A balanced diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids is ideal. Most of us don’t live in an ideal world, so supplementation can help...
By Alex Tarnava
Omega 3 supplementation is another one of those ‘hot button topics’ where you get skeptics claiming it is pseudoscience, and proponents claiming everyone should supplement in high amounts. Realistically, the truth is somewhere in between.
I found it amusing reading the news about a Cochrane review on Omega 3s published in 2018, with the skeptic crowd decrying ‘no benefit’ while the supplement industry shouted, ‘review proves Omega 3s protect your heart’.
What did the review actually say? While Omega 3s didn’t decrease the risk of death, it had a slight impact on heart health and a slight decrease in the development of cardiovascular disease.
What has been an issue with studies on supplementation? Researching supplementation in a healthy population, without accounting for diet. Like essential vitamins and minerals, Omega 3s are essential for health in small amounts.
What is most important is our ratio of intake of Omega 3 to Omega 6. It is likely that for those who already eat a balanced diet rich in seeds, nuts, and fatty fishes that extra Omega 3 intake through supplementation will have absolutely no benefit.
By incorporating a significant portion of a study as a group that will not and cannot see a benefit, it robs us of the truth in knowing how much it will benefit those with an inadequate diet. What may have been a dramatic result for many in the study would become insignificant after diluting the benefits across the whole sample size.
Since the populations were recruited at the beginning, and the difference being lifestyle and not a gene we can attribute to, a ‘responder vs non-responder’ outcome as a conclusion would likely be met with heavy criticism. Researchers can’t pick and choose what data they report, while ignoring the rest, and hope to pass the peer review.
For good reason. In this case, it adds a disservice. I understand why researchers may not be able to always put together appropriate studies: compliance. Compliance is always tricky, especially over a long period. A group that may have an unhealthy diet at the start may change their lifestyle- and it would be completely unethical for researchers to promote an unhealthy diet for the duration of the study.
What do we know regarding Omega 3 intake from diet? According to healthline:
“Today, most people are eating a lot of omega-6 fatty acids. At the same time, the consumption of animal foods that are high in omega-3s is the lowest it has ever been. Scientists suspect that a distorted ratio of these polyunsaturated fatty acids may be one of the most damaging aspects of the Western diet.”
I believe the above statement. Try as I might, I find it quite difficult to get enough Omega 3s. Seeds and nuts tend to upset my stomach which is quite weak after recovering from an NSAID induced ulcer and gastritis, and despite constantly reminding myself to eat more fish, I average an intake of maybe once a week.
I do my best to use butter or olive oil and avoid oils high in Omega 6s such as cottonseed, soybean, corn and sunflower. Despite this, I am constantly asking myself ‘am I doing enough’, and the answer is probably ‘no’.
Omega 3s are incredibly important for our telomeres. In fact, Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, who was awarded the Nobel for her work on telomeres, suggested an Omega 3 supplement as her sole recommendation for telomere health.
She probably knows what she’s talking about, being a world expert on the subject and having been involved in a pair of studies on telomere health and Omega 3 intake.[i][ii] Blackburn further endorsed Omega 3 intake and supplementation in her 2017 book co authored with Elissa Epel ‘The Telomere Effect’. In this book, Blackburn cautioned against other supplements including those that purport to be for telomere health.
Since data is limited on said supplements and results aren’t that impressive, with in vitro data ranging from a 51% to 290% increase in telomerase activity relative to controls[iii]. This is for an extremely expensive product with telomere health being the only suggested benefit.
By contract, a relatively low concentration of hydrogen rich water medium showed a 148% increase in telomerase activity in a study conducted by a friend of mine, Bob Settineri and his colleagues including famous H2 researcher Shigeo Ohta and Nobel Prize nominee Garth Nicholson[iv]. Of course, Hydrogen has countless other benefits, so many that the increased telomere activity is rarely even mentioned as an indirect benefit.
Just like our Vitamin D and soon to launch Daily Essentials Omega 3s are absolutely critical for many people, but not for everyone. If you have a great diet rich in oily fish, nuts and seeds and low in processed foods and the oils I mentioned above, you do not need to supplement. Save the money and more importantly, the waste.
This is why, like other Daily Essentials, we will add on a bottle of Omega 3s to your order of any Hydrogen or Elite line products for just $2, but you have to opt in. As always if you are a first-time reader or have never tried one of our Hydrogen or Elite products, every first purchase is guaranteed satisfaction.
Try it at no risk, if it isn’t for you return the product and we will fully reimburse you. We know our products have benefits and this is why we team with public researchers to further understand them We invite you to read more about our lines, try the product and if you need it, get your subsidized Daily Essentials. I can’t wait to hear your feedback, the testimonials streaming in inspire me every morning.