Fish oil and Omega 3? In order for the brain to work well and for a long time, there may already be a Wirth tightened, and digitization, and you will not have to worry so much about the body, and a lot of other troubles will disappear by itself.
In this article, we will look at whether fish oil helps to prolong life and protect the brain in old age.
Some authors of books about prolonging life and preventing the decline of brain function in 80+ years consider the intake of fish oil one of the important components of the program of action. It is also one of the most studied and long-used food additives.
However, there are still questions about its effect, especially for middle – aged and elderly people.
- How much fat a day should I eat at all
- What kind of fat and how much should I eat per day
- Research on the impact of fish oil consumption on long-term health
- The first group of studies — cardiovascular diseases and fish oil
- Hypercholesterolemia (increased blood cholesterol levels)
- The second group of studies is the brain and cognitive functions
- Do I drink fish oil now in the form of supplements?
- Final recommendation
- Fish oil VS linseed oil
In our article, we will analyze:
- what is omega-3?
- differences between fish oil and vegetable sources (linseed oil, etc.)
- consider current and future clinical studies on the topic
- let’s compare different manufacturers and see if the price difference is justified
And we have news. At the end of the article there will be an announcement and a link to install our app, we have finally launched it and we are now working with Invitro, which will give our users some discounts (for now only in St. Petersburg).
And of course a bonus — many of us when choosing medicines and supplements ask the question, which one to buy? Just more expensive? Just by the picture and the manufacturer’s words, what is it the most? We decided to investigate the issue and there is the first result. He is also in the article.
Since ancient times, fish oil has been extracted in the Scandinavian countries and from the polar peoples. And as early as 1722, in England, it was proposed for the treatment of chronic rheumatism. However, it was not widely used until 1822. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was produced mainly in Norway, from where it was distributed throughout Europe. Later, production began in Iceland, Scotland, Japan, the United States, and the USSR.
In the USSR, fish oil was given to all children until 1970, when it was banned due to ocean pollution and, as a result, fish + due to problems with cleanliness in production technology.
Currently, the main volumes are produced in Norway, Peru, Chile, the United States, Japan, Russia, and there are also production in many other countries. The table below shows production in thousands of tons per year. (BSE sources 1938, 1, 2)
In order for us to logically move further in the reasoning of the article, we need to understand exactly what fats we eat in General, and why fish oil is the focus of so much attention. Therefore, below we will consider fats in General.
I will not describe chemistry, because there is a great article on Geektimes “About fats from the point of view of the chemist” — here we will consider what and how much we need to eat.
If we study the WHO recommendations from 2008 + the Methodological state recommendations on nutrition for the United States for 2015-2020, we can make a conditionally optimal table of daily fat consumption.
How much fat a day should I eat at all
This depends on how much kcal you need per day. For example, take the norm of 2000 kcal per day. Each person has their own norm, I would recommend taking data from official tables of the United States. On average, this table is quite OK.
- On average, 1 gram of oil / fat contains 9 kcal.
- WHO recommends fat consumption of 15 to 30% of the number of calories per day (% minimum and maximum).
- At a rate of 2000 kcal, 300 to 600 kcal per day should come from fat or from 33 to 66 grams of fat.
According to life extension technologies and many modern books, it is better to eat more fat, that is, for ourselves, we can take a norm of about 20-30% of fat per day.
What kind of fat and how much should I eat per day
Fats are divided into different types for nutritional recommendations. Each of them should be received in food in a certain proportion. The recommendations of these proportions from the who in percentage to get the daily calories are provided below. At the same time, it is important to understand that you do not need to count everything up to commas after zeros, this is just information for gradual and harmonious power settings.
Daily intake rates as % of daily fat intake:
- saturated — no more than 10% (no more than 22 grams)
there are two types of TRANS fats
– artificial (margarine, crackers, chips, etc.) – do not EAT AT all.
– natural — (cheese, meat, etc.) – you can leave, but a little in the total weight
- polyunsaturated from 6 to 11% (from 12 to 24 grams), among them:
– Omega-6 2.5 to 9% (1 to 6 grams)
– Omega-3 alpha linoleic acid-0.5% (1 gram)
– EPA and DHA from 0.25 to 2 grams
- monounsaturated-the remainder of all. For example, they ate 10g. saturated, 20 grams of polyunsaturated, then you can eat from 3 to 30 grams of monounsaturated
Now we need to understand which oils and which foods contain which fats and we can easily and gradually correct the nutrition in the right direction.
To do this, we made a beautiful table with a chart on fat (compiled by Lifext with the help of the community). All data is taken from US government websites, sometimes partially from the English wiki.
If you roughly build your proper diet based on fat, then from this table and the recommended norms for consumption of different types of fat, you can draw the following conclusions:
We get a lot of saturated fat if we eat meat, oil, and dairy products.
Even saturated fat comes with any pastries, cookies, chips, pies, etc., as it is usually used palm and / or coconut oil.
We get a lot of omega-6, since it is very much in most vegetable oils. For example, in sunflower, which we use a lot of places.
Monounsaturated fats also come in normal quantities.
But omega-3 is a problem. They need to be small, but they are irreplaceable and are not synthesized in the body.
Omega-3s are different, and we are interested in the following types:
— ALA — ELK) – there is in vegetable oils, it is necessary to include in the diet one of the oils where there are a lot of them
– EPA (EPA) + DHA — DHA) – found in fish oil and algae oil.
Question — can I just eat a lot of Chia seeds or linseed oil and get EPA synthesized from ALA (ELK)+DHA is discussed in the comments.
Interestingly, the fish does not produce omega-3 EPA+DHA itself, it accumulates them when eating seaweed or other fish. At the same time, the fat of predatory fish may contain more omega-3, since it eats other fish. But, but more and mercury and other not useful pieces, as it also absorbs them from the eaten fish. Therefore, in theory (just my conclusion) vegetarian pills with EPA+DHA from seaweed is the safest, but the most expensive. (see below)
Note: at this stage, all links that we give are affiliate links, since we are testing hypotheses about how to monetize-a paid app (which we don’t want) or affiliate programs with clinics, drug sellers, etc. On this topic, we will then write a separate article about our experience. If you have any suggestions about this — write in the comments, we are very attentive to comments.
Research on the impact of fish oil consumption on long-term health
So, we have come to the point where we started the article — why there are so many recommendations to use fish oil and whether they are justified. Let’s understand using Pubmed as it is accepted.
As usual in medicine, the situation is complicated. When I started the research, I thought “ ” Well, then everything will be clear, fish oil as a Supplement has been taken for more than 120 years for brain, I will quickly run through the articles and research and everything is ready.” However, it turned out the opposite — the material did not fit into one article, plus, based on modern research, an unambiguous conclusion that taking fish oil to improve brain function can not be made.
What is the problem? As I understand it,:
The situation has changed — we have been living longer in the last 30 to 40 years and new research is needed.
The research was conducted in different countries with different food patterns and different environmental conditions (pollution, sun, climate). For example, in Japan they eat a lot of fish, but in the United States they eat a little.
Studies are conducted on different numbers of people and different age groups.
Therefore, we will immediately limit ourselves to the fact that we are interested in extending the life of middle-aged and elderly people + brain work. The effect on children or pregnant women is not considered at all.
The first group of studies — cardiovascular diseases and fish oil
To prolong life, we need to reduce the likelihood of our death from various diseases. Cardiovascular diseases are still the # 1 cause of death.
A study from 2007 in Japan on 18645 patients for 5 years. Effects of taking EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) on coronary events (sudden death, myocardial infarction, angina progression, etc.) in patients with hypercholesterolemia.
Hypercholesterolemia (increased blood cholesterol levels)
Part of the patients took 1800mg of EPA daily + statins, the other part only statins. In the group with EPA intake, the number of coronary events decreased by 19%, and in the group with statins alone by 10.7%.
The researchers concluded that the treatment with EPA looks very promising for the prevention of coronary events.
They also note that the beneficial effects of EPA could be from many biological effects that lead to a weakening of thrombosis, arrhythmia, and a decrease in triglycerides.
Article ” omega-3 and cardiovascular diseases: are there any positive effects from taking?”
This article is a review written by three American doctors in 2016.
It reviews research and recommendations for taking fish oil over time and finds that early clinical trials showed that taking omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish oil reduced mortality from cardiovascular diseases.
Therefore, in the early 2000s, there were recommendations to take them to reduce the risk of these diseases. However, in the last 6 years, studies have not shown such results and, therefore, these recommendations for reducing cardiovascular disease are in question.
The second group of studies is the brain and cognitive functions
Since the age of 30, the brain begins to physically shrink in size (see the graph here) + the probability of various cognitive disorders increases.
Today, by the age of 80+, the probability of various brain disorders is prohibitively high. For example, data for 2016 in the United States, for the main, but not the only disease-Alzheimer’s.
Therefore, timely and reasonable adjustment of lifestyle to reduce the risk of these diseases is very important for everyone, and for geeks and lifext technologies especially.
A study from 2010 — Positive effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on cognitive abilities with age-dependent impairment
The results of the study are published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the Impact factor is 9.478, number 231 in the rating, the study itself is registered on Clinicaltrials.gov
Half of the 485 people over 55 years of age took 900mg of DHA a day, and half a placebo, a duration of 24 weeks. Before the start of admission and after 24 weeks, participants were tested for learning parameters and episodic memory.
As a result, the group taking DHA showed improvements and, as the researchers write, the results confirm the usefulness of taking DHA for improving cognitive functions.
A randomized, placebo-controlled study “Effects of long-term omega-3 intake together (and without) with psychological intervention in different areas (multidomain intervention) on elderly people with memory complaints.”
The results of the study are published in the journal Lancet Neurology, the Impact factor is 26.56, number 36 in the rating.
The study did not show a significant difference in any of the groups. The authors note that this study supports the previous two in that at the age of more than 65 years, taking omega-3 for the purpose of preventing cognitive impairment does not work.
A randomized, double-simulated study “Effects of omega-3 supplementation on cognitive function in older adults.”
The results of the study are published in the American journal of clinical nutrition, the Impact factor is 6.926, number 412 in the rating.
867 participants, without cognitive impairment, age 70-79 years, took:
- half 500mg DKG + 200mg
- the other half is a placebo, olive oil.
The study lasted 24 months.
As a result, participants who took EPA-DHA increased their blood levels. However, tests on cognitive abilities did not show a difference between the two control groups.
The rate of death and disease in both groups was approximately the same.
Review from a scientist from Sweden, Phd Uppsala University “eating fish and taking omega-3 to prevent or treat cognitive disorders in the elderly — what news?”
The results of the study are published in the journal Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, the Impact factor is 4.023, number 1236 in the rating.
The author reviews clinical studies and meta-analyses for 2015-2016.
Some of the studies reviewed show that there is no improvement when taking omega-3 or fish. And the other part is the opposite of what it is. And the third is that it only improves when taking fish 2-3 times a week, but not supplements.
As a conclusion, he writes that healthy people can get preventative benefits from eating fish or taking supplements, but this requires additional research that is underway right now.
RESULT. As we can see, there is no 100% clarity here either.
What research is going on now and when are the results?
There is a lot of research going on. If we consider the interesting facts for therapeutic purposes of life extension, I have identified the following:
- USA, 25,800 people-omega-3 and vitamin D (name VITAL Study)
Research prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Results are expected in June 2018.
Update from 27.01.2020-translation of the study here
- Europe, 2150 people-Vitamin D3 + Omega-3 + exercise for health in old age (name DO-HEALTH)
Results are expected in June 2018.
Update from 27.01.2020 – unable to get research results. It is not publicly available, we wrote to the authors a month ago, but there is no response yet.
Do I drink fish oil now in the form of supplements?
- According to the results of one of the studies above, it was shown that if you can eat fish 2-3 times a week, it is more effective than taking supplements.
- Therefore, if you can cook or eat in a cafe with normal fish, it is logical not to take fish oil as a Supplement — this is the best option.
- If this is not possible or you are lazy, then, despite the contradictory results of research in recent years, I conclude that taking fish oil in order to prolong life is useful. Points of logic of this decision:
- Part of the research has shown that there are benefits for the nerve.
Studies with no benefit have been conducted on people with pre-existing cognitive impairment, and as a preventive measure, this is likely to work.
- For the heart, the results are also contradictory, whether there is a benefit or not.
In all studies, there are no side effects, so the reception is not harmful.
- EPA+DHA we have nowhere else to take.
- It is advisable to eat fish 2-3 times a week, this is the best option.
- If it is not possible to take it in the form of supplements.
Fish oil VS linseed oil
A frequent question, it’s just short. The term omega-3 refers to three different polyunsaturated fatty acids (see wiki)
- alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Go to the table with fats and see-ALC is in vegetable fats. For example, linseed oil contains 55% of it. But EPC+DHA is only found in fish oil. Therefore, one does not replace the other.
For complete vegetarians — EPA+DHA can be obtained from seaweed, for example, such additives are offered by the famous manufacturer Nordic-Naturals — they are expensive, but, in theory, should be the safest in terms of side effects (not 100% sure).