To start off 2021, we are bringing you the most popular blogs of 2020. Some were not surprising, and yet others were a bit unexpected. Given the unprecedented events of last year, perhaps the swings in popular content should not be all that shocking.
In order of popularity, there was our blog on the best time to take your fish oil supplements. This was a very practical piece that lays why it is so important, for example, to take fish oil, and any omega-3 supplement for that matter, with a meal. But also just as important is when you take your omega-3s. Read the excerpt below.
For new moms, many were interested in the blog we wrote on what to know about omega-3s while breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is such an important gift between mom and baby. And the nutrients you deliver to your baby matter. This blog talks about why omega-3s in particular are important and how you can get more of them in your diet if you are breastfeeding. But it is not completely one-sided.
BLOG: Three Ways Breastfeeding Moms Can Get More DHA for Their Babies
The good news is there are plenty of fortified formulas out there that contain healthy amounts of omega-3s, especially DHA, for your baby. But remember, if you decide to use infant formula it is still important for you to take your omega-3s for the wide variety of health benefits they provide postpartum. Read the excerpt below.
Also making it into the top 5 was our blog on omega-3s and COVID-19. Here we discussed the ravaging effects of this deadly disease and how omega-3s might be able to play a role in mitigating its effects from an anti-inflammatory perspective. We also talked about the number of clinical trials that are currently being undertaken to examine specifically the connection between omega-3 and coronavirus. Read the excerpt below.
Our fourth most popular blog was about omega-3s and autism, a complex disorder that affects young children. Previous studies have suggested a link between the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA and the prevalence of autism, and whether or not sufficient maternal intake of these nutrients can reduce the risk of this disorder in children. More specifically, studies have suggested that these important fatty acids may have protective effects on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children. Read the excerpt below.
Last but certainly not least, was our blog on the role omega-3s play in sleep. It is not a benefit talked about often, but the relationship between omega-3 status and sleep is interesting nonetheless. Read the excerpt below.
BLOG: Top 7 Blogs Posts from 2019
#1 What’s the Best Time to Take Your Fish Oil Supplement?
Breakfast has long been the preferred time for taking medications, food supplements, and cod liver oil. And the psychology makes sense. At the start of each day, many of us like to take advantage of our renewed energy to focus on our health.
New research, however, has started linking medication efficacy to timing — and the findings make a compelling case for rescheduling our supplement routines too.
Fish oil is one of the most common omega-3 supplements. And technically, you can take it whatever time works best for you as long as you take it with a meal. The omega-3s EPA and DHA found in fish oil are fats and they will be absorbed much better if there are other fats on board.
VIDEO: Make Sure You Take Your Omega-3 Supplements With a Meal
If you’re one who experiences reflux with your fish oil (otherwise known as fishy burps), then some experts recommend splitting up your dose during the day and avoid heavier doses in the evening. This is because fish oil tends to rise to the top of stomach fluids (picture oil floating on top of water), which can cause indigestion for some. For others, nighttime could be an ideal time to take your omega-3s, especially if they are combined with other nutrients that support sleep.
Several studies have now shown that aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs, as well as blood pressure and anti-reflux medications, may work better in the evening. Scientists suggest that as we sleep, our body’s circadian rhythm influences our hormonal balance, as well as the body’s ability to absorb chemicals in medications and supplements.
Because many symptoms (especially related to acid reflux and heart disease) worsen over the course of the night, taking certain medications and supplements before bedtime may actually help to improve health conditions the following day.
#2 Here’s What You Need to Know About Omega-3 While Breastfeeding
As far back as two million years ago, a now extinct species of humans was breastfeeding. Fast forward to more modern times and we find approximately 80% of American babies start out being breastfed. That’s a good thing, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), WHO and UNICEF, all of whom recommend that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.
From there, the AAP advises continued breastfeeding (along with introducing appropriate complementary foods) for a period of one year or longer, with WHO and UNICEF suggesting two years or more.
TOOL: Mother’s Milk DHA Calculator
In this blog, we look at the benefits of breastfeeding, the role of omega-3 for breastfeeding moms and identify ways to ensure nursing mothers maintain targeted levels of omega-3, specifically DHA, in their breastmilk. All of this to maximize the benefits that omega-3 when breastfeeding confers for moms and their children.
#3 Omega-3 & COVID-19: Is There a Relationship?
COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on our immune systems. A healthy immune system is supported by a diet that provides the necessary nutrition and limits what is detrimental. Exercise, good sleep and decreasing stress are all also important for a well-functioning immune system. This information is not new but it seems to hold more weight these days.
BLOG: Are You Getting Enough Omega-3s? New Research Says Probably Not…
In this blog, we talked about the rapidly evolving research developments with regards to treating COVID-19 symptoms with omega-3s, as well as recommendations and trends regarding omega-3s supporting immune health.
There’s been a lot of news lately on the potential relationship between omega-3s EPA and DHA and COVID-19. But before we talk about how omega-3s relate to COVID-19, it is important to point out that this research in very much in its infancy and can only be considered interesting at this stage.
TOOL: Omega-3 Index Calculator
Last year, German omega-3 company, KD Pharma, initiated a clinical trial to examine the effects of its drug, EPAspire, in COVID-positive patients in the early stages of the illness. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK approved the trial and late-stage discussions were ongoing with authorities in other European countries. Additionally, an application has been submitted to the FDA in the US. It is expected that the first patients in the trial will be enrolled shortly and additional hospital sites were being recruited.
Eligible patients with a positive COVID-19 test result are eligible to participate in the trial and, after enrollment, will be given the product within a day of hospitalization and continue treatment for one month with a two-week follow-up. They will be monitored for progression to more serious outcomes and markers of inflammation, with the aim that EPAspire could help reduce the risk of mortality in severely ill patients.
#4 More Good News for Omega-3s & Autism: The MARBLES Study
Autism is a complex disorder, with many levels of severity and manifestations of behavior and physical abnormalities. Previous studies have suggested a link between the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA and the prevalence of autism, and whether or not sufficient maternal intake of these nutrients can reduce the risk of this disorder in children.
More specifically, studies have suggested that these important fatty acids may have protective effects on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children.
VIDEO: Can Omega-3s Help Children with ADHD?
The MARBLES study investigated whether maternal omega-3 intake at certain points in pregnancy, assessed by both questionnaires and biomarkers, are associated with risk of ASD and other non-typical development (non-TD) in the children. Food frequency questionnaires were used to estimate maternal omega-3 intake during the first and second half of pregnancy.
In all, 258 mother-child pairs from a prospective cohort were included. All mothers already had a child with autism spectrum disorder and were planning a pregnancy or pregnant with another child. Children were clinically assessed and diagnosed at 36 months.
Evaluating omega-3 intake from questionnaires, researchers found that mothers consuming more omega-3 in the second half of pregnancy were 40% less likely to have children with ASD.
#5 Exploring the Relationship Between Omega-3 and Sleep
The statistics are staggering. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says “insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic.”
In America alone, more than 50 million Americans suffer from over 80 different sleep disorders according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. That doesn’t count another 20 to 30 million people who experience intermittent sleep problems in America each year.
And if we’re talking globally, some estimate that more than half the world’s population is getting less sleep than we need.
VIDEO: What is DHA’s Job in the Brain?
At OmegaQuant, we’re specifically interested in the relationship between healthy diet and sleep, and even more specifically, we’re watching as a body of evidence is emerging for what the science has to say about the roles of omega-3s EPA and DHA and sleep.
You likely have similar questions: Will omega-3 help me sleep; is there a relationship between omega-3 and REM sleep; and can omega-3 cause sleep problems?
This is our first blog exploring the role of omega-3 and sleep quality. But it certainly won’t be the last.