New research confirms that omega-3s improve gut health, helping prevent obesity, inflammation, and autoimmune disorders

Friday, October 06, 2017 by

In the largest cohort study to date, a team of British nutrition experts confirmed just how powerful omega-3 fatty acids are for optimum health. Their research, published in Scientific Reports, observed more than 800 middle-aged to older women to see how a balanced diet consisting of foods rich in omega-3, probiotics, and fibrous items affected the gut microbiome.

The team found that omega-3 in particular positively influenced the trillions of bacteria and fungi that live in our gut. Participants who consumed omega-3 in adequate quantities every day had a dramatically decreased risk of developing conditions related to inflammation.

Additionally, omega-3s impacted just how diverse the gut microbiome became. Medical science has already proven that this diversity lowers the risk of obesity, type-2 diabetes, and related conditions such as Crohn’s disease or colitis.

Trials on these women included measuring the amount of “good” bacteria in the gut in relation to how much omega-3 was taken. Blood serum levels, which show how much omega-3 is found in the blood, were also calculated. The team found that women who ate more omega-3-rich foods had higher serum levels and a more diverse gut microbiota.

Scientists believe that omega-3 functions as a precursor to the production of N-carbamylglutamate (NCG), an enzyme that increases protein synthesis and allows friendly gut bacteria to proliferate.

As explained by Dr. Cristina Menni, one of the authors of the study, “this compound has been shown in animals to reduce oxidative stress in the gut. We believe that some of the good effects of omega-3 in the gut may be due to the fact that omega-3 induces bacteria to produce this substance.”

Dr. Menni and her fellow researchers nevertheless concluded that they still need to further study the exact mechanisms involved in this process. They likewise stressed the importance of eating omega-3 in conjunction with other healthful nutrients such as probiotics and dietary fiber.

Eat more omega-3s

This study really drives home the fact that you need to increase your intake of this crucial nutrient. No other fatty acid has been more extensively studied than omega-3s. Their medical benefits extend far beyond just improving your digestive profile. Listed below are few more benefits to take note of:

It fights depression – We use the verb quite literally. Depression is an insidious disease. Despite millions of Americans suffering from the condition, many people still don’t understand just how debilitating the mental illness can be. Those who are depressed often complain of being in an internal war with one’s own self. Omega-3 has been shown to battle symptoms of depression and anxiety easily, reducing the severity of symptoms after a few months of regular intake. Mental health professionals believe that by improving the brain-gut connection, omega-3 helps depressed patients rewire their brain. One study even suggested that omega-3 fatty acids are just as effective as a common antidepressant drug, Prozac, with no side-effects.

It improves eye health – A major component of omega-3, DHA, protects the retina of the eye. Several medical reviews have observed that omega-3 reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration, which is one of the leading causes of blindness.

It helps babies – Pregnant women are told to take more omega-3 as the fatty acid is associated with improved fetal development. Scientists have seen that omega-3 can lead to fetuses having higher intelligence and better communication and social skills. Children also have a decreased risk of various neurocognitive conditions such as autism and cerebral palsy. (Related: Omega-3-rich breast milk improves child intelligence more than income and education spending.)

It prevents cardiovascular disease – Omega-3 supports healthy heart function. Data indicates the fatty acid to be highly efficient in keeping LDL cholesterol levels down while boosting HDL levels.

These are but a sampling of the health benefits omega-3 can have. You can read more articles about the health benefits of this fatty acid by visiting Nutrients.news.

Sources include:

DailyMail.co.uk

Diabetes.co.uk

JN.Nutrition.org

HealthLine.com

 



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