Article by Ceri Wheeldon
I have been watching the BBC programme How to Keep Young – where they conduct various tests to assess somebody’s ‘body age’ as opposed to their chronological age, and then put together a 12 week programme of lifestyle changes to reduce their body age.
I have been participating in a mini version of my own, by participating in a test that Seven Seas are conducting which looks at Omega-3 and why it’s so important to have in our diets. Looking to improve my Omega-3 intake I had my blood analysed (via a finger prick test) and then reviewed by Professor Philip Calder, Professor of Nutritional Immunology at the University of Southampton.
I was quite surprised by the results. (read the full review of my results here) The test analysed the Omega 3 fatty acid content of my red blood cells. The emphasis was on the EPA and DHA levels, as a greater content of these in red blood cells is linked with better health – and could be used as an indicator of heart health. An Omega-3 index of 3, 4 or below would be cause for concern, while an index of 8 would be a good sign.
Given that I follow what I thought of as a healthy diet, I was disappointed in my results, which came back with an index of 5.5, which although not giving cause for concern, could have been better.
Professor Calder suggested I include more oily fish in my diet, or take a supplement. As I already eat a lot of oily fish, my focus to improve my levels was to take the Seven Seas Simply Timeless Omega-3 Fish Oil Plus Cod Liver Oil capsules which also have Vitamin D. After 12 weeks I repeated the finger prick blood test….and Professor Calder analysed the results again.
After taking a daily supplement for 12 weeks I had an omega-3 index of 6.7. According to Professor Calder this is ‘a significant improvement from 5.5. This index is much closer to the desired value of 8 and would be associated with improved heart health. A great result’.
I asked if I could expect to see further improvement by continuing to take the cod liver oil supplements, Professor Calder indicated that ‘They would likely improve a little more over a few more months. The ultimate aim is to get my Omega-3 index to 8 or above to the low risk category so it is recommended that I take a high dose Omega-3 supplement and then likely move to a maintenance dose so that I continue getting the government recommended amount per week (3.8g of Omega-3).”
But what changes did I notice?
Obviously I am really happy that my levels of omega-3 fatty acids have improved and that my heart health has improved as a result. But I noticed some other changes too. My concentration improved, and surprisingly so did my skin tone.
Improved Skin Tone
Despite my use of body lotions the skin on my arms and legs is naturally quite dry. I noticed a definite improvement in skin tone, and elasticity. This was a pleasant surprise – especially when you consider the cost of supplements aimed specifically at improving skin and hair for mature women. My hairdresser also commented on the improved condition of my hair – although this may have been coincidental as I am always trying out products to tame my frizz!
I am really happy with the results, and will continue to take the Cod Liver Oil supplement daily. In fact I keep the tub of capsules next to my kettle and take with coffee every morning. It seems an easy way to help your health – and your skin with very little effort.
I’m really pleased that Seven Seas asked me to take part in what they are referring to as the #TRUEAGE movement – living the age we feel on the inside. I hadn’t realised just how much of a difference a supplement could make – and how little time it would take to see the results.