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Higher Levels of Omega-3s Linked to Lower Risk of Death

A recent study suggests that postmenopausal women with high omega-3 levels may be 20% less likely to die from any cause compared to women with low omega-3 levels.


Participants in the study included 6,501 women between the ages of 65 and 80 who took part in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study, which began enrollment in 1996. Researchers measured omega-3 levels at baseline, and there was a median 14.9 years of follow-up.


At the conclusion of the study, 1,851 women had died. The researchers found that women with higher levels of both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids had a 20% reduction in risk of total mortality. They also found that high levels of EPA were associated with an inverse relationship of risk of death by cardiovascular disease. The same effect was not found for DHA.


Participants in the highest group of omega-3 status had an average omega-3 index score of 7.11%.  Those in the lowest group had an average omega-3 index score of 3.59%. Higher levels of omega-3s were associated with older age, higher alcohol intake, higher education, increased physical activity, more use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, less smoking, and lower BMI.


Researchers from the University of South Dakota led the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 13, 2017, in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology.


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.

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