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Omega 3 Info

Fish oil vitamin E

When choosing a fish oil, it is vital that you opt for a high quality one.  Fish oil is extremely susceptible to oxidation the moment it is extracted from the fish and will go rancid very quickly if preventive measures are not taken.  Taking an inferior fish oil that has started to become rancid can increase the number of free radicals roaming about in the body, counteracting any health benefits from the fish oil itself.

In order to protect the oil from becoming rancid, good fish oil must contain a powerful fat soluble antioxidant such as tocopherol (Vitamin E) to protect it and keep it fresh both within the capsule and the body!

Vitamin E is also a very powerful anti oxidant once inside the body thus helping the body to “flush out” any toxins that are “floating” around.

Fish oil dosage

Fish oil dosage

EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid is an essential Omega 3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid found in oily fish, that is recognised by health authorities as having profound health benefits for the mind and body, and yet most of us are not getting enough EPA in our diets. Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA is an equally important essential fatty acid, however, research suggests that it competes with EPA and can reduce its effectiveness.  Also, when we receive enough EPA, the body can convert it into DHA as required.

Fish oil dosage

There are a great number of fish oils on the market containing various combinations of EPA and DHA and at different strengths, with no universally accepted agreement as to what represents an optimum dose.  Studies indicate that somewhere in the region of 1000 mg of EPA taken on a daily basis is enough to make a significant difference to health.

Health Benefit of fish oil

The extraordinary health benefits of fish oil were first discovered back in the early 1970’s when doctors in Denmark studied Eskimos living in Greenland.  They noticed that they had fewer heart attacks and a much lower incidence of arthritis than the Danish, despite the fact that they ate a high fat diet. Studies from all over the world, have since shown that the health benefits come from the Omega 3 essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  These are found in the fatty tissue of fish that the Eskimos ate in very high quantities.

Traditionally, man ate a diet that was equally balanced between Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids on a ratio of 1:1.  Today it is estimated that this ratio is more like 25:1 and sometimes even as high as 50:1, with a whopping 85% of the population consuming too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3. This is having a disastrous effect on the health of the population, leading to a higher incidence of cancers, particularly hormonal cancers, inflammatory diseases and allergies.

Essential fatty acids are essential in that they are necessary for the body to survive, but the body cannot produce them itself, it has to rely on dietary sources.  Unfortunately, Omega 6 is in plentiful supply in our diets today; however, the Omega 3 fatty acids, that are so essential for our wellbeing, can only be found in fish oil and not much else. Both Omega 6 and Omega 3 have very different roles in the body and it is this imbalance that needs to be rectified, either by eating more fish or taking fish oil supplements.  This becomes alarmingly clear when we consider that the Omega 6 fatty acids behave in such a way that they encourage tumour growth, help the blood to clot and promote inflammation whereas the Omega 3 fatty acids do the opposite.

Fish oil can benefit the heart, the mind and the body all at the same time.  Studies show it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, has demonstrated significant success in the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder and ADHD as well as numerous other conditions, and acts as an immune booster to promote general health.  It has also been found to improve concentration and memory. A recent article in The Sunday Times revealed that the UK government is considering giving fish oil capsules to schoolchildren as due to a rise in the use of convenience and processed foods, they are not receiving an adequate supply of Omega 3.

One pilot study in Bradford, where pupils were given fish oil on a daily basis, resulted in 81% of pupils showing an improvement in reading, 67% in writing and 74% in Maths.  Another study in Lancashire showed that pupils who took fish oil for 3 months before their GCSE exams managed to achieve one grade higher than what would have been expected.

Food for thought indeed.

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