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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

What's so special about Omega-3 supplements?

By Sharon Palmer, R.D.




Before you throw out your omega-3 supplements, experts stress that they still have their place


JewishWorldReview.com | Everyone seems to be popping omega-3 fatty acid supplements these days. In fact, omega-3s are the most common nonvitamin, nonmineral natural product taken by adults, according to a survey by the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.

And it's no surprise, since the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have been widely proclaimed by just about everyone, including nutrition experts and health organizations (American Heart Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture), mainstream media and internet supplement makers.

What's so special about omega-3s? The omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are two polyunsaturated fatty acids found in seafood, such as fish, krill, and calamari. The highest sources are cold water, fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna.

Omega-3s have been heralded as key protective nutrients behind the health benefits linked with eating fish; studies have consistently found that people who consume more fish have a reduced risk of mortality from coronary heart disease. Studies also have linked EPA and DHA to other benefits, ranging from brain health to improving psychological disorders and treating arthritis.

EPA and DHA confer several heart-healthy effects, including reducing triglyceride levels and blood pressure and slightly raising levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol; providing blood-thinning benefits; slowing progression of atherosclerosis that leads to heart disease, and reducing the risk of sudden death due to cardiac arrhythmias.

PILLS VS. FISH
While there seems to be little question that omega-3s and fish are beneficial, controversy has arisen recently as a result of research. Earlier studies showed benefits linked with omega-3 supplements, but a few newer studies have not.


  • Daily dosages of 400-4,800 milligrams (mg) of EPA and/or DHA per day showed no significant difference in outcome on risk of strokes and heart attacks between those who did and did not take supplements, according to a review of 14 studies that examined the effects of fish oil supplements (Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012).

  • One gram of daily omega-3 fatty acid supplementation did not reduce the rate of cardiovascular events in patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in 2012 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

  • A review of 20 studies that included nearly 69,000 patients who took 270 to 6,000 mg of EPA and/or DHA per day from supplements found no link to lower risk of heart attack, stroke, cardiac death, sudden death or all forms of death. Most of the subjects were at increased cardiovascular risk (Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012).

  • Analysis of data from 800,000 individuals in 15 countries indicated that five or more servings of fish per week were associated with a 12 percent reduction in the risk of cerebrovascular disease, compared with servings of one serving or less per week. However, omega-3 fatty acids in the blood or from supplements were not associated with a significant reduction (British Medical Journal, 2012).

PUTTING IT INTO PERSPECTIVE
The American Heart Association's position on omega-3s is that they can reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease; however, a food-based approach to increasing intake is preferable to taking supplements.



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The Dietary Guidelines also suggests meeting established levels of omega-3 fatty acids by eating two servings of fish per week (8 ounces); this averages out to 250 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day, the recommended intake for healthy Americans.

Before you throw out your omega-3 supplements, experts stress that they still have their place.

"Studies have found benefits for both fish and fish oil. If an individual does not like fish, then clearly the supplement form is a better option. Additionally, it is cold water fish that contains the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, so eating tilapia from the Gulf (of Mexico) is not the same in (omega-3) content as wild Alaskan salmon," says Roberta Anding, M.S., R.D., Director of Sports Nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital. "And fish can contain mercury," she adds.

Anding reports that people at high risk for heart disease should consider one gram of EPA plus DHA per day and those with high triglycerides should take two to four grams per day.

The AHA suggests that supplements may be helpful for people if they have a hard time meeting their omega-3 goals through diet alone, though they suggest seeking guidance from your health care provider before taking more than three grams per day. As it is true for most nutrients, your best bet is to try to get them from real foods first.

(Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.)


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