- High levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in the blood can lower the risk of all-cause
mortality in postmenopausal women, finds a new study.
- About one gram of EPA
(eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) per day can
increase Omega-3 levels.
- Fish, fish oil, dairy products,
and eggs are the common sources of EPA and DHA.
levels of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the red blood cells
were associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality in postmenopausal
women, finds a new study.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Associated with Lower Mortality Rate
In the study,
the scientists examined the associations with Omega-3
index, which is a significant predictor of all-cause mortality. The levels of
EPA and DHA were examined in red blood cells.
‘Postmenopausal women with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood are 20% less likely to die from any cause.’
team analyzed data from more than 6,500 women between the ages of 65-80, who
participated in the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study, which began in
PUFA levels were first recorded at the beginning of the
study in 1996. The health outcomes of the participants were tracked and
measured through August 2014. However, the primary outcome was
to track the all-cause mortality.
After a follow-up period of 14.9 years, about 28.5 percent of the women had
passed away. A variety of lifestyle and other factors such as smoking, physical
activity and history of cardiovascular disease were analyzed.
Harris, the lead author of the study and founder of OmegaQuant Analytics, said,
the largest -but far from the only - study to confirm that blood levels of EPA
and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, in this case, the omega-3 index, are independent
predictors of risk for death."
findings support the view that higher EPA and DHA omega-3 levels are associated
with better overall health."
level of Omega-3 fatty acid was 3.6 percent, and
the highest level was 7.1 percent. Women with the highest levels of Omega-3 fatty acids were 20% less likely to die from any cause than
those in the lowest level.
estimated that approximately one gram of EPA and DHA per day were required
to increase omega-3 status.
adds to a larger body of evidence demonstrating the positive correlation
between higher omega-3 index levels and general wellness," said Adam
Ismail, Executive Director of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s
results gathered over a 15-year period support the notion that adequate Omega-3 intake is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, just like
exercise and following a well-balanced diet."
conducted by Murphy et al found that the Omega-3 levels
of more than 80 percent of Americans were below the Omega-3
index observed in the highest quartile in the current study. Other studies have
also found that significant reductions in mortality risk were associated with
the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
are essential fatty acids that play a vital role in
growth and development. EPA and DHA Omega-3s are found
in fish, fish oil, eggs, and dairy products. The levels of Omega-3 fatty acids can be increased by consuming salmon, tuna, and
One gram of
omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained by consuming two and a half to three salmon
fillets per week, according to the USDA Nutrient Database. Omega-3 supplements
such as soft gels (1-3) or liquid omega-3 supplement (1 teaspoon) can provide
the daily recommended intake.
Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating fatty fish (salmon, mackerel,
sardines, albacore tuna, lake trout, and herring ) at least two times a week.
According to the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) up to 3grams of EPA and DHA is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). In the current study, the higher level than 1 gram per
day is estimated as a requirement to move from the lowest to the highest level
of omega-3 status. However, it is wise to consult a physician or dietitian
before taking supplements. It is also important to test the levels of Omega-3 fatty acids before modifying the diet.
- William S. Harris, Juhua Luo James V. Pottala, Mark A. Espeland, Karen L. Margolis, Joann E. Manson, Lu Wang,Theodore M. Brasky, Jennifer G. Robinson. Red blood cell polyunsaturated fatty acids and mortality in the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (2017). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacl.2016.12.013
- DIETARY SOURCES OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS - (https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-02/g-sfl022117.php)
- Omega-3 fatty acids - (http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids )