Why Lack of Omega-3 Fats is Harmful to Your Health

Posted on October 9th, 2009 by Dr. Mercola  |  16 Comments »

Omega-3 fat deficiency is killing more Americans than eating too much trans fats, according to a Harvard study.

Looking at 2005 data from the National Health Center for Health Statistics, researchers mathematically determined that between 72,000 to 96,000 deaths could be prevented each year if people would be consuming more omega-3 fats, such as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

The study also looked at other dietary, lifestyle and metabolic factors like tobacco smoking and high blood pressure.

This news comes as no surprise to Dr. Joseph Mercola. As an osteopathic physician, Dr. Mercola focuses on helping people prevent illnesses and one of his top recommendations is a healthy diet with optimal omega-3 fat intake.

He has long warned that omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for two deadly diseases: cancer and heart disease.

Mercola believes that omega-3 fats can help treat children suffering from learning disabilities and short bowel syndrome and help prevent premature death from diseases such as:

·         autoimmune diseases such as lupus and nephropathy

·         breast, colon and prostrate cancers

·         Crohn’s disease

·         coronary heart disease and stroke

·         essential fatty acid deficiency in infancy (retinal and brain development)

·         mild hypertension, and

·         rheumatoid arthritis

Aside from physical health benefits, omega-3 fats can also be beneficial for your mind. Studies show that omega-3 supplements have therapeutic benefits for depressed patients because those suffering from depression were found to have lower levels of omega-3 than non-depressed individuals.

Fish, flaxseed, grass-fed beef, grass-fed organic butter and health products such as krill oil are good sources of omega-3 fats. Be careful when consuming fish, though, due to the dangers of mercury contamination. For Dr. Mercola, the safest fish to consume are wild red Alaskan salmon, croaker, flounder, haddock, sardines and tilapia.

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