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Introduction to Omega 3
Omega 3 supplements are one of our most popular products, and for good reason. Almost all doctors recognise omega-3 fats are essential to overall health and wellbeing. Many decades of research have been devoted to discovering the true effects of omega 3 on the body, with many health benefits found along the way.
Omega 3 can come from both animal and plant sources, but it most famously comes from krill and fish oil. The cration of omega 3 products for consumption by humans has become a multibillion-dollar business, with Americans alone spending over 2.6 billion dollars on nutritional supplements and foods fortified with omega 3 fats.
The Different Types of Omega
Various marine animals such as krill and fish provide eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These substances, when consumed by humans, are mostly promoted for the protective benefits they provide for your heart. Vegetable based compounds such as flaxseed, chia, hemp, and a few other foods offer alpha-linoleic acid (ALA).
When choosing your supplement product we recommend choosing a mix of animal and plant based substances. Most of the health benefits linked to omega 3 fats are linked to the animal-based EPA and DHA, supplemented by the plant-based ALA.
Furthermore ALA is converted into EPA and DHA in your body at a very low ratio, so low that they have hardly any benefit at all. Even if you consume large amounts of ALA, the human body can only convert a relatively small amount into EPA and DHA, and only when there are sufficient enzymes. Again, the animal based products tend to offer superior health benefits than the plant based ALA products.
Just remember that plant-based omega-3 fats are not inherently harmful for you, nor should they be avoided. What you ideally want to do is include an animal-based form in your diet. For instance, you can combine flax and hemp in your diet with animal-based omega-3s.
The Benefits of Omega 3 Supplements
Omega-3 ranks among the most important essential nutrients out there today. When taken in suplement form the substance has many health benefits. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008 published three studies investigating the role of both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids in elderly people.
Very low concentrations of EPA and DHA resulted in an increased risk of death from every cause, as well as accelerated cognitive decline and failing mental capacity. Additionally, the studies suggest that a higher intake of omega-3s may bring certain health benefits that short term intake cannot give.
Here are other of Omega 3 benefits:
1. Omega-3 helps you have a healthy heart.
An Italian study of 11,324 heart attack survivors found that patients taking fish oil supplements markedly reduced their risk of suffering another heart attack, stroke and death. In a separate study, American medical researchers found that men who consumed fish once or more per week had a 50 percent lower risk of dying from a sudden cardiac event than do men who eat fish less than once a month. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has been shown to reduce total mortality and sudden death in patients who have already had a heart attack.
Consuming small quantities of fish is associated with a reduction in coronary heart disease, while Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D supplementation results in a substantial reduction in coronary calcium scores and slowed plaque growth.
Omega-3 fatty acids also prevent atrial fibrillation after coronary artery bypass surgery.
2. Omega 3 has numerous cholesterol triglyceride benefits.
When compared to a statin both fish and krill oil are more efficient in regulating cholesterol. A study comparing the efficiency of krill and fish oils in reducing triglyceride levels showed that both oils notably reduced the enzyme activity that causes the liver to metabolize fat. Krill had a more pronounced effects, reducing liver triglycerides significantly more than fish.
Fasting triglyceride levels are a very powerful indicator of your ability to have healthy lipid profiles, which can be indicative of your heart health.
Studies have also shown that omega 3 fats have numerous other benefits, some of which are anti-arrhythmic (helping to prevent or counteract cardiac arrhythmia), anti-thrombotic (prevents thrombosis or a blood clot within the blood vessels), anti-atherosclerotic (prevents fatty deposits and fibrosis of the inner layer of your arteries), and anti-inflammatory (counteracting inflammation, heat, pain, swelling, etc).
3. DHA Helps With Children’s Learning Ability And Behavior
Most parents care about their childs prospects in life. A good way to help with their school performance would be to maximize their intellectual potential. A study published in Plos One in June 2013 linked low levels of DHA with poor reading ability, as well as memory and behavioral problems in healthy school-age children. In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013 showed that children who consumed an omega 3 supplement as infants achieved higher scores in rule learning, vocabulary, and intelligence testing at ages 3 to 5.
Older research also found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other related behavior or learning disabilities are more likely to have low omega-3 fat levels in their bodies.
Omega-3 has a very positive impact on your brain health. EPA and DHA keep the dopamine levels in your brain high, increase neuronal growth in the frontal cortex of the brain, and increase cerebral circulation.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation also has a therapeutic effect in children with ADHD. A combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as magnesium and zinc consumption provide a beneficial effect on attentional, behavioural, and emotional problems of children and adolescents.
Fish oil supplementation has also been found to have a significant therapeutic effect on children with autism, while Omega-3 fatty acids appear to be an effective treatment for children with autism.
4. Omega-3 has been found to save the lives of children going through short bowel syndrome (SBS)
SBS, while not common, impacts thousands of people in the United States every year. SBS can occur from birth (a portion of the intestine fails to develop) or due to an infectious inflammatory disease striking babies born immature. For adults, it can be caused by surgery for Crohn’s disease or bowel injury.
Dr. Mark Puder, a surgeon at Children’s Hospital Boston, said that they knew that sadly most of the children with SBS were going to die. Then the physicians noted that when the kids were given the nutritional supplement Omegaven (made of fish oil), theie condition began to improve drastically.
The fish oil treatment was given to 112 children at the hospital, where more than 90 percent of the children with SBS are still alive. The results proved so striking that the fish oil supplement has been made available at 70 hospitals worldwide.
5. Other Benefits of Omega 3
Eyesight and Omega 3
DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal vision.
Pregnancy And Omega 3
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) maternal intake contributes to the normal development of the eye of the foetus and breastfed infants.
Mental Health And Omega 3
There is strong evidence that omega-3 fatty acids have a beneficial effect in bipolar disorder, while Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is associated with reduced mania and depression in juvenile bipolar disorder.
Arthritis And Omega 3
Clinical studies have reported that oral fish oil supplementation has beneficial effects in rheumatoid arthritis and among some asthmatics.
Sudden Death and Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acid reduce the total mortality and sudden death in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Raising blood levels of omega-3 fatty acid levels may be 8 times effective than distributing automated external defibrillators (AEDs), and 2 times more effective than implanting implanting cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) in preventing sudden death.
Diabetes and Omega 3
The consumption of omega-3 fatty acid supplements decreases homocysteine levels in diabetic patients.Omega 3 fatty acids also improve macro and microvascular function in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
The Hazards of Running Low On Omega 3
The truth is that most people fail to consume the proper amounts of omega 3 fats. This fact makes omega 3 deficiency likely the sixth biggest killer of Americans today. This omega 3 deficiency can cause or contribute to serious mental and physical health issues, and it may be a significant underlying factor in up to 96,000 premature deaths each year.
Dietary fat intake by Americans has been among the most widely studied dietary risk factors for breast and prostate cancers. Two studies from 2002 explain how omega 3 can protect against breast cancer. BRCA1 (breast cancer gene 1) and BRCA2 (breast cancer gene 2) are two tumor suppressor genes. When functioning normally they help repair DNA damage, a process that also prevents tumor development.
Omega 3 and omega 6 fats have been found to influence these two genes. Omega-3 tends to reduce cancer cell growth, while highly processed and toxic omega 6 has been found to cause cancer growth.
When you consider that omega 3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer and heart disease, it is not surprising that statistics show that this deficiency may be responsible for almost 100,000 deaths every year in the US.
Very special attention should also be given to the fact that most women suffer from omega 3 deficiency. A 1991 study at the Mayo Clinic focused on 19 regular pregnant women consuming normal diets. It showed that all were deficient in omega 3 fats. Another later study compared Inuit (Eskimo) women to Canadian women. It revealed omega 3 deficiency in the milk of the Canadian nursing moms.
Animal cells simply cannot form omega-3 and so a fetus must obtain all of its omega 3 fatty acids from the diet of it’s mother. The mother’s dietary intake and plasma concentrations of DHA directly influence the developing fetus’ DHA levels, impacting the child’s development, brain and eye health.
Remember that if you are pregnant, your baby is dependent on the omega 3 from your diet via breast milk. It is very important to consume the correct levels of omega 3.
The Ideal Omega Balance
Both omega 3 and omega 6 are two types of fat that are essential for overall human health and wellbeing. The sad fact is that the typical American consumes far too much omega-6 in ther diet while consuming very low levels of omega 3.
The ideal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is 1:1. Our ancestors evolved over millions of years on this ratio of the two. In the modern world our ratio averages from 20:1 to 50:1 – this spells serous dangers for our health. The lack of omega 3 is among the most serious and pressing health issues plaguing our world.
Omega 6 is mainly sourced from corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. These substances are far to high in the typical diet. This fact accounts for excess levels of omega 6.
Omega 6 fats predominate not only in the American diet but also Western diet in general. This encourages the production of inflammation in the human body. Many doctors, health rofessionals and scientists now believe that one reason there is a high incidence of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, premature aging, and some cancer forms today is this profound omega-3-omega-6 imbalance.
Omega 3 For Pregnant Mothers And Young Children
From conception, through pregnancy and through a child’s later life, omega 3 fats DHA and EPA have an incredibly important role in the child’s development, brain health and other functions. Taking krill oil supplements before and during pregnancy and during breastfeeding is highly recommended. Babies receive DHA through their mother’s breast milk, so continuing breastfeeding through the first year will give your child a great headstart in their physicaland mental development.
As soon as ya child can safely swallow a supplement capsule they can start taking a high-quality omega 3 supplement. We feature a wide selection of kid-sized and half the size supplements for easy consumption. These supplements are also odor-free, making it easy and palatable for small children to swallow.
The Best Sources Of Omega 3
In order to consume a healthy amount of omega 3 you must first know what the best sources are. Here are the Sources:
We wish we could say that fish can provide you all the omega-3 you need. Sadly most of the fish supply that we eat is now heavily tainted with industrial toxins and pollutants. Heavy metals, PCBs, radioactive poisons and more pollute our waters and enter our fish, that we then eat.. These toxins make eating fish less healthy than it once was.
The only probable exceptions are wild-caught Alaskan salmon and small fish like sardines. The highest concentrations of mercury are to be found in large fish like tuna, sea bass, and marlin. There is a need to be especially cautious canned tuna as well, as independent testing by the Mercury Policy Project found that the mercury concentration in canned tuna is far over the “safe limits” of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
It is also very important that you avoid farmed salmon, which contains only about half of the omega-3 levels found in wild salmon. It may also contain a range of contaminants which include environmental toxins, synthetic astaxanthin, and harmful metabolic byproducts and agrichemical residues of GMO corn- and soy-based feed they are given.
Fish oil supplements are among the primary ways that people increase their intake of omega 3 fats. While high quality fish oils can certainly provide many health benefits, they are however weak in antioxidants. This means that as you increase your omega 3 intake through fish oil consumption, you actually increase your need for additional antioxidant protection. (We provide a wide range of antioxidant supplements to take in addition to your omega 3 supplement)
The reason this happens because fish oil is perishable and oxidation that follows leads to the formation of harmful free radicals within the body. Antioxidant supplements are therefore necessary to ensure that the fish oil doesn’t oxidize and harm your body.
Krill oil may be the most effective choice of supplement for animal-based omega-3 fats. It’s antioxidant potency is 48 times higher than regular fish oil. It also contains astaxanthin, a marine source flavonoid that creates a special bond with the EPA and DHA to allow direct metabolism of the antioxidants, making them more bioavailable.
Krill (or “okiami” as the Japanese call it) are small, shrimp-like creatures that are a much loved food source in Asia since the 19th century and earlier.
Final Thoughts On Omega 3 Supplements
Omega 3 is one of the most important supplements you can take. Make sure you add them to your every day routine. A krill oil supplement combined with and antioxidant will make an excellent addition to your everyday health and well being.