fish oil group at 6 weeks, but the effect was no longer present at 12 weeks. A diet rich in fish and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids reduces the chances of children with a family history of diabetes to develop the disease. In type 2 diabetic patients, supplementation with 1.7 g/day to all patients for a further six months produced no deterioration of glucose control after one year of treatment. Preliminary evidence suggests increased consumption of n-3 PUFAs with reduced intake of saturated fat may reduce the risk of conversion from impaired glucose tolerance to type 2 diabetes in overweight persons.
The term â€˜inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two chronic diseases that cause inflammation of the bowels or intestines: ulcerative colitis and Crohnâ€™s disease. Omega-3 fatty acids have the most potent immunomodulatory activities, and among the omega-3 PUFA, those from fish oil (EPA and DHA) are more biologically potent than ALA. Hence, these fatty acids may inhibit an increase of proinflammatory markers. When added to standard medication, such as sulfasalazine, omega-3 fatty acids may reduce symptoms of Crohnâ€™s disease and ulcerative colitis. In children with Crohnâ€™s disease, omega-3 FAs (EPA and DHA) together with mesalazine treatment (5-ASA) effectively maintained disease remission. Children who were given omega-3 fatty acids also suffered fewer relapses.
Omega-3 fatty acids relieve depressive symptoms related to menopause. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition presented the first evidence that EPA supplementation is effective for treating common menopause-related mental health problems and improves depressive symptoms. Middle-aged women were grouped into two and were randomly administered either daily supplements of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA+DHA) or placebo (sunflower oil) for eight weeks. At the beginning of the study, all of the participants were classified as having mild-to-moderate depression and about one-quarter of them had experienced major depressive episode. Omega-3 fatty acids significantly improved the condition of women suffering symptoms of psychological distress and mild depression at the end of the study. The researchers also noted that the difference in the observed results between the two groups was remarkable especially keeping in view that omega-3 fatty acids have very few side effects and are beneficial to heart health.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Improve Hot Flashes
Supplementation with EPA omega-3 fatty acids reduced frequency of hot flashes (HF) and also improved the HF score relative to placebo. At the start of the study, the number of daily hot flashes experienced by the women was 2.8 in a day. There was a significant decrease in the number of daily hot flashes over the 8-week study, with a greater decrease observed among women consuming EPA. The number of hot flashes declined by 1.58/day in the EPA group versus 0.5/day decrease in the control group. The quality-of-life also improved in both groups.59
Menstrual pain or dysmenorrhea is the most common gynecologic complaint and the leading cause of short-term absenteeism among adolescent schoolgirls. In a clinical study of nearly 200 Danish women aged between 20 and 45 years, a strong association was observed between increased menstrual pain and a low intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish.
In a study, adolescents suffered less menstrual pain while taking fish oil supplementation; the amount of painkillers taken during the menstrual periods also declined by more than 50%.
The brain is one of the organs in the body with the highest level of lipids (fats). Omega-3 fatty acids are important components of nerve cell membranes. DHA, in particular, is involved in various nerve cell processes. Omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish in the human diet may be effective in the prevention of stress and other disease conditions including depression, and dementia.
In a review of evidence of omega-3 fatty acid in depression, four of seven trials showed significant improvement of depression with at least 1 g/day of EPA. Results from a trial have also shown therapeutic benefits with omega-3 fatty acids in depression during pregnancy. In a Finnish study, the risk of depression and suicidality was much lower in those who frequently ate fish.
Scientists in Taiwan compared omega-3 supplementation (10 capsules per day, each containing EPA 440 mg and DHA 220 mg) with usual treatment in patients diagnosed with a major depressive disorder for a duration of eight weeks and concluded that omega-3 PUFAs could improve the short-term course of illness. Patients on omega-3 supplementation experienced a significantly greater decrease in the Hamilton Depression Scale score than did those in the control group. In another clinical study of 30 people with bipolar disorder, omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA 9.6 g/day) in addition to usual treatment for four months could maintain mood stability; also, patients experienced fewer mood swings and recurrence of either depression or mania than those who received a controlled drug.
Preliminary clinical evidence suggests that people with schizophrenia experience an improvement in symptoms when given omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the antipsychotic drug requirement in first episode patients with schizophrenia and may be an effective adjunct to antipsychotics. But, a recent study observed no additional benefits of EPA supplements than placebo in improving symptoms of schizophrenia.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have low levels of EFAs including EPA and DHA. In a clinical study of about 100 boys, learning and behavioral problems (such as temper tantrums and sleep disturbances) were more common in boys with lower omega-3 fatty acid levels than those with normal omega-3 fatty acid levels.
A child diagnosed with autism who received 540 mg of the omega-3 fatty acid daily in the form of EPA for four weeks experienced a complete end to his previous anxiety about everyday events as reported by his parents and clinician. His overall quality-of-life was also improved. In another trial, most parents of 18 children with autism who had been given fish oil supplements for six months described improvements in overall health, cognition, sleep patterns, social interactions and eye contact. A recent trial reported reduced hyperactivity and reduced stereotypy (repeated movements like hand-flapping) in children who received 1.5 g of fish oil per day, as compared to children who received placebo.
Omega-3 fatty acids have also been researched in eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. In a pilot study of EPA supplementation in the treatment of anorexia nervosa in seven young patients, three recovered and four improved.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may have an inverse relationship with the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. People who have diets rich in fish would have a significantly lower risk of dementia and Alzheimerâ€™s disease. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements may slow cognitive decline in some patients with very mild Alzheimerâ€™s disease, though they do not appear to affect those with more advanced cases. A study by researchers at Tufts University in Boston found that people with the highest blood levels of DHA had a 47% lower risk of developing dementia and a 39% lower risk of developing Alzheimerâ€™s. The study analyzed the blood of 899 men and women with an average age of 76. All participants were free of dementia at the beginning of the study, and underwent neuropsychological testing after giving their initial blood sample. In patients with mild cognitive impairment, a significant improvement in the cognitive portion of the Alzheimerâ€™s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog) was noted.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become weak and are more prone to fractures. It is also called as the â€˜silent diseaseâ€™ as bone is lost with no signs. Such fractures are common in the hip, spine and wrist. Osteoporosis can strike at any age but is most common in older women.
An expanding body of evidence indicates that omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial to bone health. They may help increase calcium levels in the body, deposit calcium in the bones and enhance bone strength. Studies have also indicated that individuals who lack essential fatty acids (particularly EPA and gamma-linolenic acid [GLA], an omega-6 fatty acid) are more prone to develop loss of bone than those with adequate levels of these EFAs.
In a study of elderly women with osteoporosis, those who were given EPA and GLA supplements had considerably less bone loss over a period of three years than those who were given a placebo. Many of these women also experienced an increase in bone density during this time. In young healthy men, an 8-year study showed that omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA was positively associated with an increase in bone mineral and, hence, with peak bone mineral density (BMD). The study by Weiss et al has observed a negative association between a higher omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids ratio and bone density at the hip in both sexes.
Omega-3 fatty acids may facilitate weight loss. They do so by
- Modulating metabolism of fats by stimulating lipolysis or breakdown of stored fat.
- Increasing production of leptin, an appetite-controlling hormone that also has an important fat-burning role.
- Decreasing lipogenic enzymes that check storage of fat in the body.
By helping regulate blood sugar levels in the body, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help keep hunger in check, thus aiding weight loss. In overweight and obese volunteers, there were fewer hunger sensations in the omega-3 fatty acid group immediately after the test dinner and after 120 minutes. Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition by reducing body fat. In a study, 66% of young European overweight adults consumed less than the generally the recommended intake of fish.