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Eskimo Study Backs Omega-3 Benefits

A study conducted recently among Eskimos found that consuming very high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids may significantly reduce the risk of chronic disease.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and published in the October 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

This study builds on research that started accumulating in the 1970's when scientists sought to understand why Eskimos have an astoundingly low prevalence of heart disease despite eating high fat diets.

For this particular study, researchers analyzed 357 Eskimos’ blood levels of the two most important fatty acids, EPA and DHA.

They found that as blood levels of EPA and DHA increased, levels of numerous markers of cardiovascular disease improved. These markers included reductions in triglyceride levels and inflammation and an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol.

Although this was not the first study to highlight this association, these findings were unique in that they looked directly at the individual biomarkers of chronic disease rather than looking simply at the overall association between disease rates and omega-3 intake.

This study provides yet more evidence that omega-3's may reduce the risk of chronic disease and cardiovascular disease. In addition, other studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of some cancers, improve joint health and even provide a boost to your mood.

Taking a high quality supplement is a good way to increase omega-3 intake, just be sure that the supplement you choose is certified for purity and high in DHA and EPA, the two most important omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna are also high in omega-3's.

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