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Science proves Omega-3 Fatty Acids Useful in Metabolic Syndrome

Science proves Omega-3 fatty acids useful in metabolic syndrome

  • November 15th, 2010 3:26 pm ET

   Metabolic Syndrom Examiner

Thanks to the modern technology and Internet, you should already know how necessary supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids is. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential fatty acids (EFA) what means that we must obtain them from our diet, as we are not capable to produce them.

There are two important Omega-3s: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA), which are the building blocks for our hormones, regulate the process of blood clotting, control immunity and cell growth..Mori et al (2000) concluded that by simply incorporating high omega-3 sources into the metabolic syndrome diet in a form of fish or fish oil would be very beneficial for alleviating metabolic syndrome and its outcomes.

There are many clinical studies that prove regular consumption of Omega-3 EFA can lower risk of sudden cardiac death, reduce blood pressure, control lipids and to protect against metabolic syndrome outcomes. Omega-3 EFA may play role in alleviating inflammation by decreasing cyclooxygenase (COX-2) enzymes associated with cytokines related with inflammation. Working as anti-inflammatory substances, they can reduce chronic inflammation and oxidation as byproducts of most degenerative diseases, including metabolic syndrome, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, gout, kidney disease, and diabetes.

Some authors added that other natural sources of  Omega-3 EFA are: salmon, flaxseeds, whitefish, tuna, algae, and spirulina for daily supply. Giampapa et al. (2004) calculated that fat should constitute 20% of the food supply. The author claims that omega-3 EFA could have beneficial effects on lipid metabolism by reducing bad cholesterol and triglycerides, positive anti-inflammatory effects, reducing insulin response to glucose, and diminishing risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Recent study, published in The Journal of Nutrition (September, 2010) and done in the University of Cordoba (Spain) suggests that supplementing with Omega-3 EFA may improve blood lipid levels in people with metabolic syndrome, reducing most of its outcomes. From the study is becoming quite obvious that the effects of metabolic syndrome can be ameliorated through the addition of Omega-3 EFA in low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diets. The team of authors concluded that "Postprandial abnormalities associated with metabolic syndrome can be attenuated with low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate omega-3 and high monounsaturated fat diets." Here is a statement of Jose Lopez-Miranda, lead author of the above study is the following: "Fish oil supplements correct many metabolic alterations associated with insulin resistance, including reduced postprandial plasma triglyceride concentration."

Omega-3 EFA's have been found intimately related with increased insulin secretion and improved insulin sensitivity. The beneficial role of omega-3 EFAs in term of helping obesity was studied by Kris-Etherton & Hill (2008). Omega-3 EFA effects in patients with chronic heart failure were studied in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (GISSI-HF investigators). Omega-3 EFA can improve amino acid transport to muscle tissue, metabolic rate, cholesterol and energy levels (Mori et al., 2000).

Omega- 3 EFA's may be used for their anti-clotting properties. UCLA scientists have confirmed that fish oil is the missing link to Alzheimer's disease, also known as 'diabetes of the brain,' or type 3 diabetes. There was a report that concluded that omega-3-fatty acid DHA could increase production of LR11- a protein found in Alzheimer's patients (Azzi et al., 2004).

Supplementation with Omega-3 EFA is also linked to an increase of vigor and a decrease of depression, anger, and anxiety. 3 EFAs were found beneficial in adult's dementia, depression and mood disorders, as they may act as mood stabilizers. The above correlation was shown in subjects the Zone diet and the results confirm the influence of omega-3 on the central nervous system (Sears & Lawren, 1995).

Mega-analytical study combined the results of 31 placebo-controlled studies of fish oil (Omega-3 EFA) and 1,356 hypertensive individuals. The authors' concluded that there was a dose-response hypotensive effect of fish oil in hypertensive patients. Final conclusion from this study is that omega -3 EFAs did reduce blood pressure in people with mild hypertension. (Balk et al., 2004)

The use of Omega 3 EFA for cardioprotection is also studied by Lee et al. (2008). Based on results of a 20-year nutritional study two authors scientifically illustrated that a "plant-based- oil-free diet" can not only prevent and stop the progression of heart disease as a consequence of metabolic syndrome, but it can also reverse its effects (Caldwell & Esselstyne Jr, 2008).

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