The side effects of obesity stopped by omega-3s

eskimo enjoying a fishYup’ik Eskimos are on the chubby side (along with the rest of the modern world), but despite the high rates of obesity, they appear to be bucking the trend, which typically sees obesity go to chronic conditions of diabetes, heart disease etc. 

Their secret to beating the scourge – mega doses of omega-3.

Yup’ik Eskimos still eat lots of fish

Traditionally, communities living in Kuskokwim Delta region of southwest  Alaska subsisted on a diet of fish.  Increasingly people are substituting fish for pizza and pasta, but on the whole, they still include lots of fish .

Their fish fetis,  translates to them eating 20 times more omega-3 fats, than the average American.

Extra omega-3 brings health benefits

When researchers from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre peeked inside 330 people (most of them overweight or obese), living in the delta, they found fish eaters had higher levels of DHA and EPA.  Not really a big surprise, since salmon and sardines are full of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

The “surprise” was that when the DHA and EPA levels were high,  there was no evidence of metabolic disturbances.  The blood lipid profiles and levels of C-reactive protein (a measure of overall body inflammation) were normal, irrespective of whether the person was overweight or not.

As soon as the DHA and EPA levels dropped – extra pounds translated into metabolic disturbances.

Omega-3 fats prevented obesity adverse effects

Yup’ik Eskimos are fully participating in the obesity epidemic with rates of obesity similar to other states in America.

Obesity leads to diabetes and cardiovascular disease but despite obesity being widespread, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is only 3.3 %, in comparison with the national average of 7.7 %.

It could be argued that Eskimo’s just have a good set of genes, which is offering this protection, but the blood work from this study suggests it’s not genes but seafood working.

Is omega-3 the way to beat diabetes ?

First prize is lose the fat.  Being overweight or obese is like buying a ticket to the move “Metabolic Mayhem”.   How the movie ends, depends on your genes, but you’re buying a ticket for a thriller not a comedy.  The end will be ugly.

Whether you’re a skinny bean pole or a hefa-lump, you need to balance your eicosanoids.  Strive to get the balance right FOR YOU !   The more metabolic disturbances you have i.e. the fatter you are, the more likely the balance is completely wacked.  So go ahead, pop fish oil supplements or eat more fatty fish, just make sure you get the dose right.   Remember, too much of a good thing can be just as bad as too little.

 Associations of obesity with triglycerides and C-reactive protein are attenuated in adults with high red blood cell eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 23 March 2011 ;Z Makhoul, A R Kristal, R Gulati, B Luick, A Bersamin, D O’Brien, S E Hopkins, C B Stephensen, K L Stanhope, P J Havel, B Boyer.

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Further reading


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balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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