Posts Tagged ‘omega 3 Daily Mail’

Omega-3 key in reducing diabetes and heart disease

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Omega-3 key in reducing diabetes and heart disease
Omega-3 can help to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease especially as people age, says Massey University nutrition professor Bernhard Breier, co-author of a new international study.

Professor Breier, who leads an international research team, says omega-3s are especially beneficial for health in ageing because they improve carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

His research found a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids helps to burn metabolic fuels (glucose and fat) better, and can regulate energy storage across different tissues. This is despite genetic factors that predispose some people to gain weight more easily, making them potentially more susceptible to conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

“These findings are important because the ageing process is closely linked with a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome – a clustering of risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and obesity,” says Professor Breier, Chair of Human Nutrition at the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at Albany.

He says omega-3 fatty acids have been found to stimulate the process known as the insulin signalling cascade, which improves how blood sugar is used in the body. Researchers from Germany, Australia and New Zealand carried out tests on mice, examining the effects of feeding omega-3 rich diets to two groups with distinct, genetically determined traits to model different body types and metabolic responses of humans. One group developed obesity more easily and the second was a leaner variety.

When scientists measured changes to the metabolic responses, results showed the omega-3 rich diet reduced cholesterol and improved insulin action and fat metabolism in both groups of mice. However, the obesity prone mice responded less well than the leaner variety, drawing attention to genetically determined pathways that contribute to obesity.

Professor Breier says this study has shown for the first time that the insulin signalling cascade becomes more active with dietary omega-3 fatty acids. “The omega-3 fatty acids in our diet can help how energy in our body is used.”

Thousands of studies have been done on the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, with indications it may be beneficial in a range of conditions, from arthritis to heart disease. Professor Breier says this study, published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, is the first to provide direct evidence of its role in specific metabolic processes of how blood sugar and fat in our bodies are used.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for health but the human body cannot make them, unlike other types of fats. Omega-3s are found in oily fish such as salmon and sardines, as well as walnuts, eggs and flaxseed, and have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke as well as playing protective roles for healthy bones and healthy muscle.

The research findings coincide with a recent report from the Ministry of Health’s 2008-2009 diet and nutrition survey, which shows the obesity epidemic in New Zealand has surged in recent years. It reveals 28 per cent of men are obese, compared with 17 per cent at the time of the last survey in 1997. For women, the rate had increased from 21 per cent to 28 per cent. Among Måori, the survey found that 40.7 per cent of men and 48.1 per cent of women were obese.

Professor Breier says the statistics are alarming, and reinforce the need for strong public health programmes to encourage people to eat healthier food and get more exercise to prevent obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Link to Professor Breier’s paper: http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/8/1/56

Osteoporosis and low bone density are common in people in the early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study published in the Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

We’ve known that people who have had MS for a long time are at a greater risk of low bone density and broken bones, but we didn’t know whether this was happening soon after the onset of MS and if it was caused by factors such as their lack of exercise due to lack of mobility, or their medications or reduced vitamin D from lack of sun exposure,” said study author Stine Marit Moen, MD, of Oslo University Hospital Ulleval in Norway.

Research has shown Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil specifically EPA and DHA ,  are positively associated with bone mineral accrual and, thus, with peak BMD in young men.” Higher bone density in youth can decrease the chances of brittle bones and osteoporosis later in life.

Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of MS. Low vitamin D levels can lead to reduced calcium absorption and bone mineralization, or the process the body uses to turn minerals into bone structure.
“Our hypothesis was that if vitamin D exerts a major effect on the risk of MS, then the effects of low vitamin D levels on bone density would be apparent soon after the onset of MS,” Moen said.
The study involved 99 people with an average age of 37 who were recently diagnosed with MS or clinically isolated syndrome, which means they had a first episode of symptoms like those in MS but have not yet been diagnosed with the disease. All had no or minor physical disability from the disease.
The participants had bone density tests an average of 1.6 years after the first time they had any symptoms suggestive of MS. Their tests were compared to bone tests of 159 people of similar age, gender and ethnicity who did not have the disease.
A total of 51 percent of those with MS had either osteoporosis or osteopenia, compared to 37 percent of those who did not have the disease. Osteoporosis is a disease where low bone density causes the bones to become thin and brittle, making them more likely to break. Osteopenia is low bone density that is less severe than osteoporosis but puts a person at risk for osteoporosis.
The results remained the same after researchers adjusted for other factors that can affect bone density, such as smoking, alcohol use and hormone treatment.
“These results suggest that people in the early stages of MS and their doctors need to consider steps to prevent osteoporosis and maintain good bone health,” Moen said.

The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in young men is linked to “peak bone mass” or bone mineral density, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study found that 22-year-old men with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids had the greatest bone density in the body and spine two years later.

Dr. Magnus Hogstrom and colleagues from Umea University in Sweden followed 78 healthy young men from their mid-teens to early adulthood. The team measured the BMD (bone mineral density) of the total body, hip and spine at the start of the study and again when the participants were 22 and 24 years of age. The objective was to quantify a relationship between the levels of omega-3 fatty acids and bone density.

According to the journal, “The results showed that Omega-3 fatty acids,  are positively associated with bone mineral accrual and, thus, with peak BMD in young men.” Higher bone density in youth can decrease the chances of brittle bones and osteoporosis later in life.

As well as that the EPA in omega3 is one of the most potent  natural anti inflammatory as detailed in previous blogs , as a result the EPA will reduce any inflammation naturally as there is a clear relationship with osteoporosis and inflammation the EPA will target the site of inflammation and reduce it.

Although osteoporosis is often associated with women, the American Osteoporosis Foundation reports that two million American men have osteoporosis. Inadequate physical exercise, smoking and use of antacids that contain aluminum are among risk factors.

Recent research by NASA has also shown that omega3 is a key factor in preventing bone density loss during space travel and they advise that this has important implications for those at risk or suffering from osteoporosis

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