Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids that humans cannot produce, meaning they must be obtained from dietary sources. But relying on dietary sources alone may not be enough; supplementing your diet with fish oil has become a better alternative.

Fish oil lowers heart rate

There is significant evidence that omega-3 fatty acids have a beneficial effect on heart arrhythmias (irregular heart beat), which can lead to a decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. New analyses indicate that regular fish oil intake could correspond to as much as a 5% reduction in population-wide sudden deaths.

A meta-analysis published in the journal Circulation further confirms the association between omega-3 fatty acids and heart health. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health compiled statistical data from thirty studies published from 1996 to 2005. These studies involved nearly 1,700 individuals treated with fish oil or placebo for up to one year. The average combined dose of EPA and DHA was 3.5 grams/day for an average of 8 weeks.

The overall estimated change in heart rate of those treated with fish oil was 1.6 beats per minute. The reduction in heart rate was even greater in trials where the participants had higher baseline heart rates. In those studies, treatment with fish oil resulted in a decreased heart rate of 2.5 beats per minutes. There was no evidence of a dose-response effect, and heart rate was not significantly different between higher and lower doses compared with placebo.

Although the overall effect of fish oil on heart rate appears small, researchers estimate that on a population-wide basis this could correspond to as much as a 5% reduction in sudden death.

Mozaffarian D, Geelen A, Brouwer IA, Geleijnse JM, Zock PL, Katan MB. Effect of fish oil on heart rate in humans. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Circulation 2005;112:1945-1952

Oily fish intake and dietary omega-3s may improve eye health

According to new research, eating one portion per week of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by over 50 percent.

Fish intake, the major source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are two types of AMD: wet and dry. Of these two types, wet AMD is the primary cause of vision loss.

In a study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers recruited 105 people (age 65 and over) with wet AMD and 2170 healthy people to act as controls, then compared their dietary habits using questionnaires. The scientists then investigated the association of oily fish dietary DHA and EPA with wet AMD.

Compared to people who consumed less than one portion of fish per week, participants who consumed at least one serving of oily fish per week had a 50 percent reduction in risk of developing wet AMD. In addition, people who got a least 300mg per day of DHA and EPA were 68 and 71 percent less likely to have wet AMD than those with lower consumptions.

The results of this study support previous research indicating a protective benefit of omega-3s against the onset of AMD. The benefit may be due in part to their important role in the layer of nerve cells in the retina.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 88, No. 2, 398-406, August 2008

Flaxseed oil and fish oil raise omega-3 fatty acid levels in human blood cells

Fish oil supplementation is known to result in an increase in plasma omega-3 fatty acid content, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in plants, is the direct precursor of EPA and DHA and should show effects similar to fish oil. Until now, however, this has been challenged because of reported low conversion of ALA into DHA. A recent study provides evidence that the ALA supplemented from flaxseed oil is effectively converted to EPA and DHA and accumulated in human blood cells.

Recently reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers designed a clinical trial in which flax oil, fish oil, and sunflower oil (placebo group) capsules were given to 62 firefighters. The firefighters were randomly divided into 6 experimental groups receiving 1.2, 2.4, or 3.6 grams of flax oil/day; 0.6 or 1.2 grams of fish oil/day; or 1 gram of sunflower oil/day for 12 weeks. Blood was drawn every 2 weeks, and the total phospholipid fatty acid composition of red blood cells was determined.

As anticipated, fish oil produced a rapid increase in DHA and total omega-3 fatty acids. The consumption of either 2.4 or 3.6 grams of flaxx oil/day was sufficient to significantly increase blood levels of ALA, EPA, and DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) fatty acid content.

The consumption of ALA-enriched supplements for 12 weeks was sufficient to elevate blood levels of EPA and docosapentaeoic acid content, which shows the effectiveness of ALA conversion and accumulation into red blood cells. The amounts of ALA required to obtain these effects are amounts that are easily achieved in the general population by dietary modification or by modest dosages of omega-3 rich foods such as flax oil.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 88, No. 3, 801-809, September 2008

The Straits Times name USANA BiOmega-3 the TOP 3

The Straits Times Mind Your Body supplement on April 26, 2006 has named USANA BiOmega-3 as one of only three brands available in Singapore which are listed as "Best Choices".

This was based on a study by Environmental Defense, a leading U.S. non-profit organisation which has been studying fish oil and fish oil supplements since 1967. It compared 75 brands of fish oil around the world and rated them according to purity. USANA BiOmega-3 among the purest and the most outstanding value for money because this BiOmega-3 comes with a high content of EPA and DHA.

USANA's BiOmega fish oil approved by ConsumerLab.com

USANA's BiOmega fish oil supplement was evaluated and approved by ConsumerLab.com, LLC. A leading provider of independent product test results and information, ConsumerLab.com helps consumers and healthcare professionals evaluate health and wellness products.

ConsumerLab.com reviewed BiOmega as part of a larger evaluation of dietary supplements sold in the United States that claim to contain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Products were tested for their omega-3 levels; mercury, lead and PCB contamination; and signs of decomposition. BiOmega received an approved rating in all three testing categories. The review can be found on the company's website at http://www.consumerlab.com/.

ConsumerLab.com stated in its product review that the quality of fish oil and other omega-3 supplements is an important issue because supplement levels vary depending on the source and method of processing. Fish also can have accumulated toxins that could potentially contaminate supplement. USANA uses a double molecular distillation process to manufacture its BiOmega supplement, ensuring the highest possible purity from mercury, PCBs, pesticides and other heavy metals.

You may find out more detail about USANA at the following website.


May everybody have a very good health! Take care of yourself!