In a study of more than 1,600 men from Sweden and Finland, scientists determined that men with high mercury levels in their bodies had an increased risk of heart attack, while those with high levels of omega 3s had a decreased risk.
Nutrition experts say that fish should be consumed as part of a healthy diet because it is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for good health. But since many fish are contaminated with toxic levels of mercury, a heavy metal that is harmful to our health, the risks and benefits of these two opposing compounds remains unclear.
Researcher Maria Wennberg explained that there are ways to get fish oil naturally that doesn’t contain a lot of mercury.
“Fish consumption two to three times per week, with at least one meal of fatty, non-predatory fish (such as salmon) and an intake of predatory fish not exceeding once a week can be recommended,” said Wennberg, of Umeå University in Sweden.
Experts recommend that you avoid eating predatory fish (such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish) that are at the top of the ocean’s food chain because they contain concentrated amounts of mercury as opposed to lower fish on the food chain.
Mercury has been proven to damage the nervous system, especially in fetuses and children. According to warnings by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, women of childbearing age and children should not eat predatory fish.
In the new study, published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,, hair and blood samples of the men were analyzed for mercury and omega 3 content. The men also provided details about their health and lifestyle.
The Swedish men’s average mercury level was 0.57 micrograms per gram of hair, and the Finnish men’s average mercury level was more than twice that level. However, the Swedish men had higher levels of omega 3s than the Finnish men.
The researchers determined that men with at least 3 micrograms of mercury per gram of hair had a bit higher risk of heart attack compared with men with 1 microgram of mercury per gram of hair, but the exact risk was not calculated. However, this was only the case if the men also had low omega 3 levels. For men with higher levels of omega 3 fats, it took higher levels of mercury to see an increased risk of heart attack. This suggests the two compounds might have opposite effects on heart health.
The results show there is a link between mercury and an increased risk of heart attack, but does not prove that mercury is responsible for this increased risk.
Omega 3 Supplementation
Omega 3 essential fatty acids, particularly EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), have been recognized by researchers as being vitally important to achieving optimal health. EPA and DHA are the building blocks for the cells in your vital organs, and your body requires these Omega 3s to function properly. Your body cannot efficiently produce sufficient levels of EPA and DHA on its own. That’s why Omega 3s are considered vital to your health.
Taking omega 3 supplements is a convenient way to get your much needed omega 3 essential fatty acids. Healthy Choice Naturals Omega Naturals Fish Oil 1000 is harvested from the purest wild sardine, anchovy, and mackerel in the pristine waters of the Nordic Sea where there are significantly less contaminants like Mercury, Omega Naturals Fish Oil 1000 provides 420mg of EPA & 280mg of DHA per capsule. This is 230% more of the beneficial DHA and EPA compared to competing brands.
Healthy Choice Naturals Omega Naturals Fish Oil 1000 is one of the best all-natural omega 3 supplements available. Go to www.healthychoicenaturals.com to learn more about this important natural supplement.
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/PQ4CVi American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online August 15, 2012.