Life Extension Magazine®

Woman in yellow exercising

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.

Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written 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.


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.


  1. Benjamin Emelia J, Muntner P, Alonso A, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2019 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2019 2019/03/05;139(10):e56-e66.
  2. Lăcătușu C-M, Grigorescu E-D, Floria M, et al. The Mediterranean Diet: From an Environment-Driven Food Culture to an Emerging Medical Prescription. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2019;16(6):942.
  3. Martini D. Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1802.
  4. Pérez-Rey J, Roncero-Martín R, Rico-Martín S, et al. Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet and Bone Mineral Density in Spanish Premenopausal Women. Nutrients. 2019;11(3):555.
  5. Palomeras-Vilches A, Viñals-Mayolas E, Bou-Mias C, et al. Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and Bone Fracture Risk in Middle-Aged Women: A Case Control Study. Nutrients. 2019;11(10):2508.
  6. Bonaccio M, Castelnuovo AD, Costanzo S, et al. Higher adherence to Mediterranean diet is associated with lower risk of overall mortality in subjects with cardiovascular disease: prospective results from the MOLI-SANI study. Paper presented at: ESC Congress 2016; Rome, Italy.
  7. Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvado J, et al. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts. N Engl J Med. 2018 Jun 21;378(25):e34.
  8. Burke MF, Burke FM, Soffer DE. Review of Cardiometabolic Effects of Prescription Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2017 Nov 7;19(12):60.
  9. Watanabe Y, Tatsuno I. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for cardiovascular diseases: present, past and future. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2017 Aug;10(8):865-73.
  10. Schunck WH, Konkel A, Fischer R, et al. Therapeutic potential of omega-3 fatty acid-derived epoxyeicosanoids in cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Nov 7.
  11. Colussi G, Catena C, Fagotto V, et al. Atrial fibrillation and its complications in arterial hypertension: the potential preventive role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2018 Jan 30:0.
  12. Wan Y, Zheng J, Wang F, et al. Fish, long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids consumption, and risk of all-cause mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis from 23 independent prospective cohort studies. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2017;26(5):939-56.
  13. Franceschi C, Campisi J. Chronic inflammation (inflammaging) and its potential contribution to age-associated diseases. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2014 Jun;69 Suppl 1:S4-9.
  14. Calder PC. Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: from molecules to man. Biochem Soc Trans. 2017 Oct 15;45(5):1105-15.
  15. Gao H, Geng T, Huang T, et al. Fish oil supplementation and insulin sensitivity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lipids Health Dis. 2017 Jul 3;16(1):131.
  16. Bo Y, Zhang X, Wang Y, et al. The n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Supplementation Improved the Cognitive Function in the Chinese Elderly with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2017 Jan 10;9(1).
  17. Ginty AT, Conklin SM. Short-term supplementation of acute long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may alter depression status and decrease symptomology among young adults with depression: A preliminary randomized and placebo controlled trial. Psychiatry Res. 2015 Sep 30;229(1-2):485-9.
  18. Molfino A, Amabile MI, Monti M, et al. The Role of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) in the Control of Obesity and Metabolic Derangements in Breast Cancer. Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Apr 5;17(4):505.
  19. Chagas TR, Borges DS, de Oliveira PF, et al. Oral fish oil positively influences nutritional-inflammatory risk in patients with haematological malignancies during chemotherapy with an impact on long-term survival: a randomised clinical trial. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2017 Dec;30(6):681-92.
  20. Veselinovic M, Vasiljevic D, Vucic V, et al. Clinical Benefits of n-3 PUFA and -Linolenic Acid in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Nutrients. 2017 Mar 25;9(4).
  21. Barden A, O’Callaghan N, Burke V, et al. n-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Leukocyte Telomere Length in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease. Nutrients. 2016 Mar 19;8(3):175.
  22. Panahi Y, Dashti-Khavidaki S, Farnood F, et al. Therapeutic Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Chronic Kidney Disease-Associated Pruritus: a Literature Review. Adv Pharm Bull. 2016 Dec;6(4):509-14.
  23. Li YH, Yang LH, Sha KH, et al. Efficacy of poly-unsaturated fatty acid therapy on patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jun 14;21(22):7008-13.
  24. Buckland G, Mayen AL, Agudo A, et al. Olive oil intake and mortality within the Spanish population (EPIC-Spain). Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jul;96(1):142-9.
  25. Guasch-Ferre M, Hu FB, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, et al. Olive oil intake and risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality in the PREDIMED Study. BMC Med. 2014 May 13;12:78.
  26. Abuznait AH, Qosa H, Busnena BA, et al. Olive-oil-derived oleocanthal enhances beta-amyloid clearance as a potential neuroprotective mechanism against Alzheimer’s disease: in vitro and in vivo studies. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2013 Jun 19;4(6):973-82.
  27. Puel C, Quintin A, Agalias A, et al. Olive oil and its main phenolic micronutrient (oleuropein) prevent inflammation-induced bone loss in the ovariectomised rat. Br J Nutr. 2004 Jul;92(1):119-27.
  28. Latreille J, Kesse-Guyot E, Malvy D, et al. Dietary monounsaturated fatty acids intake and risk of skin photoaging. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44490.
  29. Psaltopoulou T, Kosti RI, Haidopoulos D, et al. Olive oil intake is inversely related to cancer prevalence: a systematic review and a meta-analysis of 13,800 patients and 23,340 controls in 19 observational studies. Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Jul 30;10:127.
  30. Tripoli E, Giammanco M, Tabacchi G, et al. The phenolic compounds of olive oil: structure, biological activity and beneficial effects on human health. Nutr Res Rev. 2005 Jun;18(1):98-112.
  31. Tejada S, Pinya S, Del Mar Bibiloni M, et al. Cardioprotective effects of the polyphenol hydroxytyrosol from olive oil. Curr Drug Targets. 2016 Oct 05.
  32. Virruso C, Accardi G, Colonna-Romano G, et al. Nutraceutical properties of extra-virgin olive oil: a natural remedy for age-related disease? Rejuvenation Res. 2014 Apr;17(2):217-20.
  33. De la Torre R, Corella D, Castaner O, et al. Protective effect of homovanillyl alcohol on cardiovascular disease and total mortality: virgin olive oil, wine, and catechol-methylathion. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Jun;105(6):1297-304.
  34. Bali EB, Ergin V, Rackova L, et al. Olive leaf extracts protect cardiomyocytes against 4-hydroxynonenal-induced toxicity in vitro: comparison with oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and quercetin. Planta Med. 2014 Aug;80(12):984-92.
  35. Coban J, Oztezcan S, Dogru-Abbasoglu S, et al. Olive leaf extract decreases age-induced oxidative stress in major organs of aged rats. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2014 Oct;14(4):996-1002.
  36. Poudyal H, Campbell F, Brown L. Olive leaf extract attenuates cardiac, hepatic, and metabolic changes in high carbohydrate-, high fat-fed rats. J Nutr. 2010 May;140(5):946-53.
  37. Available at: . Accessed October 6, 2020.
  38. Wu M-S, Aquino LBB, Barbaza MYU, et al. Anti-Inflammatory and Anticancer Properties of Bioactive Compounds from Sesamum indicum L.-A Review. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2019;24(24):4426.
  39. Majdalawieh AF, Dalibalta S, Yousef SM. Effects of sesamin on fatty acid and cholesterol metabolism, macrophage cholesterol homeostasis and serum lipid profile: A comprehensive review. Eur J Pharmacol. 2020 Oct 15;885:173417.
  40. Coulman KD, Liu Z, Hum WQ, et al. Whole sesame seed is as rich a source of mammalian lignan precursors as whole flaxseed. Nutr Cancer. 2005;52(2):156-65.
  41. Liu Z, Saarinen NM, Thompson LU. Sesamin is one of the major precursors of mammalian lignans in sesame seed (Sesamum indicum) as observed in vitro and in rats. J Nutr. 2006 Apr;136(4):906-12.
  42. Bernasconi AA, Wiest MM, Lavie CJ, et al. Effect of Omega-3 Dosage on Cardiovascular Outcomes: An Updated Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression of Interventional Trials. Mayo Clin Proc. 2020 Sep 17.