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Home > Health Information > Preventative Care > Omega 3 > Omega 3 Deficiency

Omega 3 Fatty Acid Deficiency

Benefits of Taking Fish Oil

Think Omega-3

Omega 3 fatty acid deficiency can be avoided. Now is a good time to review your Omega-3 "inventory." Do you have enough? If you're taking Omega-3 supplements, make sure you're getting the right amount and that they contain top quality fish oil.

If you find you're low on fish oil, let this serve as a wake-up call because an Omega-3 deficiency is something to worry about. Really worry. Why?

The reason is, thousands of Americans are deficient in Omega-3 and this can be killing them. It can be linked as the 6th leading cause of death.

Studies Look into Omega-3 Deficiency

Did you know that a study by Harvard University revealed that over 72,000 fatalities could have been avoided if those who died had sufficient amounts of Omega-3 fats like EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)? In conducting this study, Harvard examined risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure and then came up with a mathematical formula to quantify the number of lives that could have been saved if healthy practices were promoted earlier by the men and women who had died.

The Harvard University study was not the only one. Another study also found that by combining Omega-3 fats and the Q10 co-enzyme, kidney patients suffering from high blood pressure and heart trouble could have benefited significantly from taking at least four grams of Omega-3 supplements daily. When taken together, Omega-3 supplements and co-enzyme Q10 could help stabilize blood pressure and prevent heart disease.

Fish Oil and Fish Oil Supplements: Sound Body, Sound Mind

Who are mentally healthy and who are not is an ongoing concern that the medical community has gone to great lengths to study. Through studies and trials that focus on people diagnosed with depression, medical researchers discovered that Omega-3 fats and fish oil can promote both mental and physical health.

Researchers learned that depressed individuals have very low levels of Omega-3 in their blood, dangerously much lower than people who were not diagnosed with depression. Those who were mentally ill and who were put on Omega-3 supplements improved in terms of mood swings, feelings of helplessness and profound sadness. These symptoms were not as pronounced after fish oil supplementation.

These studies therefore clearly indicate that Omega-3 deficiency:

(a) can lead to serious health problems, but
(b) that these problems can be avoided if individuals took the necessary steps to restore or replenish their Omega-3 either by eating more fish or taking fish oil supplements.

Without making light of breast cancer, the above constitutes one reason why we ought to be equally, if not more, worried about being deficient in Omega-3 as we are about breast cancer. About 40,000 women die of breast cancer annually as opposed to over 70,000 people dying from a serious lack of Omega-3.

Breast Cancer and Omega-3 Deficiency: Possible Link

Insufficient amounts of Omega-3 on a long term basis could trigger risk factors associated with breast cancer. This deficiency could also contribute to the development of prostate cancer.

An increasing number of studies have established the link between Omega-3 fats and breast cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 - also known as breast cancer genes 1 and 2 - work more efficiently to suppress tumors and delay DNA damage when there are healthy levels of Omega-3. Women who have mutations of these genes are more susceptible to breast cancer risk factors. For example, 5% of all diagnosed breast cancer cases are attributed to those women exhibiting BRCA-1 mutations.

Omega-3 fats or fish oil may retard or decrease the growth rate of cancer cells. Going to the end of the spectrum, those with very low Omega-3 (high Omega-6 fats) are more likely to have cancer cells.

There are no iron-clad guarantees for 100% protection from breast cancer but there are some things you can do to protect yourself or at least reduce your chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Three recommendations stand out: engage in physical exercise regularly, follow a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and maintain your ideal body weight.

Take diet as an example. A healthy diet, as doctors and nutritionists agree, consists of the recommended amounts of Omega-3 fats that can be sourced from fish or flax seed oil, as well as foods that provide adequate amounts of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D has been known as an effective ally in fighting cancer. Do not overdo your avoidance of the sun. Instead, take in the sunshine at the safest hours of the day or take Vitamin D supplements. The benefits of Vitamin D include the destruction of mutated cancer genes, blocking the growth of cancer cells, or avoiding the differentiation of cancer cells and preventing the growth of new blood vessels. An article published in a scientific journal advanced the theory that Vitamin D not only prevents cancer, but also cures it. This is made possible by an active substance called calcitrol - Vitamin D itself in its most active form.

Do Whatever You Can to Avoid Omega-3 Deficiency

If you don't like fish or can't get enough of Omega-3 fats from natural sources, consider Omega-3 supplements or fish oil supplements.

Omega-3 can help:

  • Ward off cognitive disorders and mental decline, as reported by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2008). Omega-3 supplementation can balance EPA and DHA in our bodies, lowering our risk of death.
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Prevent other diseases like retinal and brain underdevelopment, Crohn's disease, and cancers (breast, prostate and colon)
  • Delay the onset of arthritis and high blood pressure

As we've said, Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency can be avoided. Make sure your fish oil is molecularly distilled to assure it is free of harmful heavy metals.

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