Fishy, Fishy in the Sea, Come and Give Me Your Omega-3s

If you've been paying attention to the news lately, you've probably heard you should be consuming Omega 3s for their numerous health benefits. Peer-reviewed medical journals have exploded with quality research over the last 20 years supporting Omega 3 benefits for your body that include: 

  • Heart Health
    Think of how many Americans suffer from coronary heart disease. This is a big deal.
  • Healthy Triglyceride Levels
    American Heart Association reported Omega 3 intake can reduce triglyceride levels.
  • Joint, Bone and Muscle Health
    Got joint pain? Omega 3s can reduce inflammatory chemicals and reduce pain.
  • Skin and Hair
    Have red blotchy skin/pimples? Try Omega 3 fats for anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Emotional/Mental Health
    Our brain is 60% fat. Think the right kind of fats are important? Yup! You are what you eat!
  • Brain Function
    ADD child? Try Omega 3 Supplements before seeking out medication.
  • Eye Health
  • Healthy Blood Sugar Metabolism
    Insulin out of control? Type 2 diabetic? Studies show effect in controlling blood sugar.

Not bad, eh?

Why are Omega 3s so good for us?

For one, they are called ESSENTIAL fats, more specifically, essential long chain unsaturated fats. Essential means the body cannot produce them internally and thus rely on proper dietary intake to utilize their numerous health benefits. Experts know the importance of eating complete proteins because there are 10 (+1) essential amino acids we need to eat (our body can't make them, hence, essential) or our health would suffer. Fats are no different. Unfortunately, only recently has the media realized that not all fats are bad (or created equal if you like) and so many people are just starting to realize the importance of getting these ESSENTIAL FATS into our bodies on a DAILY BASIS to achieve optimal health and longevity.

2011-10-25_trigames
My team at Tri Games this past Friday!

Omega 6 & Omega 3

Each and every cell membrane in our bodies is made up of fats. Our diet can decide whether we make cells with good fats (anti-inflammatory) or bad fats (pro-inflammatory). You are what you eat ring a bell? Earliest humans ate (and are designed to eat) a dietary ratio of 1:1 of Omega 6 : Omega 3. 

Over the last 100 years we humans have drastically gone away from this opting for chips, wheat, dairy, and junk foods as regularly consumed foods. This has catapulted our dietary intake of Omega 6:3 fats to almost 20-30:1! Bad news bears. The problem with too many Omega 6s is they are pro-inflammatory and get incorporated into our cell membranes and lead to a cascade of problems including the chronic inflammatory state.

If we want to reduce our risk of diseases associated with the chronic inflammatory state such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, some cancers, Alzheimer's (the list goes on), then we must balance our intake. One way to do this therapeutically is to increase Omega 3s such as those found in fish oils and flax seed oils.

What are the best Omega 3s?

The most potent (and research proven) Omega 3s are called EPA and DHA. They are easily the most beneficial and usable by the body. They come from fish, which is a fantastic source if you can get a wild-caught source free from factory farming and mercury. Unfortunately, this is hard to find so our recommendations are to get them through a high potency fish oil that is enteric coated so you don't get fishy burps and so more gets through your stomach acid to deliver a higher absorption to your small intestine.

How to read labels?

Marketing will be marketing and many companies just state the amount of fish oil, which is very different from how much EPA & DHA is in that oil. Make sure you find one that has a combined EPA/DHA over 500mg. Take 2 a day for a month and see how you feel. The worst that can happen is you don't feel it was worth $12 bucks. The best is that you reduce your risk for chronic diseases, improve your brain concentration, and your skin looks younger. I'd opt for the personal experiment!

Cheers,
CC

Post a comment