Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Update on New Data Published on Benefits of DHA (Omega-3's, e.g. Fish Oil)

The benefits of DHA supplementation were recently discussed in several publications:
  • A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (August 2007) found that DHA is effective in reducing the level of triglycerides in male hypertriglyceridemic patients. In this study, DHA alone was effective without EPA, the other omega-3 commonly found in fish oil, in reducing triglycerides. Hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels) in men is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
  • An independent study published in the Society of Biological Psychiatry (July 2007) found a deficit in the total fatty acid composition of the orbitofrontal cortex and found a selective deficit in the level of DHA compared with controls in brain examinations of postmortem patients who had been diagnosed with major depression compared with controls. These findings add to the growing body of evidence showing a correlation between low tissue levels of DHA in neuropsychiatric diseases such as depression.
  • A study published in Nature Medicine (July 2007) reported that increasing consumption of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, reduces destructive vascularization in the retina. In this animal study of retinopathy associated with prematurity, the authors summarize a series of experiments demonstrating that long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, and selected metabolites, are effective in reducing retinal vascular disease, a leading cause of blindness.