A podcast about health, science, nutrition, aging, and fitness.


#068 Dr. Bill Harris on the Omega-3 Index: Increasing Omega-3 to Promote Longevity & Transform Health

Dr. William ("Bill") Harris is one of the world's preeminent experts in the field of omega-3 fatty acid research. His work has focused on the roles that fatty acids in play in cardiovascular and neurocognitive health.

The author of more than 300 scientific papers on fatty acids and health, Dr. Harris is a professor in the Department of Medicine in the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota, the co-inventor of the Omega-3 Index, founder of OmegaQuant Analytics, and president and founder of the Fatty Acid Research Institute.

In this episode, Dr. Harris and I discuss…

  • 00:06:36 How early studies on dietary fats and cholesterol levels spawned the field of omega-3 research.
  • 00:14:44 How standards of "normal" bleeding time may be abnormally high in Western countries, leading to some misconception on the effects of omega-3.
  • 00:20:33 How different types of omega-3s, such as alpha-linolenic acid, share structural similarities with marine omega-3s but not the same cardioprotective effects.
  • 00:25:23 How genetic engineering of plants may yield abundant, sustainable omega-3s in the future.
  • 00:27:18 What the omega-3 index test is, how it was created, and how it reveals individual variations in how much omega-3 we may need.
  • 00:32:13 How red blood cell concentration of omega-3s better reflect long-term omega-3 status.
  • 00:36:41 How genetic variants influence omega-3 dietary needs.
  • 00:54:20 How the omega-3 index may predict life expectancy.
  • 01:05:03 How metabolites of omega-3 metabolism reduce and resolve inflammation.
  • 01:17:11 How people with high omega-3 concentrations were half as likely to die from COVID-19.
  • 01:20:10 How the omega-3 DHA may help keep the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from entering cells.
  • 01:22:50 How concerns over the omega-6/omega-3 ratio may be unfounded, and it really may boil down to just how much omega-3 you're taking in.


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 2021-09-11  1h58m