Omega-3 testing saves NZ health system millions, says expert
31st October 2012
American Health Expert Urges Omega-3 Testing To Save New Zealand Health System Millions
Omega-3 health expert and consultant to the World Health Organization, Stuart Tomc, is urging New Zealanders to take an at-home omega-3 blood test in a bid to improve public health and save the national health system millions of dollars per year.
Tomc says the typical New Zealander consumes far too much omega-6s, leaving them chronically lacking omega-3s and more susceptible to diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Tomc arrived in New Zealand this morning to present a series of educational lectures on omega-3s and health for Nordic Naturals, a leading omega-3 manufacturer in the United States. He will explain how a simple at-home blood test will enable people to see what their omega-3 and omega-6 levels are and adjust their diet accordingly to achieve the proper balance. By doing this, Tomc says people’s health will improve, alleviating pressure on the health care system.
“The root of most health issues stem from inflammation,” says Tomc. “Omega-3 fatty acids are vitamin-like nutrients critical for proper brain and body function and one of their roles is to reduce inflammation. Omega-3s are essential fatty acids, which the human body cannot make. This is why it’s vital that we get these fats through diet or supplementation,” said Tomc.
Tomc noted that today’s Western diet, which has more processed foods than at any other time in history, has completely thrown essential fats out of balance. “We over-consume the inflammatory omega-6s which has left us chronically lacking omega-3s. This makes us more susceptible to conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome (i.e. obesity). For example, the average American eats 10 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3, and as a consequence, the United States has the highest rate of obesity in the world. New Zealand also has a high rate of obesity with one in three people overweight, and one in four adults obese.”
Like many experts, Tomc believes that poor diet is the major contributing factor to the obesity epidemic sweeping the Western world. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6 in your diet. This really is a major public health issue,” he said.
Tomc attended the Global Omega-3 Summit in Bruges, Belgium last year, whose delegates unanimously signed a consensus statement, which agrees:
• Brain and heart
disorders resulting from LC (long chain) omega-3 (EPA+DHA)
insufficiency are the biggest challenges to the future of
• Associated costs are currently bankrupting health care systems and threatening wider economic instability worldwide.
• Tissue concentration of LC omega-3 relative to LC omega-6
is the key variable for health.
• Biomarkers need to be standardised and used as public health targets.
• Omega-3 Index 8-11, Omega-3 in HUFA (highly unsaturated fatty acids) 50%+ would protect 98% of population.
• Dietary intake of >1000 mg LC omega-3 needed if consuming
Western-type diet (but this depends on dietary % LA vs. ALA, and ARA)
• Most people fall far short of these basic needs.
As a point of reference for these claims, a report released in March of this year by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by the Complementary Healthcare Council of Australia, found that Australia could save around $4.2 billion if all heart attack survivors began taking fish oil supplements.
Tomc also encourages people to research the omega levels of their food as someone on a seemingly healthy diet may be consuming too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3.
“There is a great website called www.fastlearners.org which features omega-3 and omega-6 rankings of food. The results may surprise people. For example, a diet consisting predominately of oatmeal, avocado, chickpeas, wild turkey and eggs, all deemed healthy food, would result in low omega-3 levels as these foods have higher omega-6 levels. Someone on such a diet would need to increase their omega-3 intake to get a healthy ratio of these fatty acids,” said Tomc.
Tomc has his first seminar in Christchurch this evening, 31st October, before going to Wellington on 1st Nov, Napier on 2nd Nov, Tauranga on 5th Nov, Hamilton on 6th Nov, and finally Auckland on 7th Nov.
For further details go to www.naturalmeds.co.nz or phone 0800 439 631.
More background on Omegas
Omegas 3 and 6 are deemed 'essential' because we need them for proper health—much like certain vitamins and minerals—but cannot produce them on our own. We must therefore consume these fats through diet or supplementation.
Both omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), they help stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and maintain the reproductive system.
A healthy diet contains a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and some omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.
About Stuart Tomc
With over twenty years experience in the field of Nutritional Medicine, Stuart Tomc is an authority on evidence-based dietary supplements. He is a respected consultant to the World Health Organization and integrative physicians worldwide having traveled the world as an educator and trainer for over 10 years. With an accomplished background in media appearances, Stuart is adept at educating, entertaining, and delivering a powerful message on important health subjects in today’s changing world. In addition, he was a contributing writer in Dr. Perricone’s Seven Secrets to Beauty, Health and Longevity. Stuart currently serves as National Educator and Spokesperson for Nordic Naturals.