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Ladies: Are you getting enough omega-3s to protect your heart?

by Barlean's on April 04, 2017

Omega-3s-and-Heart-Health-in-Women-resized.jpg 

Chances are, you’re not. A new population study, soon to be published in the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, found that most of the study participants had blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids too low to promote heart health.* [1][2]

 

The researchers, led by Dr. Sandra Gellert from the University of Hannover, studied a group of 446 German women aged 40 to 60. They measured the women’s omega-3 levels (EPA and DHA) and divided them into segments. An overwhelming majority of the volunteers 97.3 percent! — had omega-3 levels below 8 percent. This is the ideal threshold believed by scientists to promote heart health.*  

 

A solid majority, 62.8 percent, had omega-3 levels between 4 and 6 percent (considered low), while 9 percent had levels less than 4 percent (considered very low) The average was 5.49 +/- 1.17 percent. Women aged 50 or older and non-smokers had slightly higher averages, while women taking hormonal birth control had lower levels of EPA. 

 

Why are these statistics eye opening? Because when it comes to enjoying good cardiovascular health, every improvement you make in your omega-3 status (from very low to low to moderate to high) makes a difference.*  

 

“Our results show that the long-chain omega-3 PUFA status in German women…should be improved,” researchers commented. It’s not just German women who aren’t getting enough omega-3s though. A study published in 2014 found that American adults are not meeting current recommendations for fish and omega-3 intake either (defined as two 3.5 ounce fish servings per week, preferably oily fish).* [3]

 

You can raise your omega-3 levels by consuming foods rich in these beneficial fatty acids, such as cold-water fish like salmon, cod, mackerel, and tuna. Vegetarian sources include seaweed, walnuts, and flax seeds. To put your omega-3 consumption on autopilot, take afish oil or flax seed oil supplement every day. 

 

References

[1] Gellert S, Schuchardt JP, Hahn A.. Prostaglandins, Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2017 Feb; 117:54-59.

[2] Gray N. Nutraingredients. 2017 Jan 27

[3] Papanikolaou Y, et al. Nutr J. 2014;13:31

 
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