DR MICHAEL MOSLEY: Can't stand oily fish? Try seaweed instead for your essential Omega 3s

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With nan flu play quickly approaching, it's clip to springiness your immune strategy a helping manus by topping up your vitamin D levels.

But arsenic good arsenic that possibly you should besides see taking an omega-3 supplement. 

Recent studies propose that doing truthful will not only boost your immune system, but bosom and encephalon health, too.

Omega 3 is an basal fatty acid, which intends it is captious for our wellness but, unfortunately, your assemblage can't nutrient it, truthful nan only measurement to get capable of it is done your fare (which is why it's called 'essential').

And this is wherever it gets complicated. There are different types of fatty acids successful nan omega 3 family, but nan 2 astir important are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). 

Among different things they support your encephalon cells patient and talking to each other.

Unfortunately, nan only existent measurement to get precocious levels of DHA and EPA successful your fare is to eat oily fish, ­seaweed (pictured) aliases return a supplement

In a study published past twelvemonth successful nan diary Neurology, researchers astatine nan University of Texas found location was a beardown nexus betwixt levels of EPA and DHA successful nan blood, and encephalon health. 

How a image framework whitethorn thief wintertime blues

The clocks spell backmost tomorrow, heralding nan opening of longer, darker days.

As personification who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, I americium not looking guardant to nan wintertime months.

So I was intrigued by an inaugural from nan University of Glasgow to tackle SAD, which includes a 'sky-framing' exercise', wherever you look astatine an overcast entity done a ­picture framework and picture what you see.

The thought is that doing this exposes you to much daylight and encourages creativity.

I find having a SAD lamp besides really helps. 

I group it up beside my machine and bathe successful agleam ray for 30 minutes each ­morning to simulate nan effects of sunlight.

After taking humor ­samples and brains scans from 2,000 ­middle-aged volunteers, nan researchers recovered that group pinch nan highest levels of EPA and DHA did amended successful ­cognitive tests.

On apical of that, nan volunteers who carried a version of nan APOE4 cistron that's linked to a overmuch higher consequence of processing Alzheimer's disease, but who besides had precocious levels of DHA and EPA, had little encephalon ­damage than those who didn't.

So these omega 3s are encephalon protective, though we don't cognize precisely why. 

One mentation is that they shape an ­important portion of nan membranes that situation nan nervus cells (or neurons), aliases it could beryllium that they person powerful anti-inflammatory properties. 

As Dr Claudia ­Satizabal, who ran nan study pointed out: 'We show that if you summation your depletion of omega 3s moreover by a small bit, you are protecting your brain.'

Unfortunately, nan only existent measurement to get precocious levels of DHA and EPA successful your fare is to eat oily fish, ­seaweed aliases return a supplement.

There are different types of omega-3 fatty acids successful walnuts and flax seeds, which your assemblage tin person into DHA and EPA, but it can't do this successful capable quantities to make overmuch quality to your health.

And that is 1 of nan reasons why nan NHS recommends we eat astatine slightest 1 information of oily fish, specified arsenic salmon, mackerel, ­anchovies, sardines aliases herring (think, SMASH) a week. These are each bully sources of DHA and EPA.

Now I would happily eat oily food each time of nan week — kippers for breakfast, sardines connected toast for luncheon and salmon for supper — but location are concerns astir sustainability. 

There's besides nan truth that oily fish, because they eat different food and shop toxins successful their livers, whitethorn incorporate debased levels of pollutants that tin build up successful our bodies, truthful champion not to overdo it.

In truth astir Brits eat thing for illustration nan recommended amounts. A study successful 2019 recovered that only a 4th regularly eat oily fish, and nan groups who request omega 3 nan astir (children, teenagers and pregnant women) are eating nan least.

Previous investigation from Oxford University showed that 10 per cent of children aged betwixt 7 and 9 ne'er ate food and nan magnitude of DHA successful their humor was little than half nan recommended amount. Low DHA was linked to mediocre reference and memory.

If you are a vegetarian, vegan aliases conscionable don't fancy fish, past you could effort eating seaweed. 

While it doesn't person arsenic overmuch omega 3 arsenic oily fish, it helped prolong our ancestors down nan millennia.

A study published successful Nature Communications recently, by archaeologists from nan ­universities of Glasgow and York recovered that group surviving successful Europe, from Scotland to Spain, person been eating seaweed for much than 8,000 years.

One action is nori, nan edible ­seaweed that sushi comes wrapped in, aliases laverbread, a Welsh speciality, which is made of laver, a type of seaweed, mixed pinch oats to shape lavercakes. 

I'd alternatively get my ­nutrients via food, but a reappraisal of much than 40 studies wherever group had been fixed supplements ­containing DHA and EPA, published successful Mayo Clinic Proceedings successful September 2020, recovered that they trim nan consequence of having a fatal bosom onslaught by 35 per cent.

As for really overmuch you should take, Dr Carl Lavie, a cardiologist and 1 of nan authors of nan 2020 study, recommends a supplement pinch some DHA and EPA, and astatine a dose of 1000 to 2000 mg a day.

Because I eat plentifulness of fish, I'm not judge I request a supplement — I'd emotion to cognize what my levels are, but nan existent humor tests are costly and laborious. 

Scientists from McMaster University successful Canada person developed a caller trial they declare is simpler and cheaper. 

Once it becomes available, I'm going to springiness it a spell and will fto you know: watch this space!

One of nan weirdest ways to suffer weight, but 1 that besides really does look to help, is simply a poo transplant — from a slimmed down type of yourself

So would YOU beryllium happy to swallow this pill to enactment slim?

We each cognize that losing weight is hard, but keeping it disconnected is moreover harder. So down nan years location person been tons of different approaches to tackling this.

One of nan weirdest, but 1 that besides really does look to help, is simply a poo ­transplant — from a slimmed down type of yourself.

Back successful 2006, researchers astatine Washington University successful nan US showed that if you took gut germs from an obese rodent and transplanted them into a thin rodent past nan thin rodent would quickly put connected weight, contempt not being fed other food.

This is because nan germs from nan obese mice were incredibly businesslike astatine capturing power from nan nutrient they were eating. 

Since then, mini quality tests person recovered that a faecal transplant — from a thin unpaid utilizing their treated faeces inserted via an endoscope — tin thief ­people suffer weight, but nan effects don't look to past very long.

Now researchers from Ben-Gurion University of nan Negev, successful Israel, person devised a caller approach, based connected nan knowing that erstwhile group who are obese spell connected a patient fare and suffer weight, this tin lead to beneficial changes successful their gut microbes (microbiome).

But these changes are not sustained because we often spell backmost to our aged ways of eating. And that's wherever nan caller study comes in.

The researchers put 82 obese middle-aged volunteers connected a low-calorie Mediterranean-style diet, wherever they mislaid an mean of 8.3kg (18lbs) complete six months. 

Their poo was past collected, analysed, frozen, put into odourless capsules ('crapsules') and past stored for nan adjacent year: each period nan volunteers were past fixed either immoderate of their ain crapsules aliases a placebo pill.

So what happened? The first point nan researchers noted was that nan first weight nonaccomplishment led to beneficial changes successful nan gut microbiome of most, but not all, of nan volunteers. 

Those whose microbiome didn't amended and those who spent nan adjacent twelvemonth taking a placebo pill, regained immoderate weight, connected mean 3.2kg (7lbs). 

But nan group taking nan crapsules of their ain beneficial germs not only kept nan weight off, but mislaid a small spot much (0.6kg, aliases 1lb).

This mightiness sound for illustration a laborious, costly and messy measurement of keeping weight off, but nan dream is it will thief amended our knowing of nan domiciled nan microbiome plays, and lead to amended treatments.

Meanwhile, your champion stake is to boost nan 'good' germs successful your gut by eating much fibre-rich foods, specified arsenic leeks and onions, ­wholegrains and legumes, positive nan occasional dollop of ­fermented foods specified arsenic sauerkraut aliases kimchi.

They've sewage to sensation amended than I ideate a crapsule does.

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