Low Omega-3 Same Mortality as Smokers


Do you supplement with omega-3 fatty acids? I have on and off, but after reading this research paper two weeks ago, my boys and I have not missed a day.

In a 2021 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers showed that a smoker with a high omega-3 fatty acid index had the same life expectancy as a non-smoker with a low omega-3 index of 4% or less.

So, if you don’t eat fish regularly and do not supplement with fish oil, you likely have a low omega-3 index. 

Another study showed that a low omega-3 index is one of the six top preventable causes of death in the United States, with over 84,000 people dying per year.    

Furthermore, a 2022 study in the journal Nutrients, showed that high omega-3 fatty acid intake reduced the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 50% and increased life expectancy by about 5 years. This is, in part, because the DHA form of omega-3s helps to maintain the blood-brain barrier. 

So, what quantity of omega-3’s should one aim for each day and where does one get omega-3 fatty acids? 

Aim for 4-5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day. 

For you milk drinkers out there, consider raw milk, which has a much higher omega-3 content than pasteurized milk (about 0.2 grams per cup vs virtually none in conventional milk). 

Sardines are also a good food source, with about 2 grams of omega-3s per 3 oz of fish. When natural health expert, Dr. Joe Mercola came through Charlottesville in 2017, he requested these sardines to go on his salad, which is what I use to this day.

But the easiest way to get consistent omega-3s is with supplements. I use Viva Naturals because it has a good price point, high omega-3s, and been shown to be free of heavy metals. I take four of these gel capsules per day and my boys each take one. 

So, if you’re interested in living longer (life span) while having the best quality of life for the longest possible time (healthspan), it is pretty clear that omega-3 fatty acids need to be a part of your daily routine.


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