Newsflash: “You should
be taking a fish oil for good health!” How
many times have you heard the terms “fish oil,” “omega 3,” or “omega 3 fatty
acid” being plastered in health bulletins or recommendations lately? If you are paying any attention, it’s
everywhere! Why? Because there is so much excitement over the
prospect of these ‘good fats’ in helping prevent and treat the #1 killer of
Americans today- heart disease. Here are
some quick tips on understanding what you might read about these little oily
pearls and drops of goodness!
1. Omega 3 fatty acids are protective to your body
because they help reduce inflammation.
(Inflammatory diseases are those that end in ‘-itis.’ If you have arthritis, sinusitis, or heart
as it should be called, omega 3’s can help.)
2. All omega 3’s are not created equal. For example, fish oil and flax oil are sources
of omega 3 fatty acids. Fish oil is
8-10x more potent than flax oil in terms of its ability to reduce inflammation.
3. A quick way to know if your supplement is a
potent source of omega 3’s- calculate how much EPA and DHA is in each
capsule. EPA and DHA (short for very
long chemical names you don’t need to know) are the strongest of the omega 3’s. The more in your supplement, the better in
today’s culture of inflammation. If you
are taking a 1000 mg capsule of fish oil, but only 400 mg of it is in the form
of EPA and DHA, that’s how much you can likely bank on in terms of helping to
4. Studies show 1000mg of fish oil (remember, I
would say EPA + DHA) can help most adults prevent heart disease risks and 2000
mg- 4000 mg of good omega 3’s could be prescribed for others with riskier
5. All fish oil is not created equal. Even if it has the same amount of EPA + DHA,
if the manufacturer of your fish oil has not purified out the bad stuff like
mercury, PCB and dioxin, you might get other problems in the process. Remember, fish are a product of the water they
live in and the water these days is not as clean as it used to be. Look for a product that uses a distillation
process that takes out the bad chemicals and saturated fat that you don’t need
in your supplement regimen.
This is just the beginning of more to come on this
subject. If you get yourself going with these tips and add in a healthy dose of good nutrition, regular physical activity and a happier
disposition, you are sure to be ahead of most Americans on your path to
preventing disease. But do me a favor… please
pass this on to anyone who takes fish oil.
I see way too many people wasting their hard earned money on substandard
fish oil supplements that likely are not helping them and potentially hurting
them. Pay it forward…the more they know,
the more they help themselves. Then, they can join you in the ranks of Patients Powered by