The Omega-3 Index: Eat Seafood

“Need” is a funny concept.  You don’t need to eat seafood.  You don’t need an appendix or legs, either.

For example, Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart disease (Farzaneh-Far et al., 2010)

Telomere length is believed to be a biomarker of aging: the shorter your telomeres, the faster you’re aging.  In the study, they measured telomere length in white blood cells and EPA+DHA in whole blood at baseline and again 5 years later.

omega-3 intake and telomerase

Quartile 1: EPA+DHA = 2.3% of the fatty acids in whole blood.

Quartile 2: 3.3%

Quartile 3: 4.3%

Quartile 4: 7.3%

Potential confounders: quartile 4 was comprised of educated rich white old non-smokers with low levels of inflammation, but the statisticians assure us those variables were controlled for… so there’s that.



You might be thinking: Bill-man, I don’t feel like getting my Omega-3 Index tested, how much seafood will put me in that fourth quartile?


omega-3 index


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  • Interesting Bill – great read as usual! I did a post on this old chestnut a while back – dunno what you think of these guys study?

    • excellent post, Ivor! I’ve been curious, will the risk reductions seen with a high Omega-3 Index achieved via seafood be equivalent to those with supps… maybe it’s more than just bioavailability?

  • Raymund Edwards

    This is interesting – A Ray of Hope: DHA Therapy and Nutrition in Peroxisomal Disorders.

    Some very interesting reading about the peroxisome and health and its connection to DHA ( Both synthesis of DHA but also DHA mediating peroxisomal elongation, a prerequisite for peroxisome division )

    Supplements have proven to be miraculous in effect
    BUT only interestingly DHA ethyl esters NOT triglyceride

    ( I suspect it is the slow absorption that builds up over the 24 hours after intake that makes the EE form the one that works )

    links to studies and case histories and research from here

    • DHA is a relatively potent peroxisome proliferator.

      “BUT only interestingly DHA ethyl esters NOT triglyceride”

      Indeed, interesting.

  • Young Chipotle

    Very interesting. Is there any sort of consensus of a weekly DHA+EPA dosage? Also, how does the omega-3 content of tuna compare with salmon?

  • Andrea Schüler

    Jack Kruse recently wrote something like: raw seafood is for electron
    loading/mitochondrial healing, cooked seafood is used as fuel like any
    other oil. Oops??? So cooked salmon every day should be useless?