Omega-3 Supplementation May Reduce Cancer Risk


The research on the benefits of Omega-3 supplementation expands almost daily.  This paper was very interesting in its methods and results.  I have read a number of papers that conclude that Omega-3 is beneficial for reducing inflammation, but having a positive effect on DNA is news to me.

This paper; Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation in healthy middle-aged and older adults: a randomized controlled trial was published in the August 2012 issue of the journal Brain Behavior and Immunology. The authors studied Omega-3 supplementation on overweight, sedentary, middle aged, American adults for 4 months compared to a similarly aged group given a placebo made up of a collection of fats an oils commonly found in the American Diet. The study group was further divided into a group that was given 1,250mg of Omega-3 once per day for four months and another that was given 2,500mg of Omega-3 once per day for four months. The authors used the pro-inflammatory cytokine  Interlukin-6 to measure the amount of inflammation in the bodies of the study participants. Interlukin-6 is a key factor in the start of the  inflammatory process in the body.telomere-what-we-lose-with-age

The group that took 1.250mg of O-3 had a 10% drop in serum IL-6 levels, the 2,500 group had a 12% drop, and the placebo group had a 36% increase in IL-6 levels. The O-3 group also had a 15% less oxidative stress compared to the placebo group, as measured by the presence of F2 isoprostanes which is a marker for free radical damage in the blood.  The authors also witnessed a re-lengthening of immune cell telomeres which is a remarkable finding. Telomeres are short segments of DNA that act as a cap on our DNA in each of our cells. Every time a cell divides the telomere shortens slightly.  Once the telomere gets to a critical level of shortening, the cell is more prone to being converted to a cancer cell or stop functioning all together.  In some studies the shortening of the telomere has been associated with an increased risk of degenerative diseases. The authors witnessing the re-lengthening of the telomere is a huge finding because it shows how O-3 use can reduce our risk for cancer and degenerative diseases.

The authors of this study conclude that O-3 supplementation can reduce inflammation in middle-aged, sedentary, overweight adults and thus have a broad range of possible positive health effects. This research adds to the evidence that O-3 use has a wide range of possible positive health effects.  This is largely because O-3 is an essential nutrient all of our cells require for proper functioning and it is largely absent in our diet today. When we start adding it back, even in small amounts, we see huge health benefits. If you have not looked into Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation you need to.  We can help you find a source of Omega-3 that fits your needs.

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Posted in Nutrition, Wellness

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