Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fish Oil and Omega-3 Index: A Feather in the Telomere Cap

And just when you thought it couldn't get any better another compelling reason for knowing your Omega-3 Blood Index and optimizing your fish oil dose is uncovered. A new study among patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) has discovered an association between fish oil and the rate at which telomeres shorten (January 20, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Ramin Farzaneh-Far et al).

We all recall from high school biology (yeah, right) that the rate of telomere shortening is thought to determine the number of times a cell can replicate thus limiting the life of a cell. This shortening of telomeres has been shown to independently predict morbidity and mortality in patients with CAD.

According to lead researcher Dr. Farzaneh-Far, "This suggests the existence of a novel mechanism for why omega-3 fatty acids are effective in this patient population—an area that has not been well worked out previously; it suggests they could be acting through telomeres . . . It's also the first study that shows that a dietary factor may be able to slow down telomere shortening . . . This is yet another reason for cardiologists to try to convince their patients to take either a fish-oil supplement or eat regular fatty-fish meals."

The bottomline of this observational study (which, again, showed association not causation) is that participants (608) with the lowest levels of Omega-3s had the fastest rate of telomere shortening. What is also interesting is that Dr. Farzaneh-Far and his team used what he termed "a relatively new blood test" called the Omega-3 Index test. The test cut-offs were 2.3% for those with the fastest (worst) telomere shortening and 7.3% for the slowest (best) shortening.

TIME-OUT! TIME TO BLOW THE TRACK YOUR PLAQUE HORN - AGAIN!!!

I hate to be a total shill (not really) but, come on. Dr. Davis and Track Your Plaque are once again ahead of the curve in bringing the Omega-3 Index test to its Members for some months now. It seems to me TYP also did an extensive treatise on Omega-3 Index testing in its October 2009 newsletter, and, what was the optimal blood level discussed - oh yeah - 7.3%!

Now for the REAL bottom-line! Just like Vitamin D, it doesn't matter how much you take, it matters how much get's into your blood. In fact, you don't even know, in most cases, whether the preparation you may be taking even contains its stated dose! If you do not test your blood level you have no idea if you are receiving optimal treatment - period! It took me three blood tests just to get my Vitamin D level "zeroed in."

In summation, I guess I wholeheartedly agree with Dr, Farzaneh-Far's statements, "from the telomere point of view, this is the first study to show an effect of a dietary factor, that this may be able to slow down telomere shortening" and "The idea is that the omega-3 index, the percentage of fatty acids in the blood, could be measured and that low levels would predict worse outcomes. So the omega-3 index might be useful for risk stratification in the future."

Call your doctor, get the test. If your doc says, "No!" then test yourself to get a baseline reading and decide whether it might be a good idea to get OPTIMAL treatment. I am getting my blood draw today! I'll let you how how it turns out.

Looking out for your heart health,


HeartHawk

66 comments:

Anne said...

Well taking a fish oil as weight loss supplement is really a good idea.Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in the oil from oily fish and vegetable sources such as flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, olive oil and canola oil. Ne ways i will keep looking around for more such important information.

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Anna said...

Omega-3 fatty acids, from fish like salmon and other sources, have for years been shown to help lower levels of heart disease and cardiac death. New research suggests the fatty acids may possess an even more fundamental benefit: Heart patients with high omega-3 intake had relatively longer "telomeres," which are stretches of DNA whose length correlates with longevity. Cardiologists from the University of California, San Francisco, and other hospitals measured telomere length over five years in 608 patients who had coronary-artery blockage and previous heart attacks. Researchers found that people with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their white blood cells experienced significantly less shortening of telomeres over five years, as compared with patients with lower omega-3 levels.

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Sure, we all want to be in good health, but did you know that over 90% of the U.S. population, the lack of fish oil, and then on different degenerative conditions such as heart disease, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation , bad mood, bad memory, and more disorders. I like to visit again here. Keep updating.

moseley2010 said...

Thanks for this bit of info. It's the first time I have heard of Telomere. I have been taking fish oil supplements because I know of its many health benefits, one of them reducing the risks of heart conditions.

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Most of the omega-3, and experts agree that the most bio-available form of fatty acids - Omega 3 comes from animal sources such as marine krill, fish and squid. Plant sources of omega-3 - consisting of flax seed oil, shea oil, perilla oil and various kinds of marine plants.

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I always knew that Omega 3 from fish was really good for health. I also know it's very good for "getting smarter". I always thought kids eating lots of fish when they are little become really smart. Am I right?

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Ever since I was a child, my mother kept saying that fish is a very healthy food. Later, I found out that Omega 3 acids and fatty acids are great for maintaining your health. Not all fish are as delicious as hamburgers, but it's a very healthy food.

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Omega 3 is the reason why eating fish it is said to be healthy.

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