Omega 3 Fish Oil and Inflammation

Acute or Chronic Inflammation?

url1[1]While acute inflammation is the short term “normal” response to protects and heals the body after an injury or infection, chronic inflammation, also known as low-grade or systemic inflammation is the long term internal irritation that leads to many degenerative and chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, obesity-related diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases, and many types of cancer including breast and prostate cancers.

In the past was demonstrated omega-3 fatty acids to have a number of potentially heart-healthy effects, including reducing triglyceride levels, slightly raising levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, “thinning” the blood, reducing levels of homocysteine, and reducing blood pressure. But now, a new review of the last 60 years of medical data (from 1950 to 2013) confirmed that long-term supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA – from marine sources) reduce blood markers of inflammation and the risk of many chronic inflammatory-related diseases. The study was published in the PLoS ONE, on February 05, 2014, and involved in total 4,601 participants from 68 randomized, controlled trials of healthy subjects with chronic autoimmune diseases, and subjects with chronic non-autoimmune diseases (ie. cardiovascular disease).

Markers of Inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP), Tumour Necrosis Factor α (TNF-α) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6)were analyzed and strong evidence has been provided for the association of C-Reactive Protein, IL-6 and TNF-α with obesity, CVD, diabetes, many forms of cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and ulcerative colitis.

  • C-reactive protein (CRP) – a reactant protein produced by the liver, which could increase 100 times within 24-48 hours during an inflammatory process and is an important market for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), diabetes obesity and cancer.
  • Tumour Necrosis Factor α (TNF-α) – is a group of cytokines (proteins like molecules) produced by the macrophages (involved in the in the regulation of immune cells, and when a disruption of TNF occur, can cause cell death (apoptosis), cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • Interleukin 6 (IL-6) – is another class of pro-inflammatory cytokines, produced by the T-cells and macrophages, (a type of white blood cells) in response to inflammation.

Researchers also separated studies using omega-3s from supplementation as active treatment with those using omega-3s from dietary intake (fish consumption) and included them into different meta-analyses. The researchers founded that that omega-3 from supplements, decrease considerable the CRP, TNF-α and IL-6, while dietary fish was effective in lowering only the IL-6 but did not appear to lower CRP or TNF-a.

Problems with Fish or Supplements

515px-MercuryFoodChain-01[1]Consuming fish more than twice per week, may increase the risk of mercury contamination. Same is true with most omega-3 fatty acids supplements, which are obtained from natural sources (fish oils). Levels of omega-3 (DHA and EPA) in supplements can vary, depending on the source and method of processing.  Contamination has also been an issue, because fish can accumulate toxins such as mercury, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Mercury can damage the nervous system — particularly in a fetus. Dioxins and PCBs may be carcinogenic at low levels of exposure over time and may have other harmful effects.

Recently ConsumerLab.com selected 35 omega-3 products, for review of the freshness, purity, and the amount of omega-3 fatty acids claimed. Unfortunately eleven products didn’t pass their testing. So be careful what supplement you choose.

My Recommendation:

Eat fish no more than twice a week and take a high quality purified fish oils daily, additionally to a high quality multivitamin supplement that has antioxidants and natural plant extracts.

To ensure purity and potency, I usually recommend products from USANA Health Sciences and in this particular case, the BiOmega-3. Manufactured in a state-of-the art facility, USANA’s BiOmega is virtually free of contaminants, which are eliminated through a double-molecular distillation process that ensures the highest possible purity. Through this process, heavy metals, PCBs, pesticides, and organic residues are effectively eliminated. Also free of trans-fatty acids, each capsule contains 2 mg of mixed natural tocopherols (vitamin E) to minimize oxidation of the omega-3 fatty acids and maintain product quality during storage. In short, BiOmega is one of the purest, highest quality products available on the market today.

POM BiOmega Rotation[1]You can buy USANA Health Sciences products at the preferred client status, in more than 20 countries around the world, including Romania, and many other European countries. Visit my USANA business page, http://www.mariofit.usana.com/ click Change Market (on the right top corner) and choose the country. Then click on the PRODUCTS, and follow instructions. You can also choose to do your FREE Health Assessment, without any obligation. For additional information please contact me.

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