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Omega-3’s from Fish Better than Those From Plants

Still not convinced that fish should be a part of your weekly diet? If you're concerned about heart disease, this might change your mind: an extensive study from the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Aarhus University, and the University of Copenhagen suggests that marine derived long chain omega-3 essential fatty acids may prevent heart disease in women.

The study will appear in the October 2011 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Participants in the study included 3,277 male and female volunteers. Over the course of 23 years, 471 incidences of ischemic heart disease were reported within this group.

Approximately half of the study participants had eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) intake levels significantly below the recommended 2 grams per day, while half had levels above the recommended levels.

After examining the daily intake of the marine derived EPA and DHA and the plant derived ALA, the researchers concluded that consuming 0.45 to 11.2 grams of EPA and DHA daily resulted in a 38% decreased risk of heart disease in women, but not men. They did not see statistically significant corresponding results from ALA for either gender.

In addition to heart health, fish oil has been linked to numerous other health benefits. These include combating diabetes, lowering cholesterol, improving vision, reducing the risk of dementia and relieving depression.

If you’re looking to increase your fish oil intake, try adding darker fish, such as salmon or tuna, to your diet. If you don’t like the taste of fish or are just finding it hard to work it into your meal plans, consider taking a high quality supplement. Ensure you are getting the maximum benefits of omega 3 fatty acids by ensuring your supplement is tested for purity and potency.

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