For as long as people have lived, the idea of ‘The Fountain of Youth’ and eternal life has fascinated us. According to some studies EPA/DHA Omega 3 is as close to we can come to that. They go as far as to say “consumption of EPA/DHA Omega 3 can delay ovarian decline and improve egg quality.” How true is this? Moreover, can it work for you?
Let’s explore science and myth and see what is likely to happen if you use EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.
Science loves EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids. Studies have found it to reduce triglycerides that can put you at risk for heart disease. It can help with rheumatoid arthritis, depression, visual and neurological development in infants. EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids can also improve asthma and Alzheimer’s disease too.
Respected medical websites have information on the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids. Why do none of them have the fertility benefits mentioned? Is the science new for EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids and fertility?
To get EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet, eat fish. Wild and oily cold water fish seems to be the best, but not the tastiest. Salmon is very popular for Omega 3 fatty acids. However, salmon farming appears to have reduced these benefits. While eating more fatty fish is a good idea, some are likely to have higher levels of mercury, PCBs, or other toxins. These include mackerel, wild swordfish, tilefish, and shark. Farm-raised fish of any type may also have higher levels of contaminants.
Some doctors advise not to give them to children.
How much EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids do you need to stay healthy?
WebMD.com recommends 7 ounces or 210 grams of fish per week per person.
Foods high in EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids can also be high in cholesterol and calories and not suitable for regular consumption.
So where does the benefit outweigh the harm? Can you avoid all the nasty toxins from food and get high-quality EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids from supplements?
Medicine and science advise that supplements are no substitute for a proper healthy diet. In the absence of a proper healthy diet, they can be useful. Hence the name supplements “a thing added to something else to complete or enhance it.”
For medical purposes, people with heart conditions should take 1 gram of EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids per day. However, now there is a problem with even that. Omega 3 was the number one supplement for heart health. Last week a published meta-analysis of 119000 people taking EPA/DHA Omega 3 finds “little, if any, a protective benefit for heart health”.
Does this study debunk all Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
It may appear to do so for heart health.
What about fertility and preserving egg quality as women age?
In 2012 Aging Cell published a very promising study. “Prolonging the female reproductive lifespan and improving egg quality with dietary omega‐3 fatty acids.” It concluded, “omega‐3 fatty acids may provide an effective and practical avenue for delaying ovarian aging and improving oocyte quality at advanced maternal age”.
If this is the case, why is it not mentioned as a treatment in improving egg quality on medical websites?
Very much like the studies on Melatonin and CoQ10, EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids have the same outcome. These studies all prove that supplementation provides longer lasting fertility in mice. If they give these supplements to mice as they age, they produce better quality eggs. Studies also show that there are higher litters of mouse pups too.
Supplementation studies do not support these outcomes in women.
Studies that show improvements in preserving egg quality for mice are not the same for women. Attempts to improve egg quality in women have shown better DNA and egg maturity. What they have not shown is an improvement in pregnancy rates in any study.
Is Omega-6 the enemy of Omega-3?
The same study that exalts Omega-3 for fertility shows that Omega-6 does the opposite.
“Dietary treatment with a diet rich in omega‐3 fatty acids in mice improved egg quality. Dietary treatment with omega‐6 fatty acids resulted in inferior egg quality.”
Flax, grape, pumpkin and sunflower seeds that people like for omega-3 also has omega-6. Many favored Omega-3 products also have Omega-6. They seem to go hand-in-hand.
Confused yet? I am.
The further I research EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids the harder it seems to use. Omega-3 has had a good reputation since the 1990’s. It also had its detractors. Since then Omega-3 has been broken down to its most health-giving benefits. Omega-3 now goes under EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Michael Pollan said in his book, “In defence of Food” if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. These would definitely fall into that category.
Omega-3 fatty acids have an excellent reputation. The natural sources they come from are now considered polluted and unsafe. Omega-6 has a lousy reputation and found in most foods with Omega-3. EPA/DHA is the new evolution of Omega-3, free from the detractors with unfavorable science. It is proven to help aging mice have better quality eggs and higher litters of mice when older. No study has ever shown EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids improves pregnancy rates in women. Researchers have tried.
Should you take EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids?
Yes, not too much.
Are EPA/DHA Omega 3 fatty acids likely to help improve your developing follicles? Will it preserve your egg health? Can it help women with diminished ovarian reserve, poor egg quality or low AMH get pregnant?
30 years of research has created many more mice, but no more humans.
I have done extensive research into products that improve egg quality for women with diminished ovarian reserve, poor egg quality and low AMH. Omega fatty acid supplementation is the most conflicted of all them.
Take it, don’t take it. Just don’t expect it to do for you, what it does for mice.
Author’s note: This has been the hardest supplement, to find clarity through research on, I have ever come across.