Global Survey Finds Worldwide Omega-3s Levels are Too Low
A new world map showing omega-3 consumption levels across the world has found that consumption of omega-3-rich foods and omega-3 supplements is too low to prevent cardiovascular and cognitive health issues in many parts of the world.
The map was funded by DSM and was created based on data from 298 studies. The researchers found low to very low omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) levels in most parts of the world. They found that levels of EPA and DHA — the omega-3s found in fish — were especially low.
Specifically, very low blood levels of EPA and DHA were observed in all of the Americas, Central and Southern Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia and Africa. This reflects modern eating habits that include more processed foods, which have increased the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in many diets.
The only regions found to have high blood levels of EPA and DHA were the Sea of Japan, Scandinavia, and areas with indigenous populations or populations that have not fully adapted Westernized eating habits.
The researchers hope health authorities will use their findings to increase advocacy of omega-3 consumption and to spread awareness about the importance of this vital nutrient.
Researchers from the University of Waterloo created the map and conducted the study. It was published in the July 2016 issue of Progress in Lipid Research.
Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved mood, improved joint mobility, reducing the risk of age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.
Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s. For people who don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.