Omega-3 Fatty Acids Lower Risk of Death by 85%

Omega-3 Supplements in BottleThis article originally appeared on Live in the Now.

Many people make the potentially fatal presumption that chronic diseases and premature aging are natural events that come with advancing years. A plethora of current research studies confirm that nothing could be further from the truth.

In addition to super-nutrients such as resveratrol, curcumin and vitamin D optimization, researchers publishing in Clinical Cardiology[1] and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition[2] provide documented evidence that beneficial omega-3 fatty acids from dietary sources and supplementation slash the overall risk of an early death.

Specifically, the long-chain fats DHA and EPA elicit a profound effect on the heart and brain to ameliorate chronic diseases that bring an early demise to millions of unsuspecting individuals each year.

EPA, DHA Lower Inflammation to Prevent Premature Death

Health-minded individuals today are used to hearing about the myriad of benefits associated with eating fish and supplementing with omega-3 fats. A wealth of peer-reviewed studies provide solid evidence that the DHA and EPA fatty acids help to prevent heart disease and sudden death from a heart attack, lower depression incidence and reduce stroke and dementia risks.

And new research shows that optimal omega-3 blood levels lower the risk of dying from all causes by 85 percent in high-risk patients who had suffered a prior heart attack.

Intrigued by the results of this research, scientists wanted to understand if mortality was affected in individuals with no evident heart disease. A group of men aged 64 to 76 years were supplemented with omega-3 fats (2.4 grams per day) for a period of three years. During that time, the participants showed a 47 percent reduction in risk of dying from any cause compared to a placebo group. Women experienced a 44 percent lower risk of death in a similar study.

Omega-3 Slashes All-Cause Mortality Risk in Half

Researchers from the American Heart Association journal Stroke[3] commented on the ground-breaking conclusions of multiple omega-3 studies, “Evidence from prospective secondary prevention studies suggests that EPA+DHA supplementation ranging from 0.5 to 1.8 g/d (either as fatty fish or supplements) significantly reduces subsequent cardiac and all-cause mortality.”

Omega-3 enriched foods and supplements help to improve the critical balance with omega-6 fats to lower systemic inflammation. This provides the primary risk-reduction mechanism associated with the long-chain fat.

In addition to fatty fish (salmon, snapper, scallops and shrimp), non-meat food sources of omega-3s include walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, raw tofu and cooked soybeans.

The body does not efficiently process EPA and DHA fats from vegetarian sources, though strong evidence exists that these food sources still provide exceptional health benefits.

To achieve optimal omega-3 blood saturation levels as referenced in these studies, nutrition experts recommend supplementing with 2.4 grams per day of combined EPA and DHA (read package labels to ensure proper dose).

When supplementing, check that the fish oil (krill oil is also an excellent option) is molecularly distilled to avoid contamination. If you’re interested in a high-quality omega-3 supplement, you can simply click here.

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[1] Marik PE and Varon J. Omega-3 dietary supplements and the risk of cardiovascular events: a systematic review. Clin Cardiol. 2009 Jul;32(7):365-72.

[2] Gopinath B et al. Consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids, fish, and nuts and risk of inflammatory disease mortality. Am J Clin Nutr. May 2011;3:5, 1073-1079.

[3] Kris-Etherton PM et al. Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 2002;106, 2747-2757.