Produce from poultry enriched with omega-3 could be seriously beneficial to your health, says a new study.
The farming industry often comes under fire from health advocates claiming animal produce isn’t good for our health, but a new study has brought fresh findings to the forefront.
Delivered by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, on behalf of Belfast-headquartered farming and food company Devenish, research has found that by regularly consuming naturally enriched omega-3 chicken and eggs, you could reduce your risk of a stroke, dementia, depression and heart attacks.
Tested on 161 subjects, the results showed that after eating at least three portions of chicken and eggs that were naturally enriched with omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA which can also be found in oily fish) per week, there was a positive shift in the omega-3 index.
The index is a test that measures omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, which is reflective of the levels in your heart and other tissues.
A low reading can indicate a higher risk of heart and brain disease: The study found by eating such foods, the number of subjects at risk was halved.
Originating from birds offered OmegaPro, an algae-based source and sustainable source of omega-3 PUFA, the findings were presented by Professor Alice Stanton of The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland:
“Greater consumption of oily fish has long been linked to a reduced incidence of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer and improved brain health, vision, muscle and joint health,” said Professor Alice Stanton.
“International guidelines recommend eating oily fish at least once per week, however, many people do not eat fish at all and less than 20% of the world’s population have optimal omega-3 PUFA levels.
“Therefore, in this project we studied the recently developed alternatives to oily fish or supplementation, namely chicken meat and eggs, naturally enriched with sustainable algae-based omega-3 PUFA.
“Omega-3 enriched chicken and eggs offer consumers an attractive alternative to eating oily fish or to the lifelong taking of supplements, with the potential for substantial health benefits.”
Owen Brennan, Executive Chairman, Devenish, added: “We worked closely with Moy Park, Waitrose and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, to deliver an innovative, nutrient-rich food, that increases omega-3 levels in consumers, naturally. The science shows the importance of food nutrients to promote good health in consumers and the innovation starts on the farm.
“The farmer has a key role to play in delivering sustainable and nutritious food with a health claim.
“Devenish is working hard to increase the opportunity for consumers to benefit from this nutrient-rich food, as less than 20% of the world’s population is eating enough Omega-3.”
The beginning of better public health means the process has to start at the farm.
Professor Chris Elliot, Founder of the Institute for Global Food Security and Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, Queens University Belfast said:
“The cost to the health service of treating cardiovascular related illness in the UK is £10billion/year. Having access to sustainably produced nutrient-rich food, with a scientifically proven health claim, offers huge potential to turn this around globally.”