Risk of Heart Disease
Fish oils have been celebrated for their health benefits for many years, and a newly published medical study seems to support those claims. In fact, the study indicates that the advantages of fish oils could be even more significant than first thought.
The medical study was carried out over a period of several years by doctors at the Ochsner Medical Clinic, based in New Orleans. They discovered that it was particularly Omega 3 that was effective in the prevention of heart disease and strokes, reducing the risk of these condition s by up to 30% in healthy people, as well as those who had some recorded cardiovascular illness.
Nutritionists have welcomed the study with one stating that 'fish oils could be a way to radically reduce the number of heart attacks'. Currently heart disease claims the lives of over 110,000 people a year, making it the biggest killer in England.
As Omega 3 (also known as an essential fatty acid) cannot be produced naturally by the human body it must be consumed within the diet or taken as a nutritional supplement. Omega 6 is also an essential fatty acid, although the over-abundance of mono-unsaturated fats in the modern European diet means that it is actually too rich in Omega 6.
According to the Food Standards Agency the best way to intake Omega 3 in your diet is to eat coldwater fish such as Mackerel and Herring twice a week. Unfortunately, only one third of a portion is actually consumed per week by the average Briton.
Fish oils are associated with many other health benefits as well as the well-known cardiovascular and circulatory benefits. Eye health and joint health are amongst the other improvements to health which have been attributed to an increased Omega 3 intake.
There is currently no RDA set for Omega 3; however experts recommend that you take a supplement containing around 500 - 600 mg of EPA/DHA to reap the full benefits, particularly if you are unable to eat the full 2 portions of fish each week that is recommended.