I eat fish. Do I still need to take a fish oil supplement?

Even if you eat well every day, including fish a few times a week, it’s still important that you take a high quality fish oil. Here’s why.

Omega fatty acids are also known as essential fatty acids. We use the word “essential” because these fatty acids can’t be made by the body, so it’s essential that we get them from our diets.

There are two essential fatty acids, omega-6 and omega-3, which come from different foods, and provide different benefits to the body:

  • Omega-6s are found in seeds and oils like sunflower, sesame and hemp, poultry and eggs
  • Omega-3s are found in fish oils, flax and chia seeds

Getting a balance of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids is absolutely critical to human development during pregnancy and lactation, and later, in the prevention and management of chronic disease.

But finding the right balance of these fatty acids is important! There’s evidence that suggests that human beings evolved eating omega-6 and -3 fatty acids in a ratio of around 1:1. This would have been achieved by eating whole foods in their natural state –fish, grass fed meat, certain vegetables, and nuts and seeds.

But our modern diets supply us with more omega-6 than we need – and the typical Western diet now provides us with an omega-6 to -3 ratio of around 16:1! This is because processed and unhealthy vegetable oils, like corn oil and soy oil, belong to the omega-6 oil family, too – these oils are cheap to produce, and often find their way into processed foods, baked goods and restaurant foods.

Too much omega-6 in the diet, especially when it comes from unhealthy sources, can ramp up the dreaded “I” word – Inflammation – which is most commonly associated with cardiovascular disease. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to supplement with a high quality omega-3 fish oil from a pure source to restore a healthier balance of omega-6 to omega-3.

Restoring the balance by supplementing with omega-3s is good for our health! Omega-3s have been linked to improvements in cardiovascular disease markers like thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate, blood lipid levels and vascular function. Omega-3s can also help to support healthy cognitive function, mood and mental outlook, support a healthy brain, and even a healthy gut microbiome by strengthening the gut lining and boosting diversity of bacterial populations.

So how can we reap the benefits of omega-3s? By finding a formula that suits our goals! There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids that provide different benefits throughout the body:

  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) helps to reduce cellular inflammation, and can help to improve mood and mental outlook. Higher EPA formulas can be used to mediate inflammation and/or boost mood.
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is important for the structure and function of the brain and supports the nervous system. Higher DHA formulas can be used during pregnancy to support healthy brain development and function, or to improve cognition at any time.

Genuine Health’s omega3 fish oils are available in formulas with EPA and DHA ratios specially formulated to help you reach your health goals.

It’s also important that the omega-3 fish oil that you choose is pure and clean. That’s why all Genuine Health omega3 fish oils are sourced from wild, fresh, sustainable sources and rigorously tested to ensure that they are free from heavy metals and pesticide residues.

So even if you’re serving up a piece of salmon for dinner, don’t forget to take an omega-3 fish oil – your brain, heart and gut will thank you!

 

References

Simopoulos AP, DiNicolantonio JJ. The importance of a balanced ω-6 to ω-3 ratio in the prevention and management of obesity. Open Heart (BMJ) 2016; 3(2): e000385.

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