Professional PT Inc April 2019

The ManyWonders of Omega-3s One Little Pill That Can Do Your Body Good

COGNITIVE FUNCTION BENEFITS Several studies have concluded that regularly consuming omega-3 fatty acids can help maintain cognitive function. While research shows no cognitive recovery in extremely elderly subjects who already suffer from dementia, evidence indicates that taking fish oil on a regular basis may prevent or postpone the onset of cognitive decline. Omega-3 consumption may also improve the quality of life for individuals suffering from depression or anxiety at any age. WHICH OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENT IS RIGHT FOR ME? If you eat fatty fish several times a week every week, you may already get enough omega-3s, but it can be difficult to get a therapeutic dose of fish oil from food alone on a regular basis. A fish oil supplement can provide additional fatty acids. Look for an ingredient list that specifically shows EPA and DHA; some brands use misleading labeling that only shows the total amount of fish oil rather than the actual omega-3s. Recommendations vary, but most sources indicate that a dosage of 1,000–2,000 milligrams (1–2 grams) of combined EPA and DHA provides benefits. If the smell or “fish burps” bother you, choose enteric-coated capsules, which dissolve in the small intestine rather than the stomach. Omega-3 caps also come in vegan options sourced from seaweed and algae.

Because fish oil is said to improve everything from heart health to chronic dry eye, it may sound a bit like, well, snake oil. But this brilliant little supplement packs a big punch, especially for older adults. HEART HEALTH BENEFITS The omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have been shown to support heart health in multiple ways. The Mayo Clinic cites research suggesting that higher levels of EPA are associated with a reduced risk of congestive heart failure in older adults. Studies also report that people with moderate to severe hypertension typically see a positive effect on their blood pressure if they regularly take omega-3s. JOINT AND EYE BENEFITS Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling associated with osteoarthritis and other joint disorders by lubricating the joints and acting as an anti-inflammatory. As we age, our ability to produce tears diminishes. Fish oil’s lubricating and anti-inflammatory properties also make it a great treatment for and defense against chronic dry eye.


of the Month


“I chose the Dana Farber Cancer Institute because I know many people who have been diagnosed with many different types of cancer. This charity helps improve the support services and resources available to faculty. Researchers are working tirelessly toward a cure for this unrelenting disease. I’ve witnessed firsthand the negative effects cancer has on people and how those people continue to be strong and keep their hearts full of hope despite their afflictions. I chose to donate to Dana Farber so that hopefully, one day, cancer will be cured.”

If you’ve ever heard Nick’s story, you know he had quite the injury. Over the course of Nick’s rehab, he became a part of the Pro PT family. He came a long way, and his recovery was full of laughs as well as the occasional bump in the road. We all wish Nick the best and are happy to nominate him for Patient of the Month.

– Nick Schatz

2 • | Professional Physical Therapy

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