Overview of Fish Oil and Omega 3’s
Fish oil comes from the tissue of very oily fish. The best sources of this are cold-water, fatty fish. When it comes to human consumption of fish oil, you can consume these benefits straight from the fish themselves or a fish oil supplement, which is highly recommended.
Fish oil is a very concentrated source of omega-3 fats, which is also called ω-3 fatty acids or n-3 fatty acids. To be more scientific, omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs. Our bodies can make most of the fats that we need, but not for omega-3 fatty acids. When it comes to these essential fats, we need to get them from omega-3 foods or supplements.
Fish oil contains two essential omega-3 PUFAs. I’m talking about DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, and EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid. DHA and EPA are sometimes known as the marine omega-3s because these fatty acids mainly come from fish. Some of the best fish you can eat to obtain fish oil in your diet includes wild-caught salmon, herring, whitefish, sardines, and anchovies. But the most efficient and safe way is through a scientifically made supplement that is tested for human bodies.
Deficiency side effects
Many Americans’ health problems can be traced back to having a huge imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Omega-6 fats aren’t necessarily bad for the body, but if they are consumed in large amounts without omega-3s, they can cause inflammation, which leads to chronic illness.
Today, the average American has a 20:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, when a healthy rate is more ideally around 2:1. When putting it in easier mathematical terms, the typical American diet tends to have about 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. This shows just how deficient most humans are and why supplementing with fish oil is so beneficial your body.
One of the biggest causes of omega-3 deficiency is the overconsumption of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 comes from fried foods, fast foods, and boxed foods that contain vegetable oils like soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil and corn oil. By consuming too much omega-6, you can decrease your body’s ability to metabolize healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which decreases the ability for your body to receive the proper nutrition.
Research has shown that having a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Getting enough omega-3, which means having a proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6, has been shown in hundreds of studies to provide benefits to many inflammatory diseases, including:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Heart disease
It’s important to know that even though certain foods like flaxseeds and grass-fed beef have omega-3 fatty acids, they are not EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid, and DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, which is found in fish oil, it is ALA, alpha-linolenic acid. According to the medical research, there are far more health benefits in fish oil EPA and DHA than ALA, like flaxseed oil for most people.
It’s also important to note that omega-6 fatty acids are not bad for you. If your diet contains too many omega-3 fatty acids, your immune system won’t work very well. It’s all about the balance of these two essential fatty acids.
How to Take Fish Oil Supplements
People seem to think the best way to achieve a correct balance of omega-3 and omega-6 is by getting your fish oil from wild-caught fish like salmon. However, I believe it is most beneficial for people to supplement with a high-quality omega-3 fish oil or cold liver oil. Plus, cold water fish are frequently contaminated with mercury and pesticide residues, making it tough to achieve recommended levels safely.
So by supplementing your diet with pure anti-oxidant rich fish oils, you can find the best ways to get your essential omega 3s. The types of fish which are most commonly used in fish oil supplements are salmon, cod liver, mackerel, sardines, halibut, pollock, and herring.
Fish oil supplement capsule currently does not have a standard set of recommendation for how many omega-3s we need each day, but suggestions range from a fish oil dosage of 500 to 1,000 milligrams per day depending on what doctor or scientist you ask. How easy is it to get these recommended amounts? To give you an idea of how much is each serving, one can of tuna fish or one small serving of wild-caught salmon has well over 500 milligrams of total omega-3s.
When taking fish oil, more is not always better. Remember that you want to stay very balanced between the omega-6 fatty acids and the Omega-3 fatty acids. For most people, I recommend a 1,000-milligram dose of fish oil per day as the right amount and the most scientifically studied dosage. I also highly recommend not taking more than that unless you are directed to under the supervision of a doctor.
A good tip is not all fish oils are created equal. For example, most fish oils are highly processed and can oxidize quickly due to the omega-3 fats being polyunsaturated, and have a low heat threshold which can easily go rancid. For this reason, you usually want to buy a fish oil in a triglyceride form that also contains antioxidants to preserve them like astaxanthin or essential oils.
To improve the health of your heart, brain, skin, hair, body and much more, consider adding a fish oil to your daily supplement regime. If you don’t like smelly fish oil pills, make sure to get a different supplement that will fulfill your omega-3 needs and provide your body with fish oil benefits. The American Heart Association also highly recommend getting these essential Omega-3 fatty acids in your body