Don’t Skimp On Fish Oil

I am a cost conscious mom, but when it comes to fish oil, I do not look for the cheapest option. Why? Cheaper brands, such as those found at Walmart do not contain all three essential fatty acids. They do contain “other” fatty acids, which is the junk at the bottom of the barrel. So while you may get 2 for the price of 1, you are getting 2 of basically nothing.

So what are the benefits of fish oil?

  1. Balance – Omega 3 fish oil supplements balance out the ratio between omega 3 and omega 6. We want our ratio to be 1:1, but most people have a ratio of 1:30. One of the main problems with our modern diet is that omega 6 is found in a lot of our food – soybean, corn, peanut, sunflower, fake butter products and grain-fed animals.
  2. Brain BoosterDocosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are found in fish oil are used in the formation of brain and retinal tissue and can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as vision problems, depression, bipolar disorder, ADD, ADHD and anxiety when taken on a regular basis
  3. Heart Health – EPA acid helps thin the blood and produces anti-inflammatory eicosanoids
  4. Pregnancy – Great for pregnant moms! DHA and EPA help develop the eyes, brain and nervous system of your growing baby
  5. Cancer - Omega-3 fatty acids reduce breast, colon and prostate cancer growth
  6. Inflammatory – Reduces inflammation and pain in joints and other areas of the body
  7. Improves Mood – may help in the treatment of ADHD and depression

How much should you take?

The Food and Drug Administration in the US have indicated that up to 3000 mg of DHA/EPA per day from all sources (diet + supplements) is generally considered safe for most adults (http://www.dhaomega3.org/FAQ/Can-you-overdose-on-DHA-and-EPA).

For healthy adults with no history of heart disease, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week. In particular, fatty fish are recommended, such as anchovies, bluefish, carp, catfish, halibut, herring, lake trout, mackerel, pompano, salmon, striped sea bass, tuna (albacore), and whitefish. It is also recommended to consume plant-derived sources of α-linolenic acid, such as tofu/soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed oil, and canola oil. The World Health Organization and governmental health agencies of several countries recommend consuming 0.3-0.5 grams of daily EPA + DHA and 0.8-1.1 grams of daily α-linolenic acid. A doctor and pharmacist should be consulted for dosing for other conditions (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fish-oil/NS_patient-fishoil/DSECTION=dosing)

What are some top brands?

  1. Nordic Naturals (I like this brand)
  2. Xtend Life Omega 3
  3. Zone Labs Omega Fish Oil

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Photo Credit capsules image by Pefkos from Fotolia.com

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