PART ONE OMEGA 3 BENEFITS FOR THE HEART AND MAYBE EYE AND BRAIN TOO
Could Omega 3 Benefit the Heart and Eye Retinopathy and Bipolar Disorder
Omega 3 are so called Omega 3 fatty acids which are found in fish oil and flax oil among others. These essential fats are both examples of polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs. It seems that scientists are creating an inexhaustible litany of claimed benefits of Omega 3 with the strongest evidence so far being for omega 3 from fish oil and benefits to the heart. Omega 3 can lower triglycerides. Some research points to Omega 3 benefits for eye retinopathy and bipolar disorder among others.
The most clear cut benefits of Omega 3 oils seem to be to the heart. Omega 3 lowers serum triglycerides and may help the heart rhythm. "Individuals who have higher dietary intake of foods with omega-3 fatty acids and higher fish consumption have a reduced risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration, while those with higher serum levels of vitamin D may have a reduced risk of the early stages of the disease, according to two reports in the May, 2007 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals".
Video about types of Omega 3 Click the arrow to start
The American Heart Association recommends that most adult people, (pregnant women,children excepted because of mercury content in fish) eat "fatty" fish such as salmon, tuna and others because of the putative cardioprotective (heart) effect. Note that not all fish are created equal and fried fish may be bad for you because of the type of fish fried as well as the frying process that may impart a lot of unhealthy fats to the fish. On the other hand, sometimes fried fish is pretty tasty!
"It's important to maintain an appropriate balance of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet as these two substances work together to promote health. These essential fats are both examples of polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. An inappropriate balance of these essential fatty acids contributes to the development of disease while a proper balance helps maintain and even improve health. A healthy diet should consist of roughly two to four times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. The typical American diet tends to contain 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids" way out of whack.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the macula, the area at the back of the retina that produces the sharpest vision, deteriorates over time. There are 2 types of macular degeneration in the eye, the so called dry type which most people have and the so called wet type where there is neovascularization ,the formation of new blood vessels. Research has begun to identify potentially modifiable risk factors and nutrient-based treatments.
"The Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group assessed 4,519 individuals who were age 60 to 80 when they enrolled in 1992 through 1998. At that time, photographs were taken of their retinas to determine if they had AMD, and if so, to which of four stages the condition had progressed.The participants also completed a food frequency questionnaire that measured how often they consumed foods rich in certain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in tuna, salmon and other fish.
"A total of 1,115 participants did not have any symptoms of AMD at the beginning of the study, and were compared with those who did, including 658 individuals with neovascular (severe) AMD.“Dietary total omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intake was inversely associated with neovascular AMD, as was docosahexaenoic acid,” or DHA, a fatty acid that previous evidence suggests affects the retina, the authors write. “Higher fish consumption, both total and broiled/baked, was also inversely associated with neovascular AMD.” Eating more than two medium (4-ounce) servings of fish per week or more than one medium serving of broiled or baked fish was associated with the lowest risk for advanced AMD.