HFE Magazine

October 11, 2017

Why We Should Be Eating More Omega 3 Fats

Filed under: Diet,Inflammation — Tags: , — Gail @ 1:06 pm

About 2 years ago, my doctor told me to start taking 18000 milligrams of Omega 3 oils to help with my digestive and hormonal issues.  I thought she was crazy!  But she convinced me to try 6000.  Within 2 weeks I saw a significant improvement in a digestive problem the used to cause me to avoid all fats!  Now, I take 14000 milligrams a day, plus coconut oil, and my digestive system has improved dramatically!

Here is an excerpt from a recent article by  Dr Mercola:

Time and again, I have emphasized that omega-3 fats are essential to your overall health. And I am not alone – other health experts stress the same, and decades of research have been devoted to discovering the many health benefits of omega-3.

Omega-3 comes from both animal and plant sources. The primary animal sources are krill oil and fish oil. The primary plant sources are flaxseed, chia and hemp.

Omega-3 ranks among the most important essential nutrients out there today. In 2008, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published three studies investigating the role of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids in elderly populations.

Low concentrations of EPA and DHA resulted in an increased risk of death from all causes, as well as accelerated cognitive decline. The studies also suggest that a higher intake of omega-3s may bring certain health benefits that short-term supplementation cannot give.

Here are other evidence of omega-3 benefits:

1. Omega-3 benefits your heart health. An Italian study (GISSI) of 11,324 heart attack survivors found that patients supplementing with fish oils markedly reduced their risk of another heart attack, stroke, or death. In a separate study, American medical researchers reported that men who consumed fish once or more every 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.

2. Omega-3 normalizes and regulates your cholesterol triglyceride levels. Compared to a statin, both fish oil and krill oil are more efficient in doing this. According to a study comparing the efficiency of krill and fish oils in reducing triglyceride levels, both oils notably reduced the enzyme activity that causes the liver to metabolize fat, but krill had a more pronounced effects, reducing liver triglycerides significantly more.

Fasting triglyceride levels are a powerful indication of your ability to have healthy lipid profiles, which can be indicative of your heart health.

Studies have also shown that omega-3 fats are anti-arrhythmic (preventing or counteracting cardiac arrhythmia), anti-thrombotic (prevents thrombosis or a blood clot within a blood vessel), anti-atherosclerotic (preventing fatty deposits and fibrosis of the inner layer of your arteries), and anti-inflammatory (counteracting inflammation – the heat, pain, swelling, etc).

3. DHA affects your child’s learning and behavior. Do you want to maximize your child’s intellectual potential? A study published in Plos One in June 2013 linked low levels of DHA with poorer reading, and memory and behavioral problems in healthy school-age children. In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013, children who consumed an omega-3 fat supplement as infants scored higher on rule learning, vocabulary, and intelligent testing at ages 3 to 5.

Previous research also found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related behavior or learning disabilities are more likely to have low omega-3 fat levels.

Omega-3 benefits cover many areas of health, from mental and behavioral health to preventing premature death from disease, including the following:

Coronary heart disease and stroke Essential fatty acid deficiency in infancy (retinal and brain development) General brain function, including memory and Parkinson’s disease
ADHD Autoimmune disorders, e.g. lupus and nephropathy Osteoporosis
Crohn’s disease and digestive disorders Cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate Rheumatoid arthritis

Omega-3 has such great impact on your brain health – EPA and DHA keep the dopamine levels in your brain high, increase neuronal growth in the frontal cortex of your brain, and increase cerebral circulation.

Omega-3 and omega-6 are two types of fat that are essential for human health. However, the typical American consumes far too many omega-6 fats in her diet while consuming very low omega-3 levels.

The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1. Today, however, our ratio averages from 20:1 to 50:1 – this spells serous dangers to your well-being! In fact, mainstream media has finally reported that lack of omega-3 is among the most serious and pressing health issues plaguing our world.

Omega-6 is primarily sourced from corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. These are overabundant in the typical diet, which accounts for excess omega-6 levels.

Omega-6 fats predominate the diet in the US, and this encourages the production of inflammation in your body. Many scientists 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.

Sources of Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats

Perhaps you are wondering what animal-based omega-3 options are available for you. Here are the primary ones:

Fish – In a perfect world, fish can provide you all the omega-3s you need. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the fish supply is now heavily tainted with industrial toxins and pollutants, such as heavy metals which include mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium, PCBs, and radioactive poisons. These toxins make eating fish no longer recommended.

About the only exception are wild-caught Alaskan salmon and very small fish like sardines. The highest concentrations of mercury are found in large carnivorous fish like tuna, sea bass, and marlin. You may need to be especially cautious of canned tuna as well, as independent testing by the Mercury Policy Project found that the average mercury concentration in canned tuna is far over the “safe limits” of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

It is also important that you avoid farmed salmon, which contains only about half of the omega-3 levels of wild salmon. It may also harbor a range of contaminants, including environmental toxins, synthetic astaxanthin, and harmful metabolic byproducts and agrichemical residues of GMO corn- and soy-based feed they are given.

  • Fish oil – Fish oil is among the primary ways that people enhance their intake of omega-3 fats. High-quality fish oils certainly provides many health benefits.
  • Krill oil – This is my (Dr Mercola’s) preferred choice for animal-based omega-3 fats. Krill oil not only contains the important and necessary DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, but they are bound to phospholipids. Additionally, krill oil’s antioxidant potency is 48 times higher than fish oil.

Plant Sources – In recent years, many people – particularly those who strictly follow a vegetarian or vegan diet – have believed that they do not have to consume animal products to get omega-3s, as long as they are consuming high amounts of plant-based omega-3s. But, as I mentioned before, most of the health benefits that you can get from omega-3 fats are linked to animal-based EPA and DHA fats – not plant-based ALA. They are simply NOT interchangeable.

Plant sources of Omega 3 are not as effective, but some of the sources are as follows: Microalgae Oil, Ground Flaxseed or Flaxseed Oil, Chia Seeds and Chia Oil, Hemp Seeds and Hemp Oil, Walnuts and Walnut Oil, Cold Pressed Canola Oil, Grape Leaves, Wild Berries.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil, although not an omega-3 or omega-6 fat, is also an extremely beneficial dietary fat with an “embarrassment of riches” for your heart, metabolism, immune system, skin and thyroid. Coconut oil’s health benefits derive from its special MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids).

50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. If you’re a frequent reader of my newsletter, you already know that I consider lauric acid a “miracle” ingredient because of its unique health-promoting properties.

Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoa properties. Monolaurin is a monoglyceride that can actually destroy lipid coated viruses such as:

  • HIV, herpes
  • Measles
  • Influenza virus
  • Various pathogenic bacteria
  • Protozoa such as giardia lamblia

Lauric acid is a powerful virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer, and coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on Earth! Capric acid, another coconut fatty acid present in smaller amounts, has also been added to the list of coconut’s antimicrobial components. This is one of the key reasons you should consider consuming coconut oil, because there aren’t many sources of monolaurin in our diet. But the health benefits of coconut oil don’t stop there.

To find out more about Omega-3 Fatty Acids, what they can do for you, and how to take Omega-3 supplments, read my new book, Omega-3 Fats, The Real Truth.

Opinions expressed on this blog are those of the writer and have not been reviewed by the FDA, CDC or other 'medical authorities'. Therefore, any products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, but rather are dietary supplements intended solely for nutritional use.

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