Posted on May 06, 2020
What may be able to lower overall mortality risk by 27%, and mortality risk from heart disease by 35% in older adults?
Want to live longer? I bet you do. We all do. Well, at least most people do! Some people are continually searching for ONE BIG THING they can do to add years to their life and feel better. But the truth of the matter is, health and longevity come down to two factors: genes and environment. You are born with your genes, and as of right now, there is very little you can do about that. Scientists are constantly studying ways to manipulate our genes. Some think this will eventually cure all disease and make life wonderful, while others believe this is a mistake and humans should not meddle with Mother Nature but that's a whole other subject.
But the other factor, environment, is somewhat under our control. We can largely control what foods we eat, exercise we do, rest we get, and how we handle stress. Of course, there is always the debate over where our food comes from and if the source is contaminated. In general, eating a diet that stays away from processed food is better than one that doesn't. Chances are, a spinach salad is healthier for you than a burger, and there are certain types of food you want to make sure you eat.
For example, here's what was published on the Harvard School of Public Health website: "Older adults who have higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids - found almost exclusively in fatty fish and seafood - may be able to lower their overall mortality risk by as much as 27% and their mortality risk from heart disease by about 35% according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of Washington. Researchers found that other adults who had the highest blood levels of the fatty acids found in fish lived, on average, 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels."
This study was published online April 1, 2013 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The Harvard publication also stated, "Previous studies have found that fish, which is rich in protein and heart-healthy fatty acids reduces the risk of dying from heart disease." In this study, participants with the highest levels of all three types of fatty acids (DHA, EPA and DPA) had a 27% lower risk of total mortality due to all causes.
How much fish should you eat to possibly get the benefits seen in this study? According to Harvard: "When the researchers looked at how dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids related to blood levels, the steepest rise in blood levels occurred when going from very low intake to about 400 mg per day; blood levels rose much more gradually thereafter... The findings suggest that the biggest bang-for-your-buck is going from no intake to modest intake, or about two servings of fatty fish per week." The study did not talk about fish oil supplements and their possible use. It is possible that fish oil supplements can help, especially if it is difficult for you to get the recommended servings of actual fish every week.
Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of your healthcare professional who is familiar with your personal medical history. If you would like to know if this would be beneficial for you, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.