Top 10 Diseases related to Omega-3 Deficiency
- Heart Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Breast Cancer
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Interested in Health Conditions and Omega 3 (Click here for webpage)
This document covers the 43 conditions listed below as to how Omega-3 benefit these health conditions. Some data from studies is included. There have been many more studies conducted on the benefits of Omega-3s in various journals and papers. Click here to view (PDF) document.
Acne, Aging, Aids, Allergies, Alzheimer’s, Angina, Arteriosclerosis (Artery Hardening), Arthritis, Asthma, Atopic Dermatitis, Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism, Autoimmune Diseases, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disorders, Crohn’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Depression, Diabetes, Dyslexia, Dysmenorrhea (Menstrual Cramping), Eczema, Fatty Liver, Fibromyalgia, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Hyperactivity (ADHD), Kidney Disorders, Learning Disorders , Ligament Disorders, Lupus, Macular Degeneration, Menopause, Mental Illness, Multiple Sclerosis, Obesity, Pregnancy, Prostate Cancer, Psoriasis, Raynaud’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Schizophrenia, Stroke, Ulcerative Colitis, Vision Disorder.
1. Omega-3 Kills Cancer Cells
Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oils, has been shown to reduce the size of tumours and enhance the positive effects of the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, while limiting its harmful side effects. The rat experiments, described in BioMed Central’s open access journal Cell Division, provide some support for the plethora of health benefits often ascribed to Omega-3 acids. Professor A. M. El-Mowafy led a team of researchers from Mansoura University, Egypt, who studied DHA’s effects on solid tumours growing in mice, as well as investigating how this fatty acid interacts with cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug that is known to cause kidney damage. El-Mowafy said, “DHA elicited prominent chemopreventive effects on its own, and appreciably augmented those of cisplatin as well. Furthermore, this study is the first to reveal that DHA can obliterate lethal cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity and renal tissue injury.”
DHA is an Omega-3 fatty acid that is commonly found in cold-water fish oil, and some vegetable oils. It is a major component of brain gray matter and of the retina in most mammalian species and is considered essential for normal neurological and cellular developments. According to the authors, “While DHA has been tentatively linked with protection against cardiovascular, neurological and neoplastic diseases, there exists a paucity of research information, in particular regarding its interactions with existing chemotherapy drugs”. The researchers found that, at the molecular level, DHA acts by reducing leukocytosis (white blood cell accumulation), systemic inflammation, and oxidative stress – all processes that have been linked with tumour growth.
El-Mowafy and his colleagues have called for greater deployment of Omega-3 in the fight against cancer. They write, “Our results suggest a new, fruitful drug regimen in the management of solid tumors based on combining cisplatin, and possibly other chemotherapeutics, with DHA”.
2. Heart Disease
They say – one of the best ways to help prevent and treat heart disease is to eat a low-fat diet and to replace foods rich in saturated and trans-fat with those that are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including Omega-3 fatty acids). Clinical evidence suggests that EPA and DHA found in fish oil and EPA, DHA and DPA found in seal oil will help reduce risk factors for heart disease including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. There is also strong evidence that these substances can help prevent and treat atherosclerosis by inhibiting the development of plaque and blood clots, each of which tends to clog arteries. Clinical studies of heart attack survivors have found that daily Omega-3 fatty acid supplements dramatically reduce the risk of death, subsequent heart attacks, and stroke.
Doctors have long recognized that Omega-3 fatty acids appear to reduce your risk of dying of heart disease. Health Canada, the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation, the World Health Organization, American Heart Association and the Canadian Cancer Society all recommend an increase in dietary Omega-3.
A stroke has become known as a brain attack and is the third leading cause of death in this country. A stroke cuts off oxygen to the brain causing the death of vital nerve cells. There are two types of strokes: one is called an ischemic stroke where blood flow is blocked and not enough oxygen is getting to the brain. The events leading up to this type of stroke is similar to those in heart attacks. This type accounts for two thirds of all strokes.
The second type of stroke is a hemorrhaged stroke where the artery supplying blood and oxygen to the brain bursts because of weakness in the vessel wall, usually caused by high blood pressure. The nerve cells that are normally supplied by the burst artery are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. Hence reducing elevated blood pressure has become the first line of defense to avoid a hemorrhaged stroke.
Large doses of marine oil (Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids) have been shown to reduce blood pressure and also reduce blood clot formation. Dutch researchers have confirmed a connection between fish consumption (as little as one 3 oz. serving/week), and a reduced risk of stroke, noting that marine oils have the ability to retard coagulation – a thickening of the blood that can lead to stroke inducing clots.
4. Omega-3/DHA Diet Lowers Alzheimer’s Risk
Results from a new study conducted at Tufts University suggest that having increased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels in the blood daily are associated with a significant 48 percent reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in elderly men and women.
Researchers at Tufts University in Boston measured the fatty acid content of plasma obtained from 1137 men and women with a mean age of 75 who were part of the Framingham Heart Study. The subjects’ diets were assessed by questionnaire and those free of dementia were followed for a mean of 10 years. During the study they were assessed for the onset of new dementia including Alzheimer’s Disease.
Participants who had diets rich in DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid, reduced their risk of developing dementia considerably compared with those whose diets contained low amounts of DHA. These results are consistent with a study published in Archives of Neurologyin July 2003.
“These dramatic results show how older adults can play a significant role in their neurological health by increasing their intake of Omega-3, especially, DHA,” said Ernst Schaefer, MD, senior scientist and director of the Lipid Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts University.
“Until now there have been only two predictors for Alzheimer’s Disease, age and genotype,” stated Henry “Pete” Linsert, Jr, Chairman and CEO of Martek. “This study suggests that low dietary intake of DHA may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease. Martek looks forward to additional research to provide more evidence on this possible risk factor.”
Taken from Dr. Mercola’s site – One of the crucial building blocks to better health is to balance the amount the fats–Omega-6 vs. Omega-3–in your daily diet. People consume way too much omega-6 fats and not nearly enough Omega-3 to be healthy. The ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats should be 1:1. Today, our ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 averages from 20:1 to 50:1!
Recently, a group of neuroscientists found another reason for you to consider ramping up your Omega-3 fats: A diet high in the Omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) helps protect the brain against the memory loss and cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. This new research suggests that a DHA-rich diet may lower one’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease and may help slow progression of the disorder in its later stages. It also proves, one scientist said, our diets affect how our brain cells communicate with each other under the duress of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers focused on Alzheimer’s damage to synapses, the chemical connections between brain cells that enable memory and learning. By using mice bred with genetic mutations that cause the brain lesions linked to advanced Alzheimer’s disease, the UCLA researchers created a mouse model to test environmental risk factors for the disorder. When the mice developed the lesions, but showed minimal memory loss or synaptic brain damage, however, the scientists took a closer look at the animals’ diet and found they were eating Omega-3 laden foods.
Then the research team swapped safflower oil for the soy, fish and seal to create an unhealthful diet depleted of Omega-3 fatty acids. They divided the animals into two sets of older mice, which already showed brain lesions but displayed no major loss of brain-cell activity. The researchers placed both groups on the new diet, but fed the second group DHA supplements from algae.
After five months, researchers found high amounts of synaptic damage in the brains of the Alzheimer’s-diseased mice that ate the DHA-depleted diet, which closely resembled those we see in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The human brain absorbs DHA rapidly, making a constant supply critical for proper cognitive function, eye development and mental tasks. DHA helps keep the brain membrane fluid, moves proteins and helps to convert signals from other parts of the body into action.
Consumption of marine mammal oil and salmon high in Omega-3 fatty acid appears to lower the risk of glucose intolerance, and is a potentially modifiable risk factor for NDDM in Alaska Natives. A look at the eating habits and blood tests of 666 people over age 40 revealed that those who ate salmon every day had a 50% lower chance of having any glucose intolerance (which include diabetics and pre-diabetics) than those who ate fish less often. The risk dropped even lower (to an 80% reduction) for daily consumption of marine mammal oil, particularly seal oil.
A direct, positive relationship was found between cellular membrane phospholipid Omega-3 fatty acid content and both metabolic rate and insulin action. Omega-3 fatty acid in a diet supplement has specific implications for the symptoms of insulin resistance. Published research PubMed
Diabetes can damage the large blood vessels increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and in the limbs, gangrene. Many studies now suggest that Omega-3 is invaluable in combating circulation problems associated with diabetes by rendering the walls of the veins and arteries smoother and more elastic.
6. Obesity: Recent Study Reinforces the Benefits of Omega-3 for Weight Control
LYSAKER, Norway, January 24, 2005 — A recent article published in Lipids 2004 reviewed effects of omega-3s and weight control. The study reaffirms research concluding the importance of Omega-3s for general health and weight control.
“It is well established that a diet rich in seafood prevents weight gain but the mechanisms responsible for this effect has not been known,” stated Morten Bryhn, M.D., Ph.D., director of research and development for Pronova Biocare. “This article presents effects on weight reduction in obesity prone animals using different Omega-3 concentrates containing EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) or DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These animals behave very much like humans in the way that overfeeding leads to severe obesity.”
Data from the study clearly demonstrated that the Omega-3 concentrate rich in DHA increased oxidation of fat by activating genes that breaks down fat in the mitochondriae and peroxisomes. These effects not only showed weight reduction but they also showed weight gain prevention in animals given free access to food. Additionally, the Omega-3 concentrate not only intensified breakdown of fat but also reduced the number of fat cells, especially in the abdominal region. The effects were augmented in animals on a concomitant 10% calorie reduction regimen.
This regimen has also been tested in a pilot study, presented at the North American Association for Study of Obesity (NAASO) Annual Meeting, November 2004, including 20 women with severe obesity (Body Mass Index, BMI, more that 40). The women were already on a very low calorie diet. The group given the Omega-3 reduced their weight by 20% more than the group given placebo after only three weeks of treatment. BMI was reduced by as much as 15%. The effects were highly impressive because of the short treatment period.
“Being overweight is not only a problem of too much food and too little exercise but also a problem of bombarding genes with signals leading to fat accumulation. A diet rich in red meat and vegetable oils increases accumulation of fat in fat tissue because of a chronic disarray of genes responsible for handling fatty acids and carbohydrates,” stated Dr. Bryhn. “The number of fat cells increases and turnover of carbohydrates into fat is facilitated. The net result is being overweight which leads to obesity that is difficult to curb by calorie reduction and exercise only. Genes are constantly programmed to a situation of starvation and they need to be reprogrammed. Omega-3 fatty acids seem to do exactly that.”
According to Dr. Bryhn, the process of reprogramming genes is slow so no drastic effect is to be expected. Weight control should be a combination of: reduced intake of red meat, saturated fat and foods containing vegetable oils and carbohydrates, regular exercise and increased intake of Omega-3 fatty acids high in DHA.
The health benefits of marine Omega-3 fatty acids are increasingly being accepted worldwide. The scientific evidence continues to mount, representing an opportunity for the treatment and prevention of common diseases. The American Heart Association and the World Health Organization both support the addition of Omega-3 fatty acids to diets citing their importance in maintaining good health.
7. Cardiovascular Disorders
The International Arteriosclerosis Project (1992)
Since 1990, researchers from the Louisiana State University have analyzed the coronary arteries of 23,000 deceased persons from 16 countries. The interim results reveal that the Greenlanders have the lowest rate of arteriosclerosis among all those tested.
Some of the fascinating early results are as follows:
- The Inuit who ate a modern diet had the same rate of this disease as ordinary Europeans and therefore the results were not based on heredity.
- The Inuit who lived on a traditional diet of marine mammals (mainly seal) had, at the age of seventy, the same coronary artery elasticity as a 20 year old European.
- Some European countries may eat more fish than is found in the traditional Greenland diet, but have a far higher incidence of arteriosclerosis and, in general, higher levels of cholesterol.
At the National Hospital in Nuuk, a person with very high cholesterol was given various diets and medicines without major impact. When he was placed on a traditional Greenland diet (mostly of seal), his cholesterol level fell dramatically in one month.
The Orsoq Study
Dr. E. Jorgenson of the Center of Arctic Environmental Medicine in Denmark recently presented the initial results of the Orsoq Seal Research Project, a pilot study on the effect of seal oil on human health. These preliminary findings indicate that the general population of Denmark, fed on a modern diet, was ten times more likely to develop cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases that Greenlanders on their traditional diet of seal, a food high in Omega-3.
“Inuit Whaling”, Inuit Circumpolar Conference, June 1992, special issue. Gerth Mulved and Henning Sloth Pederson, Doctors of Medicine Dronning Ingrids Hospital.
Numerous studies show that increased long term intake of marine oils, rich in EPA and DHA, reduces the morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disorders in middle-aged men. Conflicting data exist as to whether it is EPA or DHA, or the combination which is responsible for the various beneficial effects. In any event, it is known that there may be limits to the elongation and desaturation of EPA to DHA, whereas the retroconversion of DHA to EPA occurs.
-Harris et al., Grimsgaard et al., 1995
It is generally agreed that Omega-3 fatty acids moderate hyperlipidemia, particularly hypertriglyceridemia, very rapidly in a dose dependent manner. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the triglyceride levels in the blood by a reduced synthesis and secretion of VLDL particles from the liver and enhances the in vivo liposysis of the VLDL-particles. An improved balance between LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol is also normally found, whereas the effect on total cholesterol is marginal. A large number of studies report such findings. Omega-3 fatty acids influence on platelet aggregability at rather low doses (50-350mg), whereas significant effects on blood lipids and blood pressure can be achieved at higher doses (2 g/day).
-Christensen et al, 1995
Recent data (from a parallel group study) show that 3g pure DHA (95% DHA, ethyl ester) produce a 30-40% greater reduction in triglyceride levels in plasma than a corresponding amount of EPA (90% EPA, ethyl ester). DHA also seems to have a more marked effect on increasing HDL-cholesterol, whereas EPA was found to slightly decrease both total cholesterol and APO-1 in normal subjects
-Grimsgaard et al, 1995
This study suggests that DHA might be more beneficial than EPA in terms of effects on blood lipids. Others have reported that DHA-rich oils (4g/day, 42% DHA) are less active than EPA-rich oils and fish diet on both fasting and postprandial triglyceride levels.
A positive correlation has been observed between supplementation with EPA and DHA (85% ethyl ester) and improvements in blood pressure and heart rate in subjects suffering from mild hypertension. Recently published studies showed that DHA (EE), not EPA (EE), lowered the heart rate in healthy humans.
-Bönaa el al, 1995
Even short time supplementation with large amounts (19g/day) of a combination of EPA and DHA (as ethyl esters) has shown to have long-lasting effects on the human platelet aggregation, an effect suggested by inhibition on TXA2/PGH2 receptor by EPA and/or DHA-sensitive mechanisms.
-Di Minno et al, 1995
Studies on cardiac arrhythmias do not give any clear evidence on the efficacy of Omega-3 fatty acids. However, a trend towards reduction in ventricular extracystoles in patients with ventricular tachyarrhythmias has been observed after supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acids.
-Christiansen et al,1995
Animal studies show that DHA may inhibit ventricular tachyarrhytmias more significantly than EPA
and also increases the cardiac contractibility.
-Grynberg et al, 1995
Recent data also show that DHA has more pronounced inhibitory effect on the expression of cytokines in endothelial cells, which clearly downregulate the inflammatory process and may inhibit the progression of arteriosclerosis.
-DeCaterina & Libby, 1995
Epidemiological and clinical research have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids intervene in the arteriosclerotic process at all steps, and that there probably are synergistic effects of EPA and DHA at many levels.
8. Omega-3 and Multiple Sclerosis
The following was from www.thenutritionreporter.com
One factor in MS may be the consumption of Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs), commonly known as fish oils. In Japan and along the Norwegian coast, where fish consumption is high, the incidence of MS is lower than one would expect based on latitude. “This suggests as one possibility, that marine oils may be protective,” Hutter suggested.
Indeed, studies have shown that fish oil supplements, low intake of saturated fats, and high consumption of unsaturated fats tend to reduce symptoms of MS. The Omega-3 fish oils are known to reduce inflammation in allergic conditions.
Hutter also believes that longer periods of visible light may release carotenoids, such as beta- and alpha-carotene, in the eye, preventing MS-associated eye damage. In addition, the carotenoids may moderate allergic inflammation.
Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., of Victoria, Canada, concurs. “Animals and plants living in cold areas, such as Canada, must have more unsaturated fatty acids (such as EFAs) to increase winter hardiness. This is why fish from cold waters, seals in northern Canada, and plant oils, such as linseed oil and canola oil, are richer in Omega-3 essential fatty acids than animals living in warm waters and oils from warm-weather plants, such as olive, peanut and coconut oils.”
This is also why, Dr. Hoffer believes, people living in cold climates need more EFAs. Yet, he says, studies have shown that modern diets contain only 20 percent of the EPAs provided by earlier diets. While the average person gets by, people genetically susceptible to MS are at greater risk.
“Since winter hardiness is a function of the mass of the body, of which the brain is a minor component, then it is likely the limited quantities of EFA will be sequestered by the tissues most in need of winter hardiness properties, i.e., skin, subcutaneous tissues, muscles and ligaments. Any deficiency is apt to be shown in internal organs, including the central nervous system,” explains Dr. Hoffer.
The following was from www.ms.about.com/od/alternativemedicine/a/omega_three.htm
For those of us with multiple sclerosis (MS), our ears perk up when we hear about Omega-3 fatty acids contributing to “brain health.” There are even some books and experts that claim that Omega-3s can reverse our MS disease progression and lessen our MS symptoms. So, what is the deal?
Why Should People with MS Care About Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
In some studies, low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids were found in people with MS. While this does not automatically mean that these low levels have anything to do with our MS symptoms or disease, some studies have suggested that Omega-3 fatty acids can help us.
9. Breast Cancer
Breast cancer rates differ greatly between countries. They are 5 times higher in the United States than in Japan and twice as high in France as in neighboring Spain. Differences in overall fat consumption in these countries have been extensively studied, but no link to breast cancer incidence has been detected so far. A large team of researchers from the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Finland, Switzerland, Germany and the United States now report that, while overall fat consumption may not be significant, the makeup of the fats could be.
As part of the large EURAMIC Study the researchers investigated the link between the content of polyunsaturated fats in adipose (fat) tissue of postmenopausal women and breast cancer incidence. A total of 291 women with breast cancer and 351 controls were included in the study which involved 5 European medical centers. The women all had samples of adipose tissue taken (from the buttocks) and analyzed to determine the concentration of the main polyunsaturated fatty acids: the Omega-3 acids – alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and the Omega-6 acids – linoleic acid (LA) and its metabolite arachidonic acid (AA).
The study found no significant correlation between Omega-3 fatty acid levels and breast cancer incidence, but did find a trend to higher incidences with increasing levels of Omega-6 fatty acids in the adipose tissue samples. The researchers also found a significant association between the ratio of EPA and DHA to LA levels and breast cancer incidence in 4 out of 5 of the medical centers involved in the study. Pooling all results showed that women with the highest ratio had a 35% lower breast cancer incidence than women with the lowest ratio. In other words, women with a relatively high adipose tissue level of EPA and DHA (the main components of fish oils) and a relatively low level of LA and its metabolites had a lower breast cancer risk. The researchers note that LA (linoleic acid) is the precursor of certain eicosanoids which may promote tumour growth. EPA and DHA inhibit the production of these harmful compounds and may also, on their own, inhibit tumour growth. The researchers also point out that several epidemiological studies have found an inverse correlation between fish consumption and breast cancer incidence and urge further studies to determine the relationship between the dietary intake of specific fatty acids and breast cancer risk.
10. ADD/ADHD: Is ADD a disease that needs to be treated with a drug?
ADHD is a “spectrum disorder” with a wide array of symptoms that vary from person to person. (It is not a disorder unique to children; many adults suffer from ADD/ADHD and accompanying brain fog). Symptoms range from inability to focus or daydreaming to inappropriate outbursts and hyperactivity. Genetic factors, hormonal imbalances and inadequate diet may all be involved.
Targeting the nutritional factor is a good place to begin. Introducing a whole food diet with a good scheduled routine which includes much needed unstructured playtime and exercise provides a solid basis on which to build.
Rather than being deficient in a drug, these children are desperately in need of a nutrient that is absolutely essential for brain function and well-being. 82% of children diagnosed with ADD show deficiencies in Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids. Auum Omega 3 products provide a whole food animal-sourced supplement that provides DHA in nature’s perfect balance with EPA and DPA for enhanced brain function. The sublingual formulation delivers such optimum nutrition – 1st stop the brain.
Important Study with Children: Auum Clinical Research Study (PDF).
Why does Auum Omega 3 work?
Our brain is made up of 20% Omega-3. Breast milk provides nutrition rich in DPA and DHA for the rapid brain growth in the early months.
Neurons rich in DHA are much more sensitive to the naturally-occurring neurotransmitters – serotonin and dopamine, both of which are necessary for a sense of well-being and calm.
What results have been obtained in children taking Auum Auum Omega 3?
- Better focus and concentration
- Better sleep patterns
- Increased communication skills
- Disappearance of temper tantrums
- Less aggressive behaviour
- More sociable and considerate
- More even mood Improved compliance
- More impulse control
- Improvement in urinary issues