A few months ago, I embarked upon the Seven Seas omega-3 experiment. This involved checking my omega-3 levels prior to beginning this challenge and also afterwards too.
My omega-3 levels came out as 5.4 (the threshold for greatest benefit is 8), following which I started taking two Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil Maximum Strength Capsules a day for three months and tried to up my oily fish intake.
Towards the end of the duration, I visited my hair stylist, who was surprised by how much better the condition of my hair was. We’ve spent a lot of time trying out new products over the last few years, as it has been quite dry. Hearing this made me wonder whether it could be attributed to my omega-3 levels rising. I know strong omega-3 levels are brilliant for heart, vision, bone and brain function; but could an increase have made my skin healthier and hair shinier too?
Then I got the results this week, and sure enough, there has been a distinct improvement. Read on for some info from Professor Philip Calder, Professor of Nutritional Immunology within Medicine at the University of Southampton:
“Fatty acids have been measured in Helen’s red blood cells prior to beginning a period of daily use of omega-3 supplements and again after three months. The omega-3 fatty acid content of red blood cells – the fatty acids are in the membrane of the cells – is considered to be a good indicator of how much omega-3s are being eaten. The omega-3s of greatest interest are EPA and DHA.
A higher intake of EPA and DHA (and so a greater content in red blood cells) is linked with better health, including heart health. This is because the amount of EPA and DHA in red blood cells mirrors the amount in tissues like the heart. Researchers have defined the omega-3 index as the combined amounts of EPA plus DHA in red blood cells and suggest that this index be used as an indicator of heart health, just like blood cholesterol or blood pressure might be used. An omega-3 index of 4 or below would be a cause for concern, while an index of 8 or above would be a good sign.”
And the findings are…. “Helen’s blood taken after three months of daily use of an omega-3 supplement gave an omega-3 index of 7.4, a significant improvement from 5.4. This index is much closer to the desired value of 8 and would be associated with improved heart health. A great result.”
Ta-dah! I’m so happy with these results, and yesterday spoke to Seven Seas Consultant Dietician Helen Bond, grabbing her advice on maintaining these levels.
Helen says, “Helen must be thrilled with the results of her three-month trial – what a success! There has been a real shift in her omega-3 index score and she is now only marginally off the threshold for the greatest heart health benefits of 8 or more.
“Many factors such as our age, weight, sex, diet, genetics, smoking and medications can all influence the body’s response to additional EPA and DHA, but in Helen’s case, an omega -3 index score increase of 2, clearly highlights that her body is responding well to any dietary changes and the Seven Seas CLO supplementation. But, it is important that Helen doesn’t get too complacent, as without continued intervention, her score could easily return to her starting value over the following months. To push her omega-3 index score up further and make sure that it stays there, it’s important for Helen to keep up the good work. Depending on Helen’s dietary habits, she could easily continue with the CLO supplementation – in either of the two following forms:
- One capsule of Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil Maximum Strength provides 360mg of the long chain essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA and 5mcg of vitamin D, important for healthy bones and muscles – a vitamin largely deficient in the diets of the UK population.
- If Helen is willing to take CLO off the spoon, she could also swap to Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil maximum strength liquid to benefit from an even higher dose of EPA and DHA. Just two 5 ml teaspoons daily (10ml) provide 3050mg EPA and DHA (and 7.5mcg vitamin D) proven to support healthy heart and brain function, healthy vision, normal blood pressure and healthy triglyceride levels – another type of fat in the blood.
“Whilst supplements no doubt play a key role in boosting intakes of these essential fats, especially if oil rich fish is not often (or never) on Helen’s weekly menu, it is always better to get your nutrients off a plate. Omega-3 fats are in abundance in oily fish, including salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna and kippers. Helen should aim to eat two (140g) portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily.”
Overall, this experiment has been a fantastic success, and I’ve learnt lots. Looking ahead, I’m much more aware of the importance of omega-3, and will keep an eye on those oily fish portions, whilst continuing to take my daily Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil capsules.
Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil Maximum Strength Capsules (RRP £7.99) are available nationwide, and can be found at Boots within their 3 for 2 offer section.
Disclaimer: this sponsored post was created in collaboration with Seven Seas.