The research I’m about to share with you solidly reaffirms one of my long-held beliefs. Namely, if you take nothing else, you have to take your fish oil.
Yes, I write about studies like these on a regular basis. But someone has to. If for no other reason than to make up for the fact that the popular press doesn’t. (And when they do, they almost never tell the whole story.)
So let’s get to it…
First up, a new study published in the journal Heart showed that raising your omega-3 intake to a level on par with people living in Japan could significantly protect against heart disease and artery stiffening.
This study followed 300 middle-aged men for five years. It accounted for a number of heart risk factors—including smoking, cholesterol and blood pressure levels, alcohol intake, and diabetes status.
And even after accounting for all these factors, American men suffered a three times higher rate of hardened arteries than their Japanese counterparts. Another striking difference: Omega-3 levels among the Japanese men were double those of American men.
This isn’t surprising of course. I visit Japan quite often, and fish is part of practically every meal. In fact, this study found average fish consumption among Japanese men was about 3.5 ounces per day. That’s more than most of the American men ate in a week.
And consider the results of this next study.
It was a meta-analysis of 70 clinical trials. And it showed that boosting your intake of omega-3s can significantly reduce blood pressure. These effects applied to all subjects, but the benefits were greatest for subjects with untreated hypertension. Among this group, omega-3s cut systolic blood pressure by more than four points on average. And diastolic blood pressure by more than three points.
Again, I know these may all seem like pretty small numbers. But as I mentioned on 3/24/14, these small decreases add up to huge benefits. Each two point drop in blood pressure slashes stroke mortality by 6 percent, risk of heart disease death by 4 percent, and total mortality risk by 3 percent.
In fact, a systolic blood pressure decrease of just 1.25 mmHg could ward off a hypertension diagnosis completely, if you’re teetering on the edge.
In a nutshell? This is a very big deal.
The researchers concluded: “From a clinical and public health perspective, provision of EPA+DHA may lower [blood pressure] and ultimately reduce the incidence of associated chronic diseases.”
So why isn’t every cardiologist in the country promoting the daily use of omega-3s? Oh, that’s right. Because it cuts into Big Pharma’s bottom line.
Even in the face of all of this evidence, the FDA still dismisses the benefits of omega-3s as “inconclusive.” And yet, this agency gives pharmaceutical companies carte blanche to tout their drugs as the gold standard of care. When the reality is, these medications are blatantly toxic to your body.
The whole thing makes me cringe. Because the damage the government does to your health by purposefully deriding and debunking nutritional supplements is outrageous.
Forget Wall Street. If you ask me, it’s time to Occupy the FDA.
And in the meantime, keep taking your fish oil. Your life literally depends on it. I recommend at least 3,000 mg of EPA and DHA daily.
“Long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and incidence rate of coronary artery calcification in Japanese men in Japan and white men in the USA: population based prospective cohort study.” Heart. 2014 Apr;100(7):569-73.
“Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid and Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Am J Hypertens. 2014 Mar 6.