The DNA Omega 3 Link
Researchers at University of Georgia have found that taking fish oil (which contains Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA) provides heart health benefits. But that may only be the case if you have the right genetic makeup.
"We've known for a few decades that a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood is associated with a lower risk of heart disease," says research leader Kaixiong Ye. Based on such purported health benefits, fish oil supplements have become a billion-dollar industry.
A study is published in PLOS Genetics. It shows that individuals with a certain genotype who took fish oil decreased their triglyceride. This is a type of fat in the blood that is an indicator of cardiovascular health. Individuals with a different genotype who took fish oil slightly increased their triglyceride.
To show this, the researchers analyzed data from 70,000 individuals. 11,000 of them were taking fish oil supplements. The data were taken from UK Biobank, a database of genetic and health information from half a million participants.
Then the researchers performed a detailed DNA analysis for each group, testing for 8 million genetic variants to compare. After running over 64 million tests, the researchers found a significant genetic variant. It identities those who are most likely to benefit from fish oil supplements.
"What we found is that fish oil supplementation is not good for everyone; it depends on your genotype. If you have a specific genetic background, then fish oil supplementation will help lower your triglycerides,” explains Ye. “But if you do not have that right genotype, taking a fish oil supplement actually increases your triglycerides."
Some previous studies have suggested that fish oil and Omega 3 fatty acids may provide no benefit in preventing heart disease.
"One possible explanation is that those clinical trials didn't consider the genotypes of the participants," comments Ye. "Some participants may benefit, and some may not, so if you mix them together and do the analysis, you do not see the impact."
Of course the question is, how do you know if you have the right DNA to benefit from fish oil supplements? According to Ye, the answer can be extracted from the raw data provided by genetic testing companies. The ID for the variant to look for is rs112803755 (A>G).
Now that Ye has identified a specific gene that can modify an individual's response to fish oil supplements, his next step will be directly testing the effects of fish oil on cardiovascular health.
"Personalizing and optimizing fish oil supplementation recommendations based on a person's unique genetic composition can improve our understanding of nutrition," concludes Ye, "and lead to significant improvements in human health and well-being."
Thrivous Omega Cardioprotector provides Omega 3 Lysine Complex, which is five times more bioavailable than Omega 3 in standard fish oil gelcaps. Each serving of Omega also provides clinical doses of Garlic, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola), French Maritime Pine Bark, and Olive Leaf to enhance heart function and circulation for better aging. Each nutrient and each dose is backed by multiple human studies. And like all Thrivous supplements, Omega passes through multiple rounds of rigorous quality control.
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