US Service Members at Risk from Low Omega-3 Levels

The O in my HOPE Formula (short for High fiber, Omega-3 oils, Probiotics, and digestive Enzymes) stands for Omega-3 oils. I recommend the HOPE Formula for everyone, every day as a way to rebuild and maintain digestive health. The HOPE Formula has truly given hope to so many people dealing with both digestive and non-digestive health issues. It continues to be the cornerstone of what I teach and recommend.

The benefits of the HOPE Formula go beyond the digestive tract largely because healthy digestion is the foundation of total-body health. Omega-3 oils have certainly proved this point. In a study recently published in Nutritional Neuroscience, the Omega-3 Index (a measure of Omega-3 levels in the body) was measured in US soldiers in Iraq. Those soldiers with the lowest levels were found to have reduced mental flexibility and executive function.

Mental flexibility is the ability to change a behavioral response based on what is happening in the moment. Executive function is a broader category that covers mental flexibility as well as planning, problem solving, multi-tasking, and more.  “The diminished cognitive reserve observed in the lowest [omega-3 levels] might compromise performance of mission essential tasks, specifically those requiring dual-tasking,” stated the researchers.

In another recent omega-3 report, omega-3 supplementation was used immediately after traumatic brain injury leading to gradual cognitive and physical improvements according to a case study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. “Although further research is needed to establish the true advantage of using omega-3 fatty acids, our experience suggests that benefits may be possible from aggressively adding substantial amounts of omega-3 fatty acids to optimize the nutritional foundation of severe traumatic brain injury patients,” stated the report.

The results of both these studies should be of interest to the military. Perhaps omega-3 supplementation will one day become part of the military’s nutritional program.

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