Alarm bells are ringing – but read all health facts

Oily fish - a source of omega-3
Oily fish - a source of omega-3
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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Omega-3 – is there a real reason to panic? Good question. Having read the report that appeared on Sky News last Thursday, I decided to do some more research myself.

The report revealed that a new study had found taking health supplements with omega-3 fatty acids can increase the chances of developing prostate cancer.

A US team of scientists compared blood samples from 834 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1393 participants without the disease.

High blood concentrations of all three omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in supplements EPA, DPA and DHA were linked to the findings.

Writing in the online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the scientists said the evidence suggested that the fatty acids played a role in prostate cancer development.

Further research was needed to uncover possible causes, said the researchers.

And nutritionists said the research was a snapshot and there was a long way to go before anyone could say cause of effect.

It is very easy to become alarmed by what is reported in the news and my advice would be to look at all of the research out there before you make your mind up.

This is important because there are many benefits of omega-3.

Omega 3 (sometimes referred to as omega 3 fatty acids) is an unsaturated fatty acid that is essential for a normal metabolism.

Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be synthesized by our bodies so instead we have to get them from other sources.

Common sources include plant oils like flaxseed, algae, and hemp and the most popular omega-3 source is fish oils.

Fish oil is one of the best sources because the fish at the bottom of the food chain eat green algae from the bottom of the ocean.

The green algae in the ocean produces 50 per cent of the world’s oxygen and is the primary source for marine life.

There are hundreds of studies, clinical trials and real world examples of the amazing omega-3 benefits that prove almost conclusively it is fundamental to a healthy diet.

One of the primary omega-3 benefits is its clinically proven ability to reduce inflammation by balancing the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio (omega-6 is a known cause of inflammation when your omega-3 intake is low).

Inflammation in the body is the cause of many serious and life-threatening health problems such as heart disease, arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus and a whole host of other ailments.

Omega-3 is one of the ingredients on the label for prenatal vitamins for babies because it improves brain development and function.

Women who take omega-3 while pregnant have babies with fewer learning difficulties and a higher IQ than the average baby.

Studies also show that omega-3 benefits your brain by giving more clarity and focus.

In fact, it is commonly used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) because sufferers of ADHD typically have lower levels of omega-3 in their body.

The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 have also been shown to reduce blood pressure to healthier levels and one of the most documented benefits is the fatty acids’ ability to regulate cholesterol levels.

However, the quality of the fish oil varies between many products and the easiest way to up your levels of omega-3 is by eating three to four portions of oily fish per week.

If you do choose supplements, then make sure that you have a look at the quality first.

· Nikki Caputa is a health and fitness coach who works one-to-one with clients and runs her own fitness camps where she trains groups.

Known as FAB Body Bootcamps, two are based in Fareham and one is in Portsmouth. Nikki is also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

Visit and Follow Nikki on Twitter @nikkifitmum1.