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EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FISH OIL AND OMEGA 3 DHA AND EPA


Fish oil is a rich source of the healthful omega-3 fatty acids, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). There is a tremendous body of research on these fatty acids and their role in optimal health functioning on different systems of the body. The standard American diet can make it a challenge to get the recommended amount of healthful omega-3, and many people prefer a supplement as an insurance policy. Together, DHA and EPA produce results that make omega-3s one of the most popular and best-selling supplements on the market. So what can omega-3 fatty acids do for you?

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the production of cytokines and pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, which in turn helps reduce inflammation. Omega-3s can actually increase production of anti-inflammatory (or good) eicosanoids. Cytokines and eicosanoids are contributing compounds in certain types of arthritis, so reducing these can improve joint health. The role of omega-3s in reducing inflammation comes from their ability to convert into anti-inflammatory chemicals known as resolvins and protectins. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s make it an important supplement for optimizing joint health, and it is especially helpful for athletes and those with an active lifestyle.

CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

Omega-3s affect your heart and blood vessels in a number of beneficial ways. For one, they reduce triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. They also reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries, helping prevent hardening of the arteries and reducing the chance of blood clots. Additionally, they may reduce the chance of an abnormal and deadly heart rhythm. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is essential for optimal brain health. Most of the neurological benefits of fish oil derive from DHA. The benefits of omega-3 on the brain are especially pronounced during pregnancy, when the infant’s brain is developing. Both during and post-pregnancy, it is important to ensure the recommended amount of DHA is available for the growth of neurons and brain structures in the child. There is an overwhelming body of research that suggests high levels of DHA in an infant’s diet translate to better brain and cognitive function.

BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

We know that DHA is essential for brain development in infants, but it plays an important role in the adult brain as well. Consuming recommended amounts of the omega-3s helps provide DHA to the cell membranes, resulting in less susceptibility to lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress in cells. The relationship between DHA and brain function impacts working memory, and a deficiency in the necessary omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to psychiatric disorders, such as depression. A high-quality fish oil supplement can provide the necessary levels of beneficial DHA and EPA that help support a healthy brain. The anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 help with joint pain, and it provides the bonus of contributing to skin health. Fatty acids help hydrate the skin, and may prevent acne and other unwanted breakouts that are a result of the body’s inflammatory response. Omega-3 also acts as an antioxidant, which can protect your body from harmful substances such as free radicals, which can lead to cancer and premature aging. Increasing your daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids can help your skin and hair stay hydrated and healthy.

VISION

Omega-3 fatty acids are an important resource in infant vision development. And, there are several studies that suggest omega-3 fatty acids maintain eye health and protect the eyes from macular degeneration. In addition, they aid in proper drainage of intraocular fluid from the eye, decreasing the risk of glaucoma. Omega-3s have also been shown to reduce the risk of dry eyes. Specifically, it is DHA that is felt to convey all the eye benefits so be sure to consume a fish oil supplement with very high levels of DHA.

CHOOSING A FISH OIL SUPPLEMENT

Choosing a good-quality fish oil supplement can be challenging. The most important factor is the omega-3 DHA and EPA content. Some products may be labeled, 1000 or even 1200 mg of “fish oil”, but may contain as little as 30% of the vital omega-3s, DHA and EPA, while the rest are unnecessary and fattening fat. Low quality fish oil supplements can also contain higher levels of harmful toxins such as PCB’s, furans, and dioxins. A common complaint about many fish oil supplements is the “fishy burps.” Enteric coating of fish oil soft gels will eliminate the “fishy burps” issue, and provide a comfortable experience. The highest quality fish oils are those that are most concentrated (high amounts of DHA and EPA per soft gel with low amounts of unnecessary fats), highly purified, and also enteric coated.

OMEGA 3 SOFT GELS

We know that omega-3 fatty acids are essential in overall health, but the average American diet is woefully deficient in omega-3s. Therefore it is often necessary to add a high quality supplement to your diet to ensure adequate levels and support optimal health. As “we are what we eat” be sure to nurture your body and take the best supplement available. Thus, research your fish oil supplements carefully, for quality and omega-3 content. VitalOils1000 is a highly purified fish oil supplement that contains a full 1000 mg dose of DHA and EPA in a single enteric-coated soft gel.

Mark Wilson