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A fish-rich diet of the Eskimos’ benefits the Heart

Although 70% Alaskan Eskimos are overweight or obese, they did not show the same risk factors for heart disease as the US population.  They also had a lower prevalence of diabetes.  The latest study suggested that an Omega-3 rich diet may offer protection against some of the harmful effects of obesity.

It has been known that Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with favorable, and obesity with unfavorable, concentrations of chronic disease risk biomarkers.

In a cross-sectional study, the researchers analyzed data from 330 people living in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta region of south-west Alaska, who typically consume around 20 times as much omega-3 fats from fish as the average American.  They have similar overweight and obesity levels to those in the US overall but their prevalence of type 2 diabetes is significantly lower, at 3.3% versus 7.7%.

The researchers examined whether high eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acid intakes, measured as percentages of total red blood cell (RBC) fatty acids, modify associations of obesity with chronic disease risk biomarkers.

The study found that those with the highest levels of the omega-3 fish oils docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid had the lowest triglyceride and C-reactive protein levels.  High RBC EPA and DHA were associated with attenuated dyslipidemia and low-grade systemic inflammation among overweight and obese persons. This may help inform recommendations for Omega-3 fatty acid intakes in the reduction of obesity-related disease risk.

Z Makhoul et al; European Journal of Clinical Nutrition; advance online publication 23 March 2011; doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.39

2 Responses

  1. How much oily fish should you eat to not have to eat food supplements?

    To reach the daily requirement of omega-3, you should ideally eat oily fish 2-3 times a week. Then ence of herring, salmon and anchovies.

    The daily dose of omega-3 recommended to be at least 1 gram of pure omega-3. Gi Lunch

  2. the FDA is not cneivncod. The Japanese apparently love the stuff (algae).What’s the real evidence for chlorella?

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