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Blog posts of '2012' 'October'

More Than Half of Americans Now Taking Supplements

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Remember when you were younger and your parents constantly reminded you to take your vitamins? According to a consumer survey conducted by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), more people have heeded that advice into adulthood. According to their data, about 68% of American adults take nutritional supplements, with 76% of those people reporting that they take supplements such as multivitamins or fish oil regularly.

Supplement Use on the Rise

Between 2009 and 2011, supplement use has gradually increased an average of 2.5% as more American adults have become aware that they can support good health. Multivitamins are still the most popular, followed by omega-3 fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin C, and calcium.

According to the CRN, the increasing trend in supplement use also indicates greater consumer confidence in the products that they’re taking. Approximately 85% of American adults stated that they were confident in the “safety, quality, and effectiveness of dietary supplements.”

Benefits of Daily Supplementation

As the survey shows, nutritional supplements aren’t just a fad to most adults anymore. As more people realize that their daily diets may be lacking in essential nutrients, they are wisely turning to supplements to help them get the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help support good health. Another benefit of specialty supplements—such as omega-3 fish oils—is that they can also provide more concentrated doses of nutrients that you may be lacking from regular servings of highly processed, commercially available foods. Whether you’re just too busy to eat right or you feel like you may need to give your health an extra nutritional boost, fall in with the supplement-taking crowd and experience the good health that you’ve probably been missing out on.

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Omega-3s May Help Lengthen Lifespan

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Omega-3s May Help Lengthen LifespanFor years, researchers and nutritionists have been touting the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular health. Because omega-3s play such a big role in overall nutrition, some studies have found that they may also support joints, memory, vision, and immune health. Now scientists have added another benefit to the list: omega-3s may help preserve telomeres.

The Telomere/Longevity Connection

Many researchers use telomere length as an indicator of cell longevity. Telomeres are regions on DNA strands that help protect the rest of your genetic information every time your cells replicate. When telomeres get too short, more errors are prone to occur during cell replication, which can shorten cell life—and your overall lifespan. In a five-year study on 608 patients who had a history of poor heart health, cardiologists found that patients who had higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their white blood cells experienced less telomere shortening over the five-year period compared to patients who had lower omega-3 levels.

Omega-3 from Fish Oil More Beneficial

Omega-3s can be obtained from a variety of plant and animal sources, but omegas from fatty fish, such as sardines and salmon, have been found to have the greatest health advantages, which is why the researchers in this study used fish-oil-based omega-3s. Since initial results have been so promising in people with preexisting cardiovascular health challenges, the researchers stated that double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies would provide further insight into the omega-3/telomere connection. In the meantime, omega-3 fish oils have loads of other health advantages, so if you’re already taking a fish oil supplement, continue doing so to rack up as many health benefits as you can.

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