Omega 3 fatty acids may be a biological bonanza. From heart disease to Parkinsons, their powerful anti-inflammatory properties modulate the body's immune function and reduce inflammation. To inflammatory diseases, it’s Kryptonite.
By improving biochemical pathways that regulate nerve transmission, Omega 3s improve neuronal development to prevent strokes, reduce major depression and sharpen visual acuity. Long known to benefit cardiac conditions and certain cancers, a new study now finds Omega 3 fatty acids essential to improved recovery of major cancer surgery.
In a ground breaking study at the Trinity College Dublin, patients undergoing surgery for esophageal cancer received identical nutrition for 2 weeks prior to and 3 weeks following surgery. Half also received Omega 3 supplements. The result?
The Omega 3 group reduced loss of muscle mass by reducing inflammatory compounds in the blood. Their metabolism was less stressed after surgery and they were less likely to have a fever in the first week following the operation, as compared to the control group.
Just imagine . . . simple diet choices of oily fish like salmon, herring, Pacific oysters, trout, tuna and Dungeness crab could ward off dementia and get you home sooner after surgery. By adding flaxseeds, walnuts, tofu and canola oil to your meals, you could improve the trajectory of your autoimmune disease and reduce the risk of cancer.
Don’t like fish? Allergic to nuts? Omega 3 fatty acids are widely available as supplements. (If you take blood thinning medication, do not take Omega-3 fish oils without first telling your doctor.)
With the rising costs of health care and shrinking financial resources, the news of simple nutritional changes that reduce the impact of disease and the challenges of surgery could not come at a better time.
Perhaps not a silver bullet but for some of us, a golden ticket.