New DOD Clinical Study Shows That Diet Changes Can Raise Omega-3 Levels
"Developing new dietary approaches that enhance health, performance and resilience of service members is a research priority for the Defense Science Board of the U.S. Department of Defense, with clear translational benefits to the general population." - British Journal of Nutrition
Two Rivers, Wis. - August 17, 2017 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Today's modern Western Diets are being blamed for an increase in obesity, diabetes and cancer, and are thought to be closely related to mood disorders, depression, ADHD, Alzheimer's, and other neurological and inflammatory diseases.
All Western Diets have one thing in common-they are very low in Omega-3 sourced from fish or plants, and high in Omega-6s present in most of today's highly processed foods.
This imbalance is even greater in the U.S. Military diet. Low Omega-3 blood levels are believed to contribute to depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the military, along with other mental and physical conditions. Depression and PTSD can lead to suicide, a pressing problem with both active military and veterans.
A recent Department of Defense research study shows the capability of boosting Omega-3 levels through diet alone-using everyday foods designed to be high in Omega-3 and low in Omega-6.
The study found that modifying the Defense Department's dining-hall menu can improve Omega-3 blood content without the use of fish oil capsules or other Omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, DHA and EPA) are anti-inflammatory, while Omega-6 (linoleic acid) is highly inflammatory.
Led by Dr. Andrew Young from the Military Nutrition Division at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, the study was published online in the British Journal of Nutrition in May.
It demonstrated that swapping high Omega-6 foods in the U.S. Military's standard 28-day Garrison Dining Facility Menu with similar foods high in Omega-3 and low in Omega-6 substantially improved the Omega-6-to-Omega-3 blood ratio in test subjects.
Researchers believe a higher blood level of Omega-3 will speed recovery from traumatic brain injury and concussions caused by explosives. Improved cognition, physical endurance, coping skills and leadership skills are also being sought through these diet upgrades.
Nutritional Armor - Better Omega-3 Levels in Military Food Upgrades
Providers of high Omega-3 foods used in the study included Omega Foods, LLC, whose TruMega® technology delivers very high levels of marine-based Omega-3 in mainstream foods without any fishy taste. The company contributed culinary pasta sauces, mayonnaise, peanut butter and salad dressings to the dining-hall study.
"Replacing standard military condiments and sauces with Omega Foods' high Omega-3, low Omega-6 items was responsible for a 93% reduction in Omega-6 intake among test subjects," says Ken Rinkenberger, chairman of the board of Omega Foods. "In addition, condiments and sauces from Omega Foods were responsible for a 36% increase in the Omega-3 consumed. Lowering Omega-6 intake opens the door for Omega-3, as the two compete metabolically; too much Omega-6 prevents Omega-3 from being fully metabolized and used by the body."
The study organizers chose Omega Foods due to the unmatched high levels of Omega-3 and low levels of Omega-6 in the company's 37 food products. The study's diet also included high Omega-3 eggs as well as chicken and grass-fed beef from cattle given high Omega-3 feedstuffs. In addition, some test participants consumed albacore tuna and a high Omega-3 smoothie.
"The control and experimental diets were indistinguishable to study participants and research staff, and participants rated their diet positively," the British Journal of Nutrition study reported. The study further concluded that the high Omega-3 foods were well-accepted by the study participants and are feasible for military dining facilities with little added cost.
Low Omega-3 content has been linked to suicide. In a 2011 study, Suicide Deaths of Active Duty US Military and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Status: A Case-Control Comparison, fatty acid content of the blood of the participants was measured, and the lower the DHA (an essential fatty acid in fish oil) in the blood, the more likely the person was to have committed suicide (Psychology Today, November, 2011).
The Pentagon reports that 265 active-duty service members killed themselves in 2015 (USA Today, April 1, 2016). The military suicide rate is about 25 deaths per 100,000 service members, roughly 20% to 25% higher than the civilian population.
Many veterans suffer from alcohol and drug abuse that weighs further on an overburdened Veterans Administration and the health care systems in the communities to which they return. Mental illness, linked to suicide, has also risen, according to Lt. Col. Chris Ivany, Army director of behavioral health care (USA Today, June 12, 2016).
Maintaining a low Omega-6 to Omega-3 balance has additional scientific support. An expert panel convened by the RAND Corporation, concluded that: "Based on studies analyzing Omega-3 and Omega-6 FA (fatty acid) balance, it would be unethical to not attempt elevating the Omega-3 status among U.S. military personnel."
The U.S. military wants to improve the nutrition of service members with the goal of bettering their health and performance while on active duty and helping them lead healthier lives after they return home.
About Omega Foods
Omega Foods, LLC is a functional food company that has pioneered 37 food products enriched with the Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Using the company's proprietary TruMega® technology, Omega Foods produces these common grocery items with an added 50 - 1,000+ mg of EPA/DHA per serving.
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