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Omega-3 EPA對健康獲益良多
Health Benefits of Omega-3 EPA

The omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) derives from fish. Although it can be obtained by eating oily types like mackerel and salmon, one would have to consume huge quantities to acquire the amounts of EPA needed for a sustained health benefit. Unfortunately this could also mean exposure to pollutants, dioxins and PCBs. Every care is taken, however, to ensure that the EPA in omega product is free from unwanted impurities. Several important factors - the type of fish from which the EPA derives, the waters the fish inhabit, the position of the fish in the food chain and the part of the fish the EPA is extracted from - have all been considered by the Igennus team, not to mention the rigorous purification process.

For various reasons, some people are unable to obtain the level of EPA they require from their diet. Deficiencies in this important fatty acid may lead to a number of health problems. Sourcing this long-chain fatty acid from the diet is essential because while it is necessary for health, the body is not able to produce EPA itself, and therefore relies on dietary intake. Leading medical researchers Professor Puri of Hammersmith Hospital, London, and Dr Alex Richardson of Oxford University, both suggest that deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids may be responsible for increases in the rates of emotional problems, difficulties with the circulatory system, obesity, skin problems and inattention in children.

Research has shown that EPA may:

Improve cardiovascular health. Omega-3 helps maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition[i] focussed on the Inuit population, who consume unusually high amounts of marine food rich in omega-3. The researchers concluded that their diet was likely to be responsible for the low mortality rate from heart disease.

Lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol[ii]. Not all cholesterol is bad - there are actually two types: low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good" cholesterol). High amounts of LDL cholesterol presents serious health risks - it can build up on the inner walls of arteries, forming a stiff plaque, which can cause clogging; in extreme cases this is termed atherosclerosis. If a clot forms in a narrowed artery it can instigate a heart attack or stroke. Indeed a high LDL level indicates an increased risk of heart disease. Conversely, HDL (good) cholesterol is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Medical experts believe that HDL removes LDL from the arteries and carries it to the liver where it is excreted from the body, slowing the build-up of plaque. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids are positively associated with high concentrations of HDL and lower levels of blood triglycerides (fatty deposits in the blood).

Alleviate rheumatoid arthritis. The body can convert EPA into prostaglandins and leukotrienes - hormone-like compounds that decrease inflammation and pain.

Maintain a balanced mood. Omega-3 may help to regulate one's mental state by improving cell signalling in the brain, keeping thought processes, reactions and reflexes running smoothly and efficiently.

Improve concentration, attention and coordination. Research by Dr Richardson and Professor Puri suggests that EPA-high supplements are effective for this.

Promote refreshing sleep. In Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Natural Way to Treat M.E, Professor Puri explains: "EPA is converted into natural sleep mediators. After a few days to a few weeks of taking pure EPA [no DHA] even people who do not suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome find that they experience sleep that is much deeper and more refreshing"[iii].

Enhance brain function and the performance of all organs.

EPA, with its mood-balancing properties, may alleviate the emotional symptoms associated with menstruation. EPA is also positively associated with concentration, which may help "scatter-brain" tendencies that can affect some women during their period. EPA can be converted by the body into natural sleep mediators - vital when feeling tired and low as so many women do during their periods. EPA is also converted into prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which regulate inflammation and pain and therefore may ease period pains.

[i] Dewailly E, Blanchet C, Lemieux S, Sauve L, Gingras S, Ayotte P, Holub BJ. n-3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease risk factors among the Inuit of Nunavik. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Oct;74(4):464-73.

[ii] Kris-Etherton, PM, et al. Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease. Circulation, Vol. 106, November 19, 2002, pp. 2747-57.

[iii] Puri, B.K., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Natural Way to Treat M.E., (Hammersmith Press, London, 2005) ISBN 1-905140-00-2.

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