Omega-3 Academy Asia

Collegiate center for wellness/well-being
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

Despite the adversity and peculiarity of Asian cuisine, you may be surprised to know that in terms of nutritional value, Asians still pale in comparison to Western Europeans; particularly when it comes to fish oil or omega-3 intake.
“Infectious and non-infectious diseases account for the rising global mortality rate. Of the latter, cardiovascular ailments leading to heart attacks and stroke is the No. 1 killer disease. Followed by a far second by traumatic conditions from vehicular accidents and a further third from non-communicable diseases, most of which are caused by inflammation,” intoned Dr. Tommy Ty-Willing, endocrinologist at the Metropolitan Hospital of Manila and an expert in diabetes, on the severity of heart related issues around the country.
Studies show that awareness and understanding of omega-3 amongst Asian consumers is significantly lower than in Western countries like Australia, the United Kingdom and the USA, where consumer awareness has been high for nearly three decades.
To help correct this situation, sanofi-aventis, makers of Cenovis Fish Oil recently launched the Omega-3 Academy Asia, a newly-formed professional body of medical experts committed to increasing awareness and understanding the potency of omega-3.
“In addition to the significant research and development (R & D) that’s invested into the production of effective healthcare solutions, sanofi-aventis’ consumer healthcare also invests a great deal of time and resource into providing vital consumer and healthcare professional information and support to improve the health and well-being of peoples across Asia, and the rest of the world,” shared marketing manager Rachelle Gamboa.
Omega-3 Academy Asia boasts of esteemed members from Korea (associate professor Yongsoon Park), Thailand (internist Prof. Nithi Mahanonda and dietician Sallaya Kongsomboonved), and the Philippines (endocrinologist Dr. Tommy Ty-Willing and cardiologist Dr. Eugene Reyes), whose expertise cover a broad range of areas including clinical nutrition, cardiology, family health as well as diabetology and endocrinology.
Professor Andrew Sinclair, chair of the Omega-3 Academy Asia and chair in Nutrition Science at Deakin University’s School of Medicine in Australia commented that, “modern Asian diets are becoming increasingly convenience-based; with higher levels of saturated fats and decreasing amounts of fish resulting in decreased omega-3 intake. This has coincided with an increased level of coronary heart disease and other lifestyle-based health issues.”
Omega-3 intake across the Asian region is generally considered to be below daily recommended guidelines. However, there is currently a lack of accurate clinical data in support there. Consumers in the country are not ingesting sufficient omega-3; with fish consumption declining from 36 kilograms to 31 kilograms per person annually, in just 11 years. “There is an urgent need to educate Filipinos on omega-3 to overcome current misperceptions. For example, only certain types of saltwater and freshwater fish have high omega-3 content, and extreme heat may destabilize the fatty acids DHA and EPA. Many consumers also don’t know how much omega-3 should be consumed to benefit their health. This is the very reason why we formed the Omega-3 Academy Asia,” declared cardiologist Dr. Eugene Reyes.
“We need to address the trend of eating Western-style fast-food diets. And the irony is, there’s decreasing fish consumption among Asian populations despite the seas that surround us. This accounts for the rising incidence of coronary heart disease and stroke. Risk factors of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as obesity, diabetes, increased bad cholesterol levels (hyperlipidemia) and low levels of good cholesterol affirms our advocacy in preaching the role of omega-3 in curbing these,” continued Dr. Reyes.
The Academy is undertaking a targeted educational program that will raise awareness and understanding of the health benefits of fish oil (omega-3) amongst consumers and healthcare professionals in Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. “There is a growing body of evidence that suggests omega-3 can have a positive impact on heart health, joint issues and brain development and we should all strive to reach the recommended daily intake levels to optimize over-all health,” Dr. Sinclair added.
To help consumers get their omega-3 fish oil requirement, many have come to rely on Cenovis Fish Oil, an all-natural fish oil formulation that contains the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA. Both have scientifically-proven benefits for brain development and health, as well as heart and joint wellness. Flaxseed and canola are some of the plant sources of alpha linoleic acid that converts into EPA once ingested. But the conversion is slow and inefficient.
International guidelines recommend that adults should consume 500 milligrams of fish oil daily. This can be achieved by eating 2-3 servings of oily fish per week. For people with heart conditions, doubling this amount is highly recommended. There are reports on the side effects of fish oil like diarrhea and skin rash. However, test results find these inconclusive and not directly attributable to fish oil per se.
Costing less than P10 per gel capsule, Cenovis Fish Oil comes from Peruvian waters, one of the world’s cleanest seas. Unlike other fish oils that come from shark, cod and other big fishes, Cenovis Fish Oil comes from three kinds of small fish – anchovies, mackerel and sardines. These are small deep sea fish that reproduce easily, thus, eliminating worries of extinction. Additionally, these fishes have a short lifespan, making them less exposed to pollutants and contaminants in seawaters.
Individually packed for freshness, the fish extraction of Cenovis is done in a highly-advanced and sanitary processing facility in Norway; making it odorless and with no fishy aftertaste. For more information and updates, simply log-on to


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