Life Extension Magazine®
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Issue: Winter Edition 2020

Enhancing the Benefits of Fish Oil

Followers of the Mediterranean diet have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, cancer, bone loss, and overall mortality. Scientists combined key components of this healthy diet into a fish oil concentrate with olive extract and sesame lignans.

By Michael Downey.

The benefits of the Mediterranean diet are well established.

They include reduced cardiovascular and neurological risks along with lower overall mortality.1-7

Components of the Mediterranean diet are comprised of fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds, vegetables and fruits, and whole grains.

Science today enables people to receive many Mediterranean diet components using concentrated:

  • Fish oil rich in EPA/DHA
  • Olive fruit and leaf extract
  • Sesame seed lignan extract

To conveniently deliver these nutrients, researchers have combined fish oil, olive polyphenols, and sesame lignans to enhance overall health benefits.

Lifesaving Effects of Fish Oil

Omega 3 rich foods avocado and salmon

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have a wide range of benefits for human health and longevity.

Populations that consume large amounts of oily fish have reduced incidence of cardiovascular disorders, which include heart attacks, hypertension, strokes, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure.8-11

A meta-analysis found that the highest consumption of the omega-3s EPA and DHA is associated with a 14% reduction in the risk of dying from any cause, compared to the lowest omega-3 consumption.12

In the analysis, each additional 200 mg of fish oil consumed per day led to a 7% reduction in the overall risk of death.12

Fish oil works in many different ways to achieve these benefits.

It helps lower levels of triglycerides, fats linked to risk of heart disease. It reduces the buildup of plaque on artery walls that restricts blood flow, and improves function of the endothelial cells that line blood vessels.8,9

Fish oil also combats chronic inflammation, which plays a key role in age-related disease.13,14 That helps prevent:15-23

  • Metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes,
  • Cancer,
  • Neurological disorders, such as depression and Alzheimer’s,
  • Autoimmune diseases,
  • Chronic kidney disease, and
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Olive Extract

Omega 3 softgels in a glass bottle

Olive oil has long been considered a crucial contributor to the Mediterranean diet’s benefits.24

Research shows that people who consume the most olive oil have a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular events, strokes, or any cause at all, compared to those who consume the least.25

Consuming olive oil daily may also protect against conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis to skin aging and cancer.26-29

Polyphenols are beneficial components present in olive oil that include oleuropein, tyrosol, and hydroxytyrosol.30-32

Hydroxytyrosol is one of the most common polyphenols present in extra virgin olive oil.31 In people over age 65, those who ingest the highest amount of hydroxytyrosol have been shown to live, on average, 9.5 years longer.33

Extracts of the olive leaf, concentrated and standardized to provide maximum polyphenol content, have been shown to protect cultured heart-muscle cells from destruction caused by oxidative damage.34 In a study in aged rats, olive polyphenols decreased stress-induced tissue damage and boosted intracellular resistance systems.35

In a rat model of metabolic syndrome, olive extracts improved or normalized accumulation of fat in the abdomen and liver, excessive collagen deposits in the heart and liver, cardiac stiffness, poor glucose tolerance, and abnormal lipid profiles.36

What you need to know

Combining Fish Oil, Olive Polyphenols, and Sesame Lignans

  • The Mediterranean diet is high in fish, olive oil, seeds and nuts, and other wholesome plant-derived foods.
  • People with greater adherence to this dietary pattern have reduced rates of cardiovascular and neurological diseases, cancer, and overall mortality.
  • Science has allowed us to combine key components of the Mediterranean diet into a fish oil concentrate with olive extract and sesame lignans to enhance its health benefits.

Unique Power of Sesame Seeds

Woman in yellow checking heart rate

Sesame seeds have long been a component of the Mediterranean diet,37 whether added to dishes or ground into tahini or hummus.

They contain high concentrations of polyphenols called lignans. They may reduce blood lipid levels, fight inflammation and cancer, neutralize free radicals, and enhance vitamin E bioavailability (absorbability).38,39

Metabolism of sesame lignans by intestinal microflora creates other compounds, enterolactone and enterodiol, both of which may have protective effects against hormone-related diseases such as breast cancer.40,41

Sesame lignans may help enhance the effects of omega-3s in the body, making them a complement to add to fish meals and fish oil supplements.

Omega-3 Supplementation Reduces Cardiovascular Disease Death

The Mayo Clinic Proceedings recently published a meta-analysis showing that omega-3 supplementation is associated with significant reductions in the risk for cardiovascular disease death. 42

The study looked at 40 clinical trials and concluded that supplementation with EPA and DHA reduced risk of coronary heart disease, including heart attack.

Specifically, the study found that EPA+DHA supplementation is associated with a reduced risk of:

  • Fatal myocardial infarction (35%)
  • Myocardial infarction (13%)
  • Coronary heart disease events (10%)
  • Coronary heart disease mortality (9%)

The cardiovascular protection was greater with increases in omega-3 dosage.

Increasing intake of EPA and DHA by 1,000 mg per day was associated with a reduction of 5.8% in the risk of cardiovascular disease events.

Robust evidence suggests benefits from daily supplementation with EPA+DHA.

Today’s fish oil products deliver a higher content of EPA/DHA per serving. Aging adults should consider taking at least 1,400 mg of EPA and 1,000 mg of DHA daily with meals that contain some fat to facilitate absorption.

Summary

Woman in yellow checking heart rate

People who follow a Mediterranean diet, typically rich in fish and olive oil, have lower risk of cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, cancer, bone loss, and overall mortality.

Research indicates that fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids offers anti-inflammatory and disease-prevention benefits.

Based on the impressive findings about the Mediterranean diet, combining fish oil concentrate with olive extract and sesame lignans may enhance overall health benefits.

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

References

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