Heart-healthy dietary supplementation: DHA+EPA omega-3 marine oils

Geoff Nadolski, Senior Technical Commercial Manager, GC Rieber Oils, reports on the low incidences of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders observed in Greenland Eskimo populations

Epidemiological observations of native Eskimo populations in Greenland have revealed evidence to support the importance of the dietary intake of marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and the lesser known docosapentaenoic acid (DPA).

Interestingly, very low incidences of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders such as cardiovascular disease, type-1 diabetes, psoriasis and asthma were noted in Greenland Eskimo populations who consumed a traditional marine-based diet that is rich in omega-3 PUFAs.

Additionally, human clinical studies have documented that marine-derived omega-3 PUFAs possess both anti-inflammatory properties and immune-modulatory activities. Therefore, adopting a diet enriched with marine omega-3 fatty acids may promote a favourable long-term health status.

Heart-healthy dietary supplementation

Clinical studies provide evidence to suggest that dietary supplementation with marine omega-3 PUFAs significantly diminished further cardiovascular risk in patients with coronary artery disease, and after myocardial infarction. Additionally, omega-3 PUFA supplementation studies conducted on post-infarction patients revealed a reduced incidence of subsequent fatal myocardial events.

Although the underlying mechanisms for the observed cardiovascular protection have not yet been fully elucidated, supplementation studies with marine omega-3 PUFAs reveal a mode of protection that’s similar clinically relevant cardiovascular therapeutics such as aspirin, statins and beta-receptor blockers.

Documented heart-healthy studies support recommended dietary supplementation with marine omega-3 PUFAs:

  • DHA+EPA possess anti-arrhythmic and anti-inflammatory properties
  • DHA+EPA stabilise already formed, potentially deleterious vascular plaques
  • DHA+EPA dietary supplementation normalises blood lipid levels by reducing serum triglyerides
  • DHA+EPA become incorporated into cardiac membranes, stabilising them and augmenting membrane fluidity.

Omega-3:omega-6 ratio

The modern Western diet is based on terrestrial crops. As such, the predominant dietary source of PUFAs is plant-based omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 PUFAs are essential fats that provide structural and functional benefits to cell membranes.

However, when activated and liberated from cell membranes, omega-6 fatty acid metabolites can induce a potentially deleterious inflammatory cascade. Because omega-3 PUFAs compete for the same metabolic enzymes as omega-6 PUFAs, dietary supplementation with marine omega-3 PUFAs promotes a balanced omega-3:omega-6 ratio.

Omega-3 concentrates

Effective dietary supplementation with marine omega-3 PUFAs can be achieved with well-tolerated, suitably concentrated forms of DHA+EPA, such as GC Rieber Oils’ VivoMega omega-3 concentrates. Specialising in ultra-grade DHA content, we offer of the highest DHA content available in the market. Further benefits include

  • short-path molecular distillation using ultra-low vacuum ensures no appreciable heat stress/damage
  • mild and efficient enzyme technology provides tailored triglyceride contents
  • final product polishing using thin-film deodorisation provides superior taste and smell properties, low levels of oxidation and a shelf-life of at least 3 years
  • raw material sourced only from sustainable, fully traceable fisheries (FOS and/or IFFO-RS); all fish oil is derived from wild, short-lived, deep sea cold water fish (mainly anchovies and sardines, 100% tuna free)
  • high-quality product offerings: very low to non-detectable trace contaminants (environmental pollutants and oxidation content)
  • a broad array of concentrates: high DHA, high EPA or balanced EPA:DHA content.
    • A comprehensive bibliography to support this article is available from the author.

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