Nearly everyone has heard that Omega 3-rich Fish Oil is good for your heart… and your skin… and brain… and sight… and just about everything else! The truth is fish oil IS good for these things, but if you’re ONLY armed with this knowledge and perspective of this topic you are likely to treat this vital health strategy like a “fad” at best, and leave your body with a chronic nutritional deficiency that could result in serious health repercussions!
Omega 3 fatty acids are a key component and a raw material to building your body’s tissue and organs on a cellular level. The reason why omega 3s have such a flawless reputation is because all of the “perks” above are a result of your cells functioning normally or as they were designed to work. What this means is that omega 3 fatty acids make up the majority of the composition of the walls of your cells and the majority of the tissue that compose your brain and miles of nerve tissue that compose your nervous system (your master system).
The slippery slope comes when Omega 3 fatty acids are not found in abundance within your body and in turn, your body substitutes these with the bounty of Omega 6 fatty acids that ARE found. Your body is designed to work optimally with a 1:1(ish) ratio of Omega 6 : Omega 3s. Although Omega 6 fatty acids are inherently not bad, if your intake of Omega 6s grossly outnumber that of Omega 3s, it results in chronic low-grade widespread inflammation.
What is chronic low grade inflammation?
The simplest way to understand chronic low grade inflammation is to think of all of your tissue cells (all 37 trillion cells of YOU) always being a little sick and never as healthy of fully alive and functioning as they should be. That sounds bad right? Well… it is:( So much so that ALL chronic degenerate diseases: Heart Disease, Cancer, Stroke, Alzheimers, Dementia, etc. have a common thread in that chronic low grade inflammation must ALWAYS be present for these conditions to exist.
Most people in the United States have a ratio of about 16:1 (Omega 6:3) due to our diets that are high in:
*Nearly all processed foods contain one or a combination of these oils. Check your fridge and cabinets… you may be surprised!
Disrupting the healing process
By definition, healing is the active and ongoing process of cells dying and new cells being regenerated (or created). When Omega 3s are not present in your bloodstream, your body cannot use these to form healthy new cells and thus, are stuck with using less than optimal building materials leading to another generation of sick cells being created (and the cycle continues). As Omega 6s are used to replace the 3s, more inflammation is promoted and the body is continuously handicapped in what should be a simple healing and rebuilding process.
How to NO longer be deficient
The best source of Omega 3 fatty acids documented are by from oily wild fish (mackerel, sardines, anchovies, sockeye salmon, etc.) eaten daily! Oils from these fish are superior because they are what’s known as bioavailable meaning a special chemical conversion has already taken place in the fish allowing the omega 3s to quickly and efficiently be taken up and used by our bodies. Since few people eat sardines daily however:), it’s best to use a quality pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement.
***Please note, if you cannot eat fish or are a vegetarian/vegan, plant based omega 3 forms, such as seaweed or flaxseed, can be taken alternatively, however please know that our bodies conversion of these into a usable form is inefficient and slow so intake of the omega 6 oils listed above as well as other omega 6 rich foods should especially be limited.
How much do you need to be sufficient?
Consumption of Omega 3s should be measured by intake of both of its components: EPA and DHA.
Adults should consume daily:
EPA: 720-825 mg
DHA: 480-550 mg
Kids should consume daily:
EPA: 390 mg
DHA: 270 mg
What to look for when choosing a Fish Oil supplement?
-Cold water source: Scandinavian waters are known to be the best
-Highly Filtered for mercury
-Only from small oily fish (i.e. sardines, mackerel, anchovies)
-AS FEW Other Ingredients as possible
-MUST meet the EPA/DHA consumption measurements above
***Please note! It is strongly recommended you take the best QUALITY Fish Oil Supplement your budget allows. My family takes Innate Choice (one of our Foundation Essentials – carried in-house). Other recommendations include Nordic Naturals or Carlsons found at Whole Foods.
Does your Fish Oil measure up?
Have questions? Please ask :)!