Omega 3 fatty acids can control gene expression

A new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that taking high doses of omega-3 fatty acids actually directs your genes to focus on preventing inflammation and hardening of the arteries.
The omega-3s – specifically EPA and DHA (two types of omega-3 fatty acids) transform the expression of 1,040 genes after just six months. According to the researchers, “These results are the first to show that intake of EPA plus DHA for 26 weeks can alter the gene expression… to a more anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic status.” [1]
The study confirms that the food you eat – and your environment – directly influences which genes are turned on and off in your body.
That means eating natural, unprocessed foods including

  1.     * Animal protein, like wild-caught fish, organic, grass-fed beef, and free-range chicken.
  2.     * “Good fats”  foods like almonds, walnuts, eggs, and Haas avocados.
  3.     * All kinds of vegetables – especially dark leafy greens like spinach and kale.
  4.     * Fruits. Great choices are blueberries, apples and blackberries.

It also means exercising the heart and lungs as the right type of physical exertion affects gene expression. Short bursts of intensity followed by recovery (the same type of exercise that our caveman ancestors did when hunting prey) trains your body to be able to respond to your environment.

For a fuller report from Healthier

M. Bouwens, O. et al. “Fish-oil supplementation induces anti-inflammatory gene expression profiles in human blood mononuclear cells” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Volume 90, pages 415-424. June 2009 


First published November 2009


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