Omega-3 Status and Early Mortality

Omega-3 Status and Early Mortality

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A new study (June 2021), published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined human Omega-3 status to determine if it was a predictor of early mortality. They drew their data from the Framingham Study, one of the longest running studies of humans in the world.

Framingham Study

“The Framingham Heart Study is a long-term, ongoing cardiovascular cohort study of residents of the city of Framingham, Massachusetts. The study began in 1948 with 5,209 adult subjects from Framingham, and is now on its third generation of participants. Prior to the study almost nothing was known about the epidemiology of hypertensive or arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Much of the now-common knowledge concerning heart disease, such as the effects of diet, exercise, and common medications such as aspirin, is based on this longitudinal study.”   (Source)

This ongoing study produced the Framingham Risk Score, which set eight baseline standard risk factors: age, diabetes status, hypertension treatment, sex, smoking, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol.  Previous research (Feb, 2018) extracted from the Framingham Offspring Cohort had already found that “baseline red blood cell EPA and DHA content was significantly and inversely associated with risk of death from all causes. In that study, subjects with the highest Omega-3 Index were 33% less likely to succumb to death during the years of follow-up (median 7.3 years), compared to those with the lowest Omega-3 Index”. (Study)

In the current study we are reviewing, over 2,000 participants without cardiovascular disease, also from the Framingham Offspring Cohort, were followed for 11 years. During this time frame, subjects had their red blood cell fatty acids measured, along with having their relevant baseline clinical risk factors analyzed (adjusting for age, sex, smoking, etc). This data was evaluated for associations between standard risk factors, 28 fatty acid metrics, and all-cause mortality.  Results showed that four of the 28 fatty acid measurements, especially Omega-3 status, were at least as good at predicting all-cause mortality as the standard risk factors. And, low Omega-3 status was even more of a predictor of early mortality when it was found among those who had diabetes and/or smoked.

Lead researcher in this study, Michael McBurney, had this to say: “It is interesting to note that in Japan, where the mean Omega-3 Index is greater than 8%, the expected life span is around five years longer than it is in the United States, where the mean Omega-3 Index is about 5%. Hence, in practice, dietary choices that change the Omega-3 Index may prolong life. In the final combined model, smoking and the Omega-3 Index seem to be the most easily modified risk factors. Being a current smoker (at age 65) is predicted to subtract more than four years of life (compared with not smoking), a life shortening equivalent to having a low vs. a high Omega-3 Index.”

“The information carried in the concentrations of four red blood cell fatty acids was as useful as that carried in lipid levels, blood pressure, smoking, and diabetic status with regard to predicting total mortality,” added Bill Harris, PhD, president of the Fatty Acid Research Institute, and an author on this study. “This speaks to the power of the Omega-3 Index as a risk factor and should be considered just as important as the other established risk factors, and maybe even more so.”  (Study)

Cell Membrane Integrity

In my book Health Secrets for the 21st Century: Volume 2, I discuss at length the damage that electromagnetic pollution (electromagnetic frequencies, wireless frequencies, and cell tower microwaves) causes. One of the main ways electrosmog damages us is by rupturing cell membranes, making them porous. Porous membranes allow minerals to escape from the cell, and allow toxins to enter into the cell, eventually leading to cell death.  Of those things I discuss which can protect cell membrane integrity, four stand out: Omega-3’s, vitamin E, phosphatidylserine (PS), and minerals.

It may well be that the relationship between longevity and Omega-3 fatty acids, established above, is due in part to the ability of these good fatty acids to protect our cells. Especially now, when we are drowning in a sea of electromagnetic pollution.

Krill Oil

In my opinion, one of the best sources of Omega-3s for protecting our cell membrane integrity is Krill oil. I believe this because the phospholipid structure of the omega-3s found in krill oil makes them easier to absorb than the triglyceride form found in fish, and allows easier entrance into the cells of the body. So much easier that krill oil has been determined to be clinically effective at about one fifth the dose required from standard fish oils.

For example, many clinical studies on krill oil used standard fish oil supplements instead of placebo, and krill oil still proved to be superior at providing health benefits. Here are some of the clinically proven benefits of taking krill oil, benefits which accrue after taking only 3 small (500 mg) capsules.

• Reduces LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol

• Lowers C-reactive protein levels

• Lowers blood sugar levels

• Reduces pain and inflammation caused by arthritis

• Reduced symptoms of PMS and dysmenorrhea (extremely painful periods)

• Effective in treatment of adult ADHD


While I am on the subject of cell membrane integrity, I will end with an excerpt from Volume 2 of Health Secrets on how minerals are required to preserve the cells:

“Every cell in the body depends on minerals to perform its functions, and each cell acts like a biological battery. Essentially, the minerals function as catalysts to keep these cellular batteries charged.

Without sufficient minerals in the correct ratio, our cellular membranes cannot maintain the proper osmotic pressure between the inside and outside cell walls. That balanced pressure, along with maintaining the right pH, is what keeps viruses and bacteria from entering into the cells. This internal cellular balance also protects the cells from rupturing, preventing them from weakening and dying.

When cells are constantly exposed to high electromagnetic fields (including RF and EMR), a protective coating of calcium is removed from the cells, allowing them to rupture. Once ruptured, these cells lose their store of important minerals—most specifically calcium, copper, lithium, magnesium, potassium, and selenium.

Replacing these minerals is essential to maintaining good health and combating the damaging effects of electrosmog. On a more basic level, minerals are alkalizing, and when dealing with any health issues (including gamma radiation), one of our most important defenses is to stay alkaline.”

And what is a good source of these minerals (except for lithium, which is not legal for sale as a supplement in Canada)? Why Mineral Mix from NutriStart, of course.  As an aside, the best source of lithium (essential for maintaining a healthy mood) to be obtained in Canada, is Concentrace Trace Mineral drops. Forty drops of this concentrated inland sea water will provide 1 mg of lithium, along with 71 other trace minerals.

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