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Canadians need to boost their omega-3 intake : Health

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“The study, published this April in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that four out of 10 Canadians have an omega-3 blood level that’s associated with a high risk of coronary heart disease.

Oily fish (e.g., salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna) are good sources of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), omega-3 fatty acids shown to reduce inflammation, prevent abnormal heart beats, improve blood vessel function and lower blood triglycerides (fats).

Since the body can’t make EPA and DHA on its own, eating fish and taking supplements are the only ways to increase omega-3′s in the body.

To determine omega-3 levels in Canadians, Health Canada researchers analyzed data from 4,025 adults, aged 20 to 79, who participated in the Canadian Health Measures Survey from 2012 to 2015.

According to the researchers, it takes a daily dose of 1,500 mg EPA and DHA (combined) to go from an OI of 4 per cent to 8 per cent over three months.

To do so means eating at least 5 1/2 servings (six ounces each) of oily fish a week, a lot more than the two servings recommended by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Such an EPA and DHA dose could also be achieved by taking a high potency omega-3 supplement each day (which would limit the risk of consuming too much mercury from fish), or through a combination of fish and supplements”.

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