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A Lifesaving Fat!

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The omega-3 fat in fish is more than a well-known tonic for the heart. It’s the one fat you shouldn’t skimp on. Here’s why:

Blocks Cancer. Women who ate the most fatty fish in a 10-year period were 74% less apt to have kidney cancer than those who ate lean seafood or no fish. (Fatty fish has up to 30 times more omega-3 than does lean fish.) In a Harvard study among men who don’t take aspirin, those who had the richest blood levels of omega-3 had 66% less colorectal cancer than those with the lowest levels. Reason: Omega-3, like aspirin, is anti-inflammatory.

Fights Pain. Taking fish oil supplements reduces the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and menstruation, according to a Canadian analysis of 17 studies.

Builds Bones. In young men, higher blood levels of omega-3 predicted greater bone mineral density, concludes a new eight-year Swedish study. Implication: Strong bones in adolescence help prevent osteoporosis and fractures in later life. Other evidence suggests fish oil may keep bones strong in the elderly.

Spurs Weight Loss. Taking fish oil and exercising gets rid of pounds without cutting calories or changing your diet, says a recent Australian study. Researchers believe omega-3 increases fat-burning ability by improving blood flow to muscles.

Lifts Mood. Fish oil is a natural antidepressant, says National Institutes of Health researcher Joseph Hibbeln. He found that seriously depressed patients who attempted suicide had lower blood levels of DHA, a component of fish oil.

Scientific sources:
Blocks Cancer:
Hall, NM, et al. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Preve 2007;16(2): 314-21

Fights Pain:
Goldberg RJ, Pain, 2007 Feb 28 E pub

Builds Strong Bones:
Magnus Hogstrom, Am J Clin Nutr 2007; 85:803-7

Spurs Weight Loss:
Br J Nutr. 2007 Mar 29;1-10 [Epub ahead of print]

Lifts Mood, Prevents Suicide:
Conklin, SM, Psychosomatic Medicine 2007; 69(1): A-15, 1734
Sublette ME, Am J Psychiatry, 2006 Jun 163 (6): 1100-2
Br. J Psychiatry, 2007 Feb, 190:118-22

This EatSmart column is reprinted from USAWEEKEND Magazine and is copyrighted by Jean Carper. It cannot be reprinted without permission from Jean Carper.

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2 responses to “A Lifesaving Fat!”

  1. […] of potassium, selenium, B12 and niacin. Most importantly, wild salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids promote heart and brain health, reduce inflammation, increase circulation and […]

  2. […] magnesium and copper. Additionally, they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which research indicates are healthful for the heart, as well as other organ systems within the […]