Omega 3 from Fish Oil:
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for optimum bodily function. Our bodies do not produce enough omega 3s. For this reason, it is considered an essential fatty acid and a substance that needs to be consumed in our diet. The richest sources of omega 3s are derived from fish although foods such as turkey and lean red meat contain some amounts of omega 3.
Omegas 3s are required in the body for their anti-inflammatory properties. Recent research has shown many diseases are caused by inflammatory responses in the body. Omega 3s play a role in brain health, heart health, protection against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, improvement of skin conditions like psoriasis and acne, foetal brain development, inflammatory bowel disorders, and arthritis.
With omega 3s being involved in so many disease states in the body, I believe it is important that we fuel our body with enough omega 3. This is why we recommend taking Omega 3 from fish oil to most patients.
What should I look for?
The three types of Omega 3 fatty acids are:
- ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid)
- EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)
- DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid)
The most beneficial of the omega 3’s are EPA and DHA. These have the most anti-inflammatory properties. Typically, fish oil has higher concentrates of EPA and DHA. It is for this reason we use omega 3’s from fish oil!
I recommend my patients take the highest dose of EPA and DHA formulation of fish oil that they can source. Research suggests the dose needed to reduce inflammation is 2.7 grams of omega 3 (EPA plus DHA) daily. It is difficult to achieve this level of dosing from commercially available capsules; hence I always recommend the liquid form of high EPA and DHA fish oil. Again, liquid formulations absorb quickly and start to get to work quicker. Remember to store the liquid fish oil in the fridge to minimise oxidation and to ensure potency of the product while you are taking it.
If the idea of taking liquid fish oil is unappealing (some people don’t like the oily sensation), then you will welcome the arrival of Krill Oil onto the omega 3 scene. Krills are shrimp-like crustaceans that have concentrated amounts of EPA and DHA. The EPA and DHA in krill oil absorb much easier than the EPA and DHA in fish oil, hence less is required. Krill oil also has the potent antioxidant, Astaxanthin, in its composition which is beneficial to the body. A 1500mg daily dose of krill oil provides the right amount of EPA and DHA to reduce inflammation in the body.
Caution to take:
Omegas 3’s are suitable for most people except those taking medications to thin their blood. It is recommended to stop taking omega 3’s prior to surgery due to its blood thinning properties. And, of course, if you are allergic to shellfish, stay away from Krill Oil!
How to know if you are Omega 3 deficient?
A blood test will help determine if you are deficient in Omega 3. At Priceline Pharmacy West Brunswick, we can have your blood analysed to know the levels of Omega 3 in your system along with recommended advice optimised for your health needs or current condition.
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