Recent studies have shown that fish oil and fish oil supplements provide nutritional protection against some of the most dreaded diseases of aging. Its major power is its ability to stop inflammation which is a key problem in many diseases and most age-related illnesses.
It is well known that a diet rich in omega-3s helps to reduce inflammation but now it has been realised how it happens. While studying acute inflammation in animals, scientists noticed the production of small molecules released in response to inflammation, especially in the presence of high levels of omega-3 fats. “These molecules had a dual set of actions. First, they sent out a ‘stop signal,’ quickly putting a stop to runaway inflammation. Next, they triggered the active resolution of inflammation.”
If you have a healthy supply of omega-3s in your body then it will help your body to produce these molecules to stop and repair inflammation. This pathway involving these pro-resolution molecules works well with acute inflammation but with chronic inflammation there is a reduced level of pro-resolution molecules which allows the inflammation to keep running at a low active level.
Studies have shown that people with diseases that involve chronic inflammation have reduced levels of pro-resolution molecules. Other studies have revealed that these molecules are sharply reduced with age. “In fact, it is this deficiency that is now recognized as one of the chief reasons that we increasingly suffer from chronic inflammation as we grow older.”
By restoring levels of pro-resolution molecules to normal levels many inflammatory conditions can be resolved and healing can take place. The best way to do this is to ensure you have a healthy supply of omega-3 by ensuring you have fish oil in your diet or take fish oil supplements.
Low-grade inflammation and low levels of these molecules has been linked to excessive body fat, insulin resistance and hypertension. Also boosting levels of these pro-resolution molecules would be especially important to people with cardiovascular disease because they have been found to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, block clot-promoting platelet activation, prevent heart arrhythmias, prevent vascular inflammation and improve vascular function, and protect the heart muscle following a heart attack. “That immense spectrum of action has led some researchers to describe omega-3s as a ‘poly-pill,’ capable of attacking multiple targets of cardiovascular health at once.”
Lung diseases such as asthma and COPD are well known to involve out-of-control inflammation and recent studies show that asthma sufferers have reduced levels of pro-resolution molecules. Animal studies show that after treatment with omega-3 the asthma attacks were less severe. After a decade it was shown that after fish oil supplementation in pregnant women or the patient there was a 3 fold reduction in allergies and eczema, 63% reduction in children developing asthma, many athletes had a 5-fold improvement in pulmonary function and even non-athletes had vastly improved pulmonary function and exercise-induced asthma became resolved in many. COPD patients experienced significant improvements in their breathing ability, had increased oxygen saturation and found they could walk a lot further.
Neuro-inflammation is a major contributor to chronic neuro-degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies have shown that by increasing pro-resolution molecules derived from fish oil can stop this neuro-inflammation and reduce the cognitive decline in these conditions as well as helping to improve memory and dementia statuses in these patients.
Therefore just by ensuring you are taking in enough fish oil can have a major impact upon your health and can help improve many conditions and diseases that are linked to inflammation.