Review Claims Daily Recommendations for Omega-3s is Too Low
Over the past 65 years, a significant amount of evidence has accumulated backing the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids (essential fatty acids found naturally in fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut).
Research into the benefits of omega-3s began when scientists noticed that Eskimos in Greenland have very low levels of blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and risk of cardiovascular disease, despite a diet low in vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates and high in saturated fat and cholesterol,.
The researchers called this the "Eskimo factor" and attributed these benefits to the high level of omega-3 fatty acids in the Inuit diet.
Since then a large body of science has been developed that supports the health benefits of consumption of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, particularly with regard to cardiovascular disease prevention.
To determine the optimal daily value of omega-3 essential fatty acids, researchers at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans reviewed four studies involving approximately 40,000 participants. Their findings were published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The researchers determined that healthy individuals should consume 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA daily and people with known heart disease or heart failure should consume 800 to 1,000 mg of each per day.
These new recommendations are double the recommended levels for healthy individuals determined by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) just last month.
Due to this new state of the art review combined with input from industry experts and academia, many experts are urging the EFSA to rethink their recommended daily value for omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Since fish is not a staple part of most western diets, the average American diet does not include nearly enough omega-3 essential fatty acids. This makes it a good idea to consider taking an omega-3 supplement high in the fatty acids EPA and DHA.
These supplements have been shown to help manage blood pressure, decrease the risk of dementia and may even help you lose weight.
It is important to make sure you are taking a high quality supplement certified for purity because some fish oils can contain harmful contaminants like lead and mercury.