OMEGA-3 FISH OILS
Below reflects the latest scientific knowledge. It is important for you to know this information has not been approved by the FDA. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
You do not need a doctor’s prescription to use omega -3 fish oil products; however, there is a similar prescription product which is a synthetic derivative of a natural omega-3 fatty acid processed from fish oil. Its potency is similar to all natural fish oil.
Omega-3 oil can also be used by pregnant women and nursing mothers. In utero and early childhood, clinical studies suggest that omega-3 oil improves motor coordination. Children under 3 may take ¼ teaspoon of oil. Children aged 3-12 may take 1/2 teaspoon and children weighing 80 lbs or more may take 1 teaspoon.
It is okay to take over-the-counter medications like a daily aspirin regimen; however, do not take with prescription medications like Coumadin without first consulting with your physician.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FISH OIL GEL CAPS AND LIQUID FORMULATION? HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE ON A DAILY BASIS?
Many fish oil products and advertisements recommend a daily dose of approximately 500 milligrams of omega 3 oil. Based on studies I think this dose is far too low to offer health benefits. I try to maintain a daily dose of minimally 4000 milligrams of omega 3 oils. I take gel caps. One study showed that gel caps are not practical to take because the caps slow the absorbtion rate. But another study shows that you can take your dose spread out through the day. So if that’s the case then what does it matter if the absorbtion rate is slowed?? Just as long as it is not stopped right? Depending on the product, you would need to take between 4 and 35 gel caps/day to derive any benefit. You can buy Omega-3 oils are offered in liquid formulation.
IS THERE ANY ADVANTAGE TO A PRODUCT CONTAINING OMEGA-3, 6 AND 9 FATTY ACIDS?
While all omega fats are essential fats, we definitely should avoid omega-6. Our diets are far too enriched in omega-6. Omega-6 fats induce inflammation, the exact opposite effect of omega-3. The benefit of omega-9 fats has yet to be substantiated by detailed clinical science evaluation. Bottom line, avoid products containing omega-6 and 9.
Now that being said, my fish oil DOES contain omega 6 and 9 so I guess I’m a hypocrite right? No because I didn’t really consider it before today and as soon as I did my research I purchased something online that does not have omega 6 and 9. So there!
WHAT ARE EPA AND DHA? WHAT IS A GOOD BALANCE FOR YOU?
EPA and DHA are omega 3 fatty acids. They are the good fats and block the actions of the bad fats or omega 6 fats. Omega 6 fats are chemicals that are acted on by enzymes in our bodies to make inflammatory mediators. It is important to know that not all omega 3 fatty acids are useful to our health. ALA, an omega 3 fat, found in flax seed oil is an omega 3 fatty acid, but there is no convincing clinical data in support of ALA improving our cardiovascular or inflammatory index. For ALA to work, it must first be converted to EPA. Our bodies convert ALA to EPA at a very low and erratic rate. EPA’s beneficial actions are considered to mainly involve peripheral (non brain actions). DHA is considered to be brain active. The best ratio is the natural ratio found in fish. What is important is the dose strength of this synergistic combination. Keep it all natural and take a high dose.
WHERE TO GET THE OIL FROM?
Make sure you source your omega-3 oils from established and highly regarded manufacturers. The reason I fell in love with my current brand is because it is considered most pure and void of contaminants like mercury and other heavy metals. If you are a COSTCO shopper or some similar store be very wary of what you buy there. That fish oil is most likely from China and there is no telling what contaminants me be in there considering their track record.
WHAT ARE THE MERCURY AND HEAVY METAL CONTENTS?
You want omega-3 oil that is essentially free of heavy metals and can be taken daily without limits. Look for companies that receive a certificate of analysis indicating that mercury, as well as aluminum, cadmium, nickel, lead, and chromium content is below detectable levels (.01ppm) by using modern analytical instrumentation such as electrospray mass spectrometry. You would probably find more mercury in vegetables than in some brands of fish oil. If one harvests small fish that do not eat other fish, the levels are naturally low. Further, the longer a fish lives in the water, the exposure to heavy metal increases and accumulation increases. The warmer seas seem to allow the fish to accumulate more heavy metal because of a slightly higher dissolution rate. Thus, people in South Florida on the Mediterranean diet actually have more heavy metals in their bodies than average Americans who eat fish from colder oceans. In addition to heavy metal analysis, you also want oil that has been tested for the presence of PCBs, various toxins, furans and halogenated hydrocarbons.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS FROM TAKING TOO MUCH FISH OIL?
Ingesting too much fish oil may make bowel movements oily.
NEVER COOK WITH FISH OIL?
Cooking with fish oil would be expensive and would not be effective as the fatty acids would rearrange their molecular structure at high temperatures.
IN GENERAL, DOES FISH OIL AFFECT LDL OR HDL CHOLESTEROL?
The primary effect is to lower VLDL by lowering triglyceride content o the VLDL particle. Clinical studies to address effects on HDL are ongoing. Further, it is reasonable to use high dose fish oil as an adjunct to standard “statins” like Zocor or Lipitor therapy. In this scenario, the goal is to reduce the statin therapy to absolutely the lowest dose possible, avoiding liver dysfunction due to long-term statin therapy and also the pain that high dose statins frequently cause (musculoskeletal morning pains.)
DOES RESEARCH SUPPORT SKIN IMPROVEMENTS OF ANY KIND?
Yes, various skin improvements can be expected possibly by reducing inflammation. The first observed pharmacologic effect will be a strengthening of nails. Fish oil also decreases the incidence of skin cracking around the finger tips and increases overall skin tone.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL BENEFITS FOR WOMEN?
Yes. High dose omega-3 improves the quality of hair, nails and skin and helps prevent pre-term deliveries (babies born at full birth weight with excellent motor coordination).
CLINICAL STUDIES WITH OMEGA-3
Published clinical studies suggest that Omega-3 may positively help the following conditions:
- ADHD/ Attention Deficit
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Menopause Symptoms
- Menstrual Cramps
- Neck Pain
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Neurological & Brain
- Dry-Eye Syndrome
- Heart Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Post-Partum Depression
- High Triglycerides
- Hot Flashes
- Prostate Cancer
- Back Pain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Respiratory Disease
- Breast Cancer
- Kidney Disorders
- Reynaud’s Disease
- Learning Disabilities
- Cervical Cancer
- Low Birth Weight
- Low Metabolism
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Visual Acuity
- Colon Cancer
- Fatty Liver Disease
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Migraine Headaches
- Weight Control
- Offering Children Omega-3 Fish Oil Is Important (elaineboyd524ywikins2133.wordpress.com)
- High Dose Fish Oil: Beneficial or Harmful? (ireport.cnn.com)