Cardiovascular health: alarming new findings
German scientists have recently made the worrying observation for cardiovascular health that many individuals could be low in omega-3. The importance of these fatty acids in maintaining good health is widely-recognised, as stated in many reports on the subject 1
including our article on health-essential fatty acids
Worrying findings from Germany
Though omega-3s are now recognised as essential, it seems women in the West often have low levels of these fatty acids. To explore this further, researchers at the University of Hanover in Germany conducted a study involving 446 German women aged 40-602
. With a particular focus on levels of omega 3 fatty acids in the membranes of erythrocytes - or red blood cells as they are more commonly known - the study revealed that 62.8% of the women had low levels of omega 3. The researchers also looked at the effect of variables such as smoking and taking hormonal contraceptives and found that women using this form of birth control had lower levels of omega 3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Omega-3, essential fatty acids
In order to benefit from omega-3 fatty acids, we need to ingest them from the diet as the body cannot produce them – hence their classification as essential fatty acids. They are found in many everyday foods such as vegetable oils and oily fish. However, a number of recent studies have shown that today’s societies are often low in omega 3 due to food processing and intensive modernisation of the food chain. Fortunately, it is possible to obtain an optimal intake of omega 3 via other routes. For example, fish oil-based dietary supplements standardised in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are available from the Supersmart catalogue, including the formulation Super Omega 3
. A new supplement rich in omega 3 has also been developed from krill oil
. Krill are tiny crustaceans, the word coming from the Norwegian for ‘small fry fish’.
> Sources :
1. Anses - Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail, Les acides gras oméga 3 - Fonctions dans l'organisme, et besoins alimentaires, Mis à jour le 07/06/2016.
2. Sandra Gellert, Jan Philipp Schuchardt, Andreas Hahn, Low long chain omega-3 fatty acid status in middle-aged women, Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, January 25, 2017.
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