SCIENCE

OG ØMEGA-3 PLUS is the result of science used to develop a new level of food supplement. Here is the story of its creation in the words of Professor Østerud and also some reference papers that support the benefits of Omega-3.

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CREATING THE ULTIMATE OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENT

 

THE THINKING BEHIND OG ØMEGA-3 PLUS

 

BY PROFESSOR EMERITUS BJARNE ØSTERUD, TROMSØ, NORWAY FOR OG SCIENCE + WELLBEING.

 

“In the mid 1980s I discovered that some of my blood cells, especially monocytes (white blood cells) and my blood platelets were hyperactive. Since both these cells play an important role in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD) and myocardial infarction (MI), it was essential to see whether the activity of the cells and production of inflammatory products in blood could be suppressed by the intake of a simple food supplement containing

omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Along with my research team we carried out a clinical study on 40 healthy subjects, using refined cod liver oil (CLO) that produced encouraging results on both blood coagulation activity as well as inflammatory products in the blood. But when a similar study was performed by substituting the CLO with an 85% concentrate of pure omega-3 fatty acids, (EPA+DHA), it failed to have the same effects as we had seen with the CLO.

 

We concluded,therefore, that certain beneficial ingredients had been removed during the production of the omega-3 concentrate.

 

At this time I observed that several of my close family members were in similar way as myself, disposed for increased risk of cardiovascular disease independent of cholesterol levels.

 

The Damaging Effects of Oxidation

Against this background and in collaboration with Professor Edel O. Elvevoll, we performed a large study on the effects of supplementing the diet with cold pressed whale oil and certain other refined marine oils, such as cod liver oil (CLO) and seal oil. This diet was widely believed to be the reason for the Inuit’s resistance to cardiovascular disease. We noticed that the cold pressed whale oil was superior in its beneficial effects on coagulation, as well as inflammatory products in the blood, when compared to the other refined oils (1). This was despite the fact that the whale oil contained only half the omega-3 fatty acids of the other oils.

 

Interestingly when the cold pressed whale oil was refined, (the Inuit consumed raw whale andseal blubber and some fish) most of the beneficial effects were lost. We interpreted this as an essential requirement for additional antioxidants to enable the significant benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids to be effective after consumption. This was confirmed when in another study on atherosclerosis using mice, we found that cold pressed whale oil had reduced the formation of atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic arch, whereas refined oil (antioxidants extracted) had no such effect (2).

 

The problem of oxidation of omega-3 fatty acids in the body was exemplified through a study of heart disease patients (3). In this study, it was shown that when patients with atherosclerotic heart disease, were fed 5 gram of omega-3 fatty acid concentrate for 6 months, they developed increased angina and occlusions of the arteries. At the same time there was a significant rise in the levels of inflammatory products measured in their blood. Obviously, the lack of antioxidants in their diet resulted in the oxidation of the omega-3 fatty acids and increased stress in the vessel wall (vasculature system).

 

Introducing a powerful antioxidant – Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Our recognition of the significance of antioxidants in preventing the oxidation of the omega-3 fatty acids enabling them to deliver their significant beneficial effects, led us to the development of a formula that introduced cold pressed extra virgin olive oil to refined seal oil.

 

Our tests on an animal model indicated a reduction in atherosclerotic lesions of 57% (4) in the aortic arch compared to 17% for an omega-3 concentrate. And later independent testing in the Netherlands was to show a reduction of 71%. This clearly demonstrates that a product rich in antioxidants (cold pressed olive oil) in combination with seal oil, rich in EPA and DHA and even more importantly a relatively high amount of the omega-3 fatty acid DPA, is a highly effective omega-3 product.

 

DPA – The Underrated and Overlooked Omega-3 fatty acid.

The content of DPA in fish oil is very low compared to seal oil and this may account for the beneficial effect of seal oil in making the platelets less active (less sticky). Platelets play a central role in the development of atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction (MI) as well as ischemic stroke (arteries to the brain are blocked). This together with the antioxidants in olive oil, which provide such powerful anti-inflammatory effects as evidenced by the reduction in atherosclerotic lesions but also the reduction of hsCRP in humans (24.0%, not published).

 

Interestingly DPA, which is a good inhibitor of platelets (5), has been shown to provide a lower risk of ischemic stroke than EPA (6). Furthermore, DPA was associated with a lower risk of total CHD whereas Ala, EPA and DHA were not (7).

 

In line with this study, the Edinburgh Artery Study showed that DPA was the only long chain omega-3 that reduced the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis (8). In still another epidemiological study of older adults, higher circulating plasma levels of DPA were associated with lower total mortality, including those from coronary heart disease (CHD) (9).

 

The Herring – Traceable. Sustainable.
And Rich in Omega-3s.

 

When OG Science + Wellbeing asked me to reproduce our Inuit influenced, omega-3 formula in a more sustainable, commercial form it was clear that the new formula must still be rich in Cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil. But an alternative to seal oil was a priority. I selected the finest North Atlantic Herring – staple of the healthy Nordic diet. Richer than salmon in the omega 3s EPA and DHA, but also containing significant quantities of Erucic Acid, a long chained monounsaturated fatty acid which had demonstrated a dramatic reduction in atherosclerotic lesions in laboratory tests on mice (10). In order to maintain a daily intake of 1000mg Omega-3s we added a concentrate rich in DPA, which had been present in our original Inuit influenced formula. We also enriched the DHA content as it is widely known to have a beneficial effect on the brain.

 

Thus, we have created a new and effective, scientifically tested, omega-3 product that provides a daily intake of 1000 mg of omega-3s. Its advantage over many other omega-3 products is the stabilization of the omega-3 fatty acids by potent antioxidants in the olive oil. Additionally it contains more beneficial DPA than in other omega-3 products from fish oils or alternative sources such as krill oil. This is especially important based on the observations described above for DPA.

 

This new product, which we have called OG ØMEGA-3 PLUS has been independently tested in a cholesterol sensitive mouse model and shown to reduce atherosclerotic lesion formation by 56.7% and reduce cholesterol by 33%.

 

Uncertainty concerning the Efficacy of Omega-3 supplements

In 2018 two major reports based on meta-analysis failed to show that omega-3 fatty acids had any association with fatal or non-fatal heart disease (11, 12) suggested that increasing EPA and DHA had little or no effect on mortality or cardiovascular health. However as a result of our own research and others, we believe that protection of the omega-3 fatty acids from oxidation, not only in the capsules but also when the omega-3s get into the body, is essential for fulfilling their beneficial effects. The earlier recommendation of 250 mg EPA and DHA dosage per day, is also probably too low to give any significant effect on cardiovascular health, which in our opinion is very much dependent on the anti-inflammatory effects of the omega-3 products in combination with antioxidants.

 

Another issue, is the insignificant levels of DPA in all the omega-3 products used for the studies referred to above.

 

Marine v Plant Based Omega-3s

We constantly read glowing reports of plant-based oils that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and how wonderful they are for our health. These plant based omega-3 fatty acids are the short- chain omega-3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA, 18: 3 n-3), while there may also be a lot of omega-6 fatty acids, especially linoleic acid (18: 2 n-6). In soybean oil, this fatty acid constitutes up to 60% of the total content of the fatty acids.

 

On the other hand, olive oil is almost free of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, while it contains large amounts (up to 80%) of so-called mono-unsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid, 18: 1, n-7, n-9). However, the short-chained omega-3 fatty acids have hardly any biological effect and have to be transferred to long-chained omega-3 fatty acids. This conversion of ALA is very slow, which means that plant based omega-3 fatty acids fail to play a role comparable to omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources. The short-chained omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid, in plant oils such as soya oil, is fortunately also converted slowly to the long chained fatty acid, arachidonic acid, as this fatty acid is rather pro-inflammatory. We know that the FADS genes is regulating this conversion, and this gene differs across different populations (13).

 

R E F E R E N C E S

1. Østerud B, Elvevoll E, Barstad H, Brox J, Halvorsen H, Lia K, Olsen JO, Olsen RL, Sissener C, Rekdal O, et al. Effect of marine oils supplementation on coagulation and cellular activation in whole blood. Lipids. 1995; 30:1111-8.

2. Walquist MJ, Stormo SK, Østerud B, Elvevoll EO, Eilertsen KE. Cold-pressed minke whale oil reduces circulating LDL/VLDL-cholesterol, lipid oxidation and atherogenesis in

apolipoprotein E-deficient mice fed a Western-type diet for 13 weeks. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2018; 15:35. doi: 10.1186/s12986-018-0269-8. eCollection 2018

3. Arnesen, H, Seljeflot, I. Studies on very long chain marine n-3 fatty acids in patients with atherosclerotic heart disease with special focus on mechanisms, dosage and formulas of supplementation. Cell Mol Biol 2010; 56:18–27.

4. Eilertsen KE, Mæhre HK, Cludts K, Olsen JO, Hoylaerts MF Dietary enrichment of apolipoprotein E-deficient mice with extra virgin olive oil in combination with seal oil

inhibits atherogenesis. Lipids Health Dis. 2011;10:41. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-10-41.

5. Akiba S, Murata T, Kitatani K, Sato T. Involvement of lipoxygenase pathway in docosapentaenoic acid-induced inhibition of platelet aggregation. Biol Pharm Bull.

2000; 23:1293-7.

6. Saber H, Yakoob MY, Shi P, Longstreth WT Jr, Lemaitre RN, Siscovick D, Rexrode KM, Willett WC, Mozaffarian D. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Incident Ischemic Stroke

and Its Atherothrombotic and Cardioembolic Subtypes in 3 US Cohorts. Stroke. 2017; 48:2678-2685.

7. Del Gobbo et al. ω-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Biomarkers and Coronary Heart Disease: Pooling Project of 19 Cohort Studies. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Aug

1;176(8):1155-66. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.2925. Erratum in: JAMA Intern Med. 2016; 176:1727-1728. JAMA Intern Med. 2016; 176:1728

8. Leng GC, Horrobin DF, Fowkes FG, Smith FB, Lowe GD, Donnan PT, Ells K. Plasma essential fatty acids, cigarette smoking, and dietary antioxidants in peripheral

arterial disease. A population-based case-control study. Arterioscler Thromb. 1994; 14:471-478.

9. Mozaffarian D, Lemaitre RN, King IB, Song X, Huang H, Sacks FM, Rimm EB, Wang M, Siscovick DS Plasma phospholipid long-chain ω-3 fatty acids and total and

cause-specific mortality in older adults: a cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2013; 158: 515-25. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-158-7-201304020-00003.

10. Yang ZH, Bando M, Sakurai T, Chen Y, Emma-Okon B, Wilhite B, Fukuda D, Vaisman B, Pryor M, Wakabayashi Y, Sampson M, Yu ZX, Sakurai A, Zarzour A,

Miyahara H, Takeo J, Sakaue H, Sata M, Remaley AT Long-chain monounsaturated fatty acid-rich fish oil attenuates the development of atherosclerosis in mouse models. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016; 60 :2208-2218. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201600142.

11. Aung T, Halsey J, Kromhout D, Gerstein HC, Marchioli R, Tavazzi L, Geleijnse JM, Rauch B, Ness A, Galan P, Chew EY, Bosch J, Collins R, Lewington S, Armitage J,

Clarke R; Omega-3 Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration. Associations of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplement Use With Cardiovascular Disease Risks: Meta-analysis of 10 Trials

Involving 77 917 Individuals. JAMA Cardiol. 2018; 3:225-234. doi:

10.1001/jamacardio.2017.5205.

12. Abdelhamid AS, Brown TJ, Brainard JS, Biswas P, Thorpe GC, Moore HJ, Deane KH, AlAbdulghafoor FK, Summerbell CD, Worthington HV, Song F, Hooper L.

Omega-3 fatty acids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018; 11:CD003177. doi 10.1002/14651858.CD003177.pub4

13. Ye K, Gao F, Wang D, Bar-Yosef O, Keinan A.Dietary adaptation of FADS genes in Europe varied across time and geography. Nat Ecol Evol. 2017; 1:167. doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-016

 

 

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OG ØMEGA-3 PLUS AND MOOD DISORDERS - PROMISING EARLY RESULTS

 

BY TOR S HAUGSTAD MD PHD – NEUROLOGY SPECIALIST, MEDICAL CHAIR, OUTPATIENT DEPT. SUNNAAS REHABILITATION HOSPITAL, OSLO, NORWAY FOUNDING DIRECTOR, VIRGINIA NORDIC PRECISION NEUROSCIENCE CONFERENCE.

 

Mood disorders, including depression, affect millions of people every year. These disorders take their toll not only on the individuals who suffer from an array of symptoms, including loss of energy, sleeplessness, feelings of sadness or hopelessness, but also on their families and communities. While standard therapies are available, they may not be ideal for some people. Scientists and physicians worldwide are working to find new approaches to treating depression and mood disorders. One significant research area is to understand how nutrient-based therapies can help alleviate suffering from depression and other mood disorders. Topping the list of research studies is the use of omega-3s from fish oil, especially EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), in alleviating suffering from depression and mood disorders. Fifty-seven clinical trials are underway right now or have been completed in recent years on the use of omega-3s in combatting depression, either as a stand-alone intervention (called “monotherapy”) or as an adjunct to standard therapies (ClinicalTrials.gov accessed Jan. 20, 2019).

 

The more widely known benefits of Omega-3’s tend to focus on the cardio-vascular system, but it is also worth recognizing their importance in the development of the brain and contribution to better mental health.

The good news is that professional reviews of published scientific studies to date show promising results for the role of omega-3 fatty acids on mood disorders and brain health overall. The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Committee on Research on Psychiatric Treatments conducted what is called a “meta-analysis”, or comprehensive review, of placebo-controlled treatment studies of major depressive disorder and bipolar depression. The report finds that the “preponderance of data support a protective effect of omega-3 EFA (essential fatty acid) intake, particularly EPA and DHA, in mood disorders. EPA and DHA appear to have negligible risks and some potential benefit in major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder”. (Freeman, MP et al. J. Clin. Psychiatry 2006 Dec; 67(12) 1954-67). More recently, the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry published a position statement on nutritional medicine as part of modern psychiatry. That paper states that nutraceuticals have “the potential to assist in the management of mental disease at the individual and population level. Many of these nutrients have a clear link to brain health, including omega-3s.”

( International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research Consensus position statement: nutritional medicine in modern psychiatry. World Psychiatry 2015 Oct; 14(3): 370-371.)


The levels of EPA and DHA (840mg) present in a recommended daily dose of OG Ømega-3Plus provide sufficient quantities of essential fatty acids to help support better brain health and mental development.

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EFFICACY OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS IN MUSCULOSKELETAL AND SKIN CONDITIONS

 

 

STEVEN J. HAUSMAN, PHD – PRESIDENT, HAUSMAN TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATIONS

(FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ARTHRITIS AND MUSCULOSKELETAL AND SKIN DISEASES, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, BETHESDA, MARYLAND)

 

There are many exceptional health benefits to omega-3 fatty acids (OFA) that have been well documented in scientific and clinical research studies. Most of the research on OFA began with observations that certain populations which had high levels of fish oils in their diet had lower levels of serum cholesterol, triglycerides and harmful low-density lipoproteins. This observation was validated when the United States’ Food and Drug Administration permitted OFA products, in 2004, to state that there was a reduced risk of coronary heart disease associated with OFA ingestion. Since that time there has also been a good deal of research in areas other than cardiovascular

.

Ophthalmological Investigations: Including OFA in the diet by eating fish two or more times a week has been associated with a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration[1]. In contrast, a decreased dietary intake of OFA has been linked to dry eye syndrome, but supplementation with OFA has been shown to lead to a subjective improvement in these symptoms[2].

Neurological Investigations: It has been demonstrated that an adequate intake of OFA seems to prevent cognitive decline in middle and older ages. A study has found a correlation between low levels of OFA in red blood cells and both decreased brain volume and poorer performance in cognitive and memory testing[3].  At least one review study[4] found a slight improvement in attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder symptoms that was associated with OFA supplementation  While OFA treatment was less effective than pharmaceutical treatments for this disorder the side effects are benign and might be more acceptable than pharmacological therapy for some families.


Dermatological Investigations: It appears that some skin conditions, such as the clinical symptoms of psoriasis, can potentially benefit  from OFA supplementation[5]. There may also be beneficial effects of OFA supplementation in protecting the skin from solar ultraviolet radiation injury. Many individuals think that topical application of sunscreens is sufficient to protect against all sun damage. However, it has been demonstrated that topical sunscreens are usually not applied as evenly or as thickly as the manufacturers recommend, resulting in lowered protection levels. In addition, there are many occasions when sunscreens are not even applied (for example, in daily activities when people are not on vacation), thus resulting in low levels of sun damage over time. It is thus possible that nutritional supplementation with OFA can provide protection from these routine chronic exposures. This would therefore enhance the topical application of sunscreens when longer times in the sun are anticipated. Authors of a review article[6] wrote that “combined dietary and standard topical sunscreen measures may optimise human skin protection from sunlight.” One study[7] showed a reduction in sunburn sensitivity after short-term OFA supplementation and the authors suggest that “longer-term supplementation might reduce skin cancer in humans.”

 

Rheumatologic Investigations: Many of the effects of OFA supplementation tend to be based on its well-documented anti-inflammatory actions[8]. Because of its anti-inflammatory effects OFA supplementation also has therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been conjectured (but not yet proven) that other diseases with an inflammatory component might also theoretically benefit from OFA supplementation. These include systemic lupus erythematosus, Crohn’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis. One study showed that fish oil supplements were as effective, and a safer alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of patients with nonsurgical neck or back pain[9].

 

Most clinical trials of OFA supplementation have dealt with rheumatoid arthritis. Indeed, the Mayo Clinic noted that “studies suggest fish oil supplements might help reduce pain, improve morning stiffness and relieve joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis. While relief is often modest, it might be enough to reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medications.”[10].

 

A study in Sweden demonstrated that dietary consumption of OFA was associated with a greatly decreased risk of rheumatoid arthritis[11].

Skeletal Muscle Health Investigations: One of the factors associated with physical decline during the aging process is the lack of an ability to maintain muscle health and muscle mass. It is clear that the ability of skeletal muscle to deal with glucose is a key to maintaining glycemic control. The loss of skeletal muscle thus could lead to obesity or even diabetes. A recent clinical trial has clearly demonstrated that supplementation with fish oil[12] “slows the normal decline in muscle mass and function in older adults and should be considered a therapeutic approach for preventing sarcopenia and maintaining physical independence in older adults.”  In another trial[13] it was shown that strength training increased muscle strength in elderly women and that supplementation with fish oil “caused greater improvements in muscle strength and functional capacity.”

 

 

It can be concluded that there is substantial clinical research demonstrating that the consumption of dietary OFA leads to better health outcomes on a variety of medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, improved infant health, the maintenance of skeletal muscle with aging, certain skin diseases and rheumatic diseases.

 

 

R E F E R E N C E S

 

1. Dietary omega-3 fatty acid and fish intake in the primary prevention of age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Ophthalmol. 2008 Jun;126(6):826-33. doi: 10.1001/archopht.126.6.826.

2. Nutritional supplements for dry eye syndrome. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2011 Jul;22(4):279-82. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e3283477d23.

3. Red blood cell ω-3 fatty acid levels and markers of accelerated brain aging. Neurology. 2012 Feb 28;78(9):658-64. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318249f6a9

4. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for the treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptomatology: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2011 Oct;50(10):991-1000. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.06.008. Epub 2011 Aug 12

5. Nutrition and psoriasis. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Nov-Dec;28(6):615-26. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.027

6. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: photoprotective macronutrients. Exp Dermatol. 2011 Jul;20(7):537-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2011.01294.x. Epub 2011 May 16

7. Effect of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, on UVR-related cancer risk in humans. An assessment of early genotoxic markers. Carcinogenesis. 2003 May;24(5):919-25

8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Processes Nutrients. 2010 Mar; 2(3): 355–374

9. Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. Surg Neurol. 2006 Apr;65(4):326-31

10. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-fish-oil/art-20364810

11. Long-term intake of dietary long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of rheumatoid arthritis: a prospective cohort study of women. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Nov;73(11):1949-53. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203338. Epub 2013 Aug 12

12. Fish oil-derived n-3 PUFA therapy increases muscle mass and function in healthy older adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):115-22. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.105833. Epub 2015 May 20

13. Fish-oil supplementation enhances the effects of strength training in elderly women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb;95(2):428-36. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.021915. Epub 2012 Jan 4

 

 

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OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID SUPPLEMENTS AND WOMEN’S HEALTH

 

BY RAFAT ABBASI, MD – PARTNER, COLUMBIA FERTILITY ASSOCIATES. WASHINGTON DC.

CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY MEDICINE, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL WASHINGTON DC.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced by the human body. They must be provided by the diet and by adding supplements. The most common essential fatty acids are Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which is converted to EPA and DHA.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids in menopausal women.

 

A. Heart Disease.

As women age, their incidence of cardiovascular disease increases.  In some studies, it has been shown to be equal to that of men in the same age group. This is due to the absence of the cardioprotective effect of estrogen. There are well documented studies confirming the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids on the cardiovascular system. These include lowering of triglycerides, blood pressure, and plaque formation.

Omega-3 fatty acids also prevent platelets from clumping together, thus decreasing the risk of strokes.

 

B. Hot flashes.

One of the most common and troublesome effects of decreased estrogen production in menopause are hot flashes. In 2005, Italian scientists demonstrated a significant decrease in hot flashes and night sweats in patients who had been prescribed high doses of Omega-3 supplements. This is a result of the effect on the nerve cell membranes and the anti-inflammatory properties of the Omega-3 fatty acids.

 

C. Osteoporosis.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve bone strength and increase bone formation in older women.

 

D. Mood and age-related memory decline.

Declining memory and cognitive function are some of the side effects of aging, but these are compounded by the estrogen deficient state in menopause. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease this age-related decline as well as improve mood and depression. Higher intake of these supplements, in controlled studies, have been associated with positive moods.

 

Omega 3 fatty acids in pre-menopausal women.

 

A. Menstrual pain.

Proinflammatory factors produced during menstruation cause increased menstrual cramps. High levels of Omega-3 supplements have been shown to be successful in alleviating menstrual pain.

 

B. Pre-menstrual Syndrome. (PMS)

This is a monthly occurrence in some women that can be incapacitating. It affects about 40% of women, the combination of mood changes and pain has been shown to affect the quality of life in about 10% of  women who suffer with PMS. A randomized, double blinded controlled trial published in 2012 (Sohrabi, N. et al). This showed the significant impact of high doses(2g) daily of omega-3 supplements within 45 days of starting the pills. Both the psychiatric and somatic symptoms were improved.

 

C. Polycystic ovary syndrome and Metabolic syndrome.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is associated with increased weight gain, increased androgen production and insulin resistance. Type II diabetes is found in about 25% of patients with PCOS.  Haiianfar H et al in 2013, published a study showing the positive effect of Omega-3 supplements in decreasing insulin resistance and increasing the antioxidant capacity.

 

Omega-3 fatty Acids in Reproductive aged women.

 

A. Improved egg and sperm quality.

Omega-3 fatty acids can lower inflammation by reducing the production of inflammatory molecules such as eicosanoids and cytokines. Increased Omegs-3 intake preconception can improve egg quality, by reducing leptin levels. Sperm parameters are improved by reducing sperm DNA damage and increasing anti-oxidant levels.

 

B. Reduced risk of miscarriage.

During pregnancy the maternal immune system coverts to a low inflammatory state. This allows a tolerogenic response allowing implantation to occur. Increased blood flow, improved vascular endothelial development and deceased inflammation have all been shown to occur with high doses of Omega-3 fatty acids.

 

C. Reduction in preterm birth.

During pregnancy, omega-3 supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in early preterm birth (<34 weeks) and preterm birth. (<37 weeks). A Cochrane review of 70 controlled trials documented that fish oil supplementation reduced the risk for low birth infants and the risk of perinatal deaths.

EPA and DHA play important roles in preventing pregnancy complications.

 

 

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