Omega-3 good for heart, brain, and now longer life expectancy – Chiropractic Economics

Learn more about how omega-3 may have an expanded role to play in increasing your patients’ life expectancy and protecting their health

As you likely already see in your own practice, there has been an increased interest in anti-aging, life expectancy and longevity treatments and products. Much of this is driven by the Baby Boomers (those born between 1944-64) and Generation X (those born between 1965-80), who are constantly in search of ways to stay active and vital as they grow older, as well as manage chronic conditions through alternatives to traditional medicines.

Anti-aging on the rise

According to Zion Market Research, the global anti-aging market accounted for more than $111 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach almost $163 billion by 2028.1 Chiropractic Economics’ own annual survey has shown that anti-aging products remain popular over the years, having jumped by 25% from 2018-19, and then remaining steady between 2020-21.2-5

Nutritional supplements play a vital role in these anti-aging products, particularly those that reduce the risk for chronic health conditions that can worsen with age, such as arthritis, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 supplements in particular have a long history of effectiveness against cardiovascular disease, as summarized in a review and meta-analysis published earlier this year.6

However, some compelling new research may indicate that omega-3 may increase overall life expectancy and reduce the risk of dying, regardless of the cause. Read further to learn more about how omega-3 may have an expanded role to play in increasing your patients’ life expectancy and protecting their health.

Omega-3 and life expectancy

An article from the June 16 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analyzed data from a cohort of 2,240 subjects over the age of 65, who were all followed for an average of 11 years.7 Specifically, the researchers were examining information on fatty acid levels in the blood, in order to determine which ones might be able to predict death, regardless of cause. These fatty acids included both EPA and DHA forms of omega-3, as well as myristic fatty acid, palmitoleic acid, and behenic acid.

In examining the effects of these fatty acids on life expectancy and cause of death, the researchers found that high levels of both the EPA and DHA forms of omega-3 in the blood could increase life expectancy by as much as five years.7 To put this into perspective, the researchers compared those additional five years of life from daily intake of omega-3 to smoking, which could shorten the lifespan by approximately the same amount (4.7 years). In other words, while smoking can shorten a person’s life by approximately five years, a regular intake of omega-3 could increase their life by almost the same amount.7

Nutritional support for patients

The practical upshot from this new finding could mean customizing nutritional support for individual patients, based on their lifestyle and wellness profile. This provides excellent incentive for your older patients to start on nutritional support geared to their individual needs, which should include daily intake of omega-3.

References

  1. Global Anti-Aging Market to Witness Impressive Growth, Revenue to Surge to USD 162.9 Billion By 2028. Zion Market Research. Accessed Sept. 18, 2021.
  2. Chiropractic Economics 2018 Salary & Expense Survey. Chiropractic Economics, May 25, 2018.
  3. Chiropractic Economics 2019 Salary & Expense Survey. Chiropractic Economics, May 21, 2019.
  4. Chiropractic Economics 2020 Salary & Expense Survey. Chiropractic Economics, June 3, 2020.
  5. Chiropractic Economics 2021 Salary & Expense Survey. Chiropractic Economics, June 8, 2021.
  6. Khan SU, Lone AN, Khan MS, et al. Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. EClinicalMedicine. 2021;38:100997. Published 2021 Jul 8.
  7. McBurney MI, Tintle NL, Vasan RS, et al. Using an erythrocyte fatty acid fingerprint to predict risk of all-cause mortality: The Framingham Offspring Cohort [published online ahead of print, 2021 Jun 16]. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. June 16, 2021;nqab195.

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