A new study was published, laying the ground work for future learning on the very important topic of omega-3 in human development.
This is a nice list of foods; all foods that I recommend. The missing nutrient among these, however, are the long chain omega-3s (EPA and DHA). While flax is a healthful food, particularly when the whole seed is consumed, freshly ground but it will not supply sufficient long-chain omega-3s.
CNN Money has rated Registered Dietitians as number 3 in Best Jobs for Saving the World. I am a dietitian (full disclosure) and I cannot disagree. When we fully embrace the fact that what we eat on a daily basis is our first line of healthcare and that we directly impact our health through the foods we eat – for better or worse – our population and our planet will reap the benefit.
We can no longer ignore (or be surprised) that poor diet choices lead to the demise of our health. Eating well is the most cost-effective health care.
Link to article here:
Suicide in the Military
Note: this is a difficult topic and one too important to ignore
Suicide rates have doubled in the US military in the past decade. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids impact mental health and brain function. DHA omega-3 is a structural component of brain cell membranes, and both EPA and DHA are directly involved with the metabolism of the brain and nervous system.
In this recent publication, blood levels of DHA omega-3 in enlisted Military personnel who committed suicide over a recent 7-year period were compared to enlisted personnel who are living, and similar in age, rank, etc.
Lower DHA levels were associated with a significantly higher risk of suicide. Higher levels of DHA were associated with lower risk, but the overall levels of DHA among everyone assessed were very low, lower than average levels of people living in North America or Australia, for example. They were low.
This publication is incredibly important because we learn 1) more about the relationship between these brain nutrients and suicide, and 2) that Military personnel need more of these essential nutrients. The body can not make long chain omega-3s – they must come through diet or supplements.
Research Abstract: Lewis MD, Hibbeln JR, Johnson JE, et al. Suicide deaths of active-duty US military and omega-3 fatty-acid status: A case-control comparison. J Clin Psychiatry 2011;72:e1-e6.
Background: The recent escalation of US military suicide deaths to record numbers has been a sentinel for impaired force efficacy and has accelerated the search for reversible risk factors.
Objective: To determine whether deficiencies of neuroactive, highly unsaturated omega-3 essential fatty acids (n-3 HUFAs), in particular docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are associated with
increased risk of suicide death among a large random sample of active-duty US military.
Method: In this retrospective case-control study, serum fatty acids were quantified as a percentage of total fatty acids among US military suicide deaths (n = 800) and controls (n = 800)
matched for age, date of collection of sera, sex, rank, and year of incident. Participants were active duty US military personnel (2002–2008). For cases, age at death ranged from 17–59 years (mean = 27.3 years, SD = 7.3 years). Outcome measures included death by suicide, postdeployment health assessment questionnaire (Department of Defense Form 2796), and ICD-9 mental health diagnosis data.
Results: Risk of suicide death was 14% higher per SD of lower DHA percentage (OR = 1.14; 95% CI, 1.02–1.27; P < .03) in adjusted logistic regressions. Among men, risk of suicide death was 62% greater with low serum DHA status (adjusted OR = 1.62; 95% CI, 1.12–2.34; P < .01, comparing DHA below 1.75% [n = 1,389] to DHA of 1.75% and above [n = 141]). Risk of suicide death was 52% greater in those who reported having seen wounded, dead, or killed coalition personnel (OR = 1.52; 95% CI, 1.11–2.09; P < .01).
Conclusion: This US military population had a very low and narrow range of n-3 HUFA status.
Although these data suggest that low serum DHA may be a risk factor for suicide, well-designed intervention trials are needed to evaluate causality.
Robert Orr has served as a mentor and invaluable leader for me in my time with omega-3s. I’m glad to see this article.
Every year, 750,000 Americans suffer a stroke and more than 150,000 die. The sooner you get treatment, the better chance you have to survive. Now, scientists may have found a new way to stop, and even reverse, damage from a stroke.
50-year-old David Adams used to run a restaurant. Then, five years ago, he had a stroke. His life changed in an instant.
Thanks to years of therapy, David’s gotten his independence, and some skills back, such as reading, writing, talking and driving.
While David and countless others face the daily challenges of life after stroke, LSU researchers have been looking for a way to stop the damage.
A team led by LSU Neuroscientist Dr. Nicolas Bazan discovered that one injection of DHA, which is a very important component of fish oil, can protect the brain for up to five hours after a stroke and stop the damage.
“In fact, it does both: protection and reversion of cells that are in the process of being severely injured,” Bazan said. “This could be the way to protect and minimize the terrible consequences of stroke.”
It is still early, but some are calling it a breakthrough.
Administering clot-busting drugs is currently the only treatment for ischemic stroke. But, only 3 to 5 percent of stroke patients benefit from these drugs.
LSU researchers hope to begin human clinical trials with the new fish oil compound within two or three years.
I am repeatedly asked about the wisdom of using krill for omega-3 supplements.
The concern I hear from the public include 1) environmental impact, 2) cost value, 3) evidence for claims being made. I can speak about claims. In the news today…..
Antarctic krill harvest under scrutiny after penguin study
By Mike Stones, 14-Apr-2011
Renewed scrutiny of the sustainability of krill harvesting off Antartica is likely following a new study linking falling penguin numbers to declining krill populations.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , found that penguin species, such as Chinstrap and Adelie, had fallen by up to 50 percent in western Antarctica over the past 25 years due to a fall in the availability of krill.
The decline in krill density was attributed not to over fishing but to warming waters, less sea-ice and increased predation from whales and seals.
The research was conducted by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
The shrimp-like Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is one of the globe’s most abundant species found in densities of up to 30,000 creatures in a cubic-metre of seawater. Rich in phospholipids and omega-3s, they are harvested by companies such as Aker Biomarine and Neptune to make omega-3 products.
The British Antarctic Survey said the research underlined the need to monitor krill populations. The organization’s Simeon Hill told NutraIngredientsUSA: “This is a very welcome piece of research which illustrates that krill is a key part of a complex ecosystem. There are many causes of change in this ecosystem, including fluctuations in the climate and long term changes in the balance of species in the foodweb.
“These changes to penguin populations are a useful reminder of the need to continue to monitor and carefully regulate the krill fishery to ensure that it does not become an additional source of pressure on vulnerable populations.”
Last month, Hill told an omega-3 conference in Bruges, Belgium that the annual krill harvest ot 210,000 tonnes was 34 percent of the limit of 620,000 tonnes set to minimize environmental risk.
Eric Anderson, Aker BioMarine Antarctic US, told NutraIngredientsUSA: “As the largest commercial harvester, we take very seriously the health of the ecosystem and krill biomass. Aker BioMarine adheres to the highest environmental standards in all aspects of operations and is focused on operating our fishery in a manner which emphasizes sustainable harvesting practices and minimizing environmental impact.
Our aim is to responsibly utilize the valuable marine resources we harvest to the fullest of their potential.”
Aker cooperates closely with the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Norway) to ensure krill is sustainably harvested, he added.
A co-founder of the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies (ARK), Aker earned Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification last year.
Wael Massrieh, Neptune Technologies’ vice president of scientific affairs, told NutraIngredientsUSA: “According to the numerous recent scientific papers and the testimony of world leader researchers on Antarctic krill populations, such as Dr Simeon Hill, on the one hand what is happening at the WAP (Western Antarctic Peninsular) is a local environmental situation which cannot be generalised to the entire marine ecosystem of the continent.
“On the other hand, the overall Antarctic krill population is sustainable and still very abundant, and strictly managed.”
Meanwhile, the sustainability of krill harvesting will be highlighted at the Vitafoods Europe trade show in Geneva, Switzerland next month during at a presentation by Nina Jensen conservation director for environmental group WWF-Norway.
Source: The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Title: Variability in krill biomass links harvesting and climate warming to penguin population changes in Antarctica
Authors: Wayne Trivelpiece et al
Invited by Integrative Mental Health Care of Oregon
Is my diet making me depressed?
What can I do?©
A free public lecture
Gretchen K. Vannice, MS, RD
Omega-3 RD™ Nutrition Consulting
Thursday, April 7, 2011, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Salem Public Library, Loucks Auditorium,
585 Liberty St SE, Salem, OR 97302
Is there something fishy about our diet and the brain? Can depression and mood disorders be related to our diet? Research shows there is less depression in countries that consume more omega-3s. Good fats make a difference and getting them is easier than you may think.
Learn the evidence behind omega-3 fatty acids in depression and mood disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids: what they are, how to get enough of the right ones; learn dietary intake recommendations, based on your health status. This talk will review practical steps you can take and how to read labels.
There will be time for questions and discussion. No registration necessary.
Gretchen Vannice, registered dietitian, is a Health Educator and Nutrition Consultant specializing in omega-3s. She has coordinated clinical research trials in the US and Europe, is a public speaker, published author and international trainer. Ms. Vannice is Chair of the International Science committee for the Global Organization of EPA & DHA Omega-3, an Executive board member of the Omega-3 Learning Consortium and recently published an Editorial in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Managing Risk with Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Supplier Seminar Theatre Presentation
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 at 2:35-3:05 p.m.
Presented by Gretchen Vannice, MS, RD
Metabolic Syndrome is a powerful and often “silent” predictor of cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome is increasing among adults and teens around the globe. In this session you will learn what Metabolic Syndrome is, and about a research-based approach toward managing risk with DHA/EPA marine omega-3 fatty acids.
Gretchen Vannice MS, RD, based in Portland, Oregon, USA is a research consultant, trainer, and author of a recently published article on Metabolic Syndrome in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Chair of the International Scientific Committee for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA, Gretchen is a member of the Executive Board of the International N-3 Learning and Education Consortium for Health and Medicine. She is also the Managing Director of Omega-3 RD Nutrition Consulting.
Disclosure: Supported by EPAX AS
Consensus Statement from the Global Summit on Nutrition, Health and Human Behavior held in Bruges, Belgium
4 March 2011
Brain and heart disorders resulting from LC‐Omega‐3 (EPA+DHA) deficiency are the biggest challenges to the future of humanity
Associated costs are currently bankrupting health care systems and threatening wider economic instability worldwide.
Tissue concentrations of LC‐Omega‐3 (relative to LC‐Omega‐6) are the key variable for health – not dietary intakes.
Biomarkers need to be standardised and used as public health targets
Omega‐3 Index 8‐11, Omega‐3 in HUFA 50%+ would protect 98% of population
Dietary intake of >1000 mg LC‐Omega‐3 needed if consuming western‐type diet (but this depends on dietary % LA vs ALA, and ARA.)
Most people fall far short of these basic needs
Shorter‐Chain Omega‐3 (ALA, SDA and EPA) have poor conversion to DHA in humans
To make tissue targets feasible, we urgently need to reduce LA and increase ALA in human and animal diets and Increase the availability of LC‐Omega‐3 (especially DHA) for human consumption in a sustainable, environmentally responsible way
EDUCATION of all stakeholders is key to achieving these changes