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Maximizing Omega-3 Health Benefits

June 2014

By S.R. Knowlton

Do You Know Your Omega Score?

Life Extension® readers know that omega-3 fatty acids combat cardiovascular disease through a host of interrelated mechanisms, including the suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and reduction of triglycerides. Less known is the importance of a novel analytic technology to assess how much omega-3 is in one’s whole blood, serum, and red blood cells.87-92

This low-cost, in-home, personalized assessment, called the Omega Score provides a clear picture of the percentage of EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acids in your blood. The benefits of knowing this information can be the difference between life and death, as the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in blood and cell membranes strongly influences cardiovascular disease risk factors.87,93

The test is based on the groundbreaking work of a team of Harvard researchers. They found that people with total omega-3 levels between 6.1 and 10.2% in their blood had a compelling 90% lower risk of sudden cardiac death compared with those whose omega-3s were 2.1 to 4.3% or less of their total fatty acids.94 People with omega-3 levels between 4.3 and 5.2% attained some benefit, with a 48% reduction in risk, while those whose scores were between 5.2 and 6.1% had an 81% risk reduction.94 Knowing your omega-3 levels via the Omega Score enables you to establish several key indices of cardiovascular risk, including risk of sudden cardiac death,95 risk for developing heart disease,95,96 and risk of fatal ischemic heart disease.97 This crucial information can then be used to create an omega-3 supplement regime with the appropriate amount of omega-3s to attain healthy blood levels that may prevent a lethal cardiac event.

Additionally, the Omega Score is one of the only tests that can check the level of a special omega-7 fatty acid called palmitoleic acid that has recently been connected with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, improving insulin sensitivity, and lowering triglycerides, glucose, and CRP levels. This omega-7 fat also has a profound effect on the body’s response to energy intake and fat intake and it helps suppress production of new fat.98,99


Growing evidence suggests that fish oil omega-3s are complemented by those from krill oil, which occur naturally in a form that can be readily taken up by cell membranes.

Fish oil and krill oil have now been shown to provide superior neuroprotection, protecting vital brain areas from age-related shrinkage and dysfunction. Such measures may prevent memory loss, dementia, and even depression.

Fish and krill oils combined also optimize cardiovascular health to lower blood lipids, reduce the risk of arrhythmias, and prevent heart attacks and the damage they cause. Similarly, the marine oils lower risk for obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, which in turn can lower chances of developing diseases from cancer to stroke. And now there’s evidence that these oils can ameliorate osteoporosis and painful arthritis.

Thus, both fish oil and krill oil offer secure, complementary coverage to safeguard the health of our aging bodies.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.


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