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Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Most Important Dietary Supplement

No matter what you think of his politics, you know that George W. Bush had a group of highly qualified doctors taking care of his health while he was in office. But did you know that the only supplement they recommended he take was . . . fish oil. Studies in the 1970s revealed that the Eskimos had very low levels of heart disease, yet they ate large quantities of salmon and whale. Scientists discovered that the protective factor in their diet was DHA and EPA fish oil, also known as omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are largely deficient in the American diet, and so supplementation is just about the only way to get enough. Omega-3 fatty acids balance the excess omega-6 acids most of us consume too much of. Fish oil has been linked with lower incidence of heart disease, steadier heart rhythm, and even reduced depression and a boost in mood. If I had to advise someone to take one supplement, I would agree with the President’s doctors. “If you take nothing else,” I would advise, “take fish oil daily. Aim to consume 1 to 5 grams each day.”

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