You’ve most likely heard some buzz about “omega-3″ fatty acids guaranteeing all sorts of health benefits. It’s the type of buzz that led 18.8 million American grownups to take omega-3 fish oil supplements in 2012, and assisted developed an international omega-3 market worth more than $30 billion.
But for the typical individual, what’s the genuine outcome of enhancing omega-3 levels by gorging on seafood or taking supplements?
Author Paul Greenberg set out to discover answers, and documenting his year of consuming fish every day in a brand-new Frontline documentary, The Fish on My Plate, which airs Tuesday.
The short answer– spoiler alert– nothing much took place.
To measure his progress, Greenberg saw his physician before and after his experiment.
“I’ve got slightly elevated blood pressure. I’ve got cholesterol concerns. I have anxiety concerns.
I have sleep problems, and I don’t like it,” he said at the start of the film. “So I began to listen to the soft purr of the omega-3 industry:
This is everything they’re supposed to fix..” But more than 700 fish meals later on, Greenberg’s doctor delivered the frustrating outcomes about these measurements:
“I ‘d say practically the same. Nothing Changed”
His cholesterol ratio was the same, his triglyceride level (a fat in the blood) was the same, and his blood pressure even went up “a tiny bit,” perhaps due to increased salt consumption.
But a side effect of consuming seafood daily rather than the advised 2 times each week: raised mercury levels, which was “actually slowing your thinking and harming your memory,” a biologist informed him.
” If you’re only thinking of omega-3s the jury is out,” Greenberg told BuzzFeed News. Although he argued that from ecological viewpoint, eating “any type of fish is better than a land animal.”
Obviously, Greenberg is just one guy with his own lifestyle and a distinct set of genes.
” The totality of research suggests that omega-3 intake is positively linked to a healthy heart,” according to the trade group Global Organization of EPA and DHA Omega-3s, or GOED, whose members include agribusiness giants like BASF, Cargill and Dow AgroSciences. “Omega-3 consumption is positively linked to a healthy brain, healthy eyes, and a healthy child.”
Inquired about the results of Greenberg’s experiment, a GOED spokesperson informed BuzzFeed News:
“Every individual is different and these medical endpoints– cholesterol, high blood pressure, and triglycerides– are impacted by lots of way of life aspects, including diet, exercise, stress, and so on.
That’s why large population-based research studies are so essential to identify cause and effect due to the fact that they can in fact find the effect of one aspect like omega-3 usage.”
The health and medical facility still have not drawn hard conclusions about the advantages of omega-3s.
The US Food and Drug Administration has not set a recommended day-to-day worth for omega-3 fats nor has it authorized any nutrient content claims for omega-3 fatty acids in general.
It forbids food companies from labeling foods as being “high in” “rich in” or “outstanding source of” the fats DHA or EPA.
The American Heart Association stated this year that while there might be advantages for individuals who recently had a heart attack, for the basic population there is an “absence of clinical information that shows any advantage of [omega-3 fish oil] supplements in preventing cardiovascular disease, stroke, cardiac arrest or death for people who do not have a medical diagnosis of cardiovascular disease.”
Bottom line, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, “consuming omega-3s by consuming fish and other seafood is helpful.
Although omega-3 supplements do have a few demonstrated health benefits, in general, their effects are less clear.”
Some 5,000 clinical reports have “omega-3” in their title, inning accordance with PubMed, the enormous database of biomedical research studies.
Yet Frontline points out that none of the thousands of research studies on omega-3s and health “have actually exposed anything unequivocal.”
Jörn Dyerberg, who started the omega-3 motion with research on Inuits in Greenland in the 1970s, told Greenberg in the next couple of years 3 major research studies consisting of thousands of patients are set to come out “with the results that we have to believe in.”