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Fish Oils (Omega 3)

Who wants to go fishing? 

Fish oils, specifically Omega 3, have been one of my core supplements for years. Although I eat fish every week, the research surrounding healthy fats, specifically Omega 3 has been significant. Whether it’s brain health (8% of your brain is made up for Omega 3), reducing inflammation, joint health, even cancer prevention, Fish Oils can be powerful health solutions. To get the most out of them, there’s a few things you need to know…let’s learn about…

Where’s the best spot to find some fish (oils)..

Q: What is Fish Oil?

A: It’s the oil that is extracted from either the tissue of the fish or from the liver (like in Cod Liver Oil). It’s usually extracted from small, fatty/oily fish, such as herring, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel. It doesn’t make any difference the type of fish, producers try to use small fish because they usually contain less heavy metals. 

Q: What’s the difference between Fish Oil and Omega 3?

A: Fish Oils contain multiple nutrients called fatty acids. Some are essential, meaning that you need to consume them from outside sources, and some are non-essential, meaning your body can make them from other sources.  Omega 3 is a specific type of essential fatty acids, that is found in Fish Oils. 

Q: Why is Omega 3 so important?

A: It’s one the most well researched and it’s also not found in a lot of foods. Therefore Omega 3 has been the focus of supplementation. Nutrients that are difficult to consume, in the amounts that are beneficial, are often great candidates to take in supplement form. 

Q: What are the benefits (most well researched)?

A: Most research supports the following:

  • Reduces levels of triglycerides 
  • Relive symptoms of rherumatoid arthritis 
  • Reduce progression of coronary plaque (with statin therapy) 
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Prevent and support health in colorectal cancer
  • Improves Age-Related Cognitive Decline 

Q: Which is the best fish oil for me?

A: The type of fish is less important than the amount of EPA and DHA.  EPA and DHA are types of Omega 3’s, there is also ALA, but ALA is found in plant sources and needs to be converted to DHA or EPA to be used by the body.  It’s important to note that the body does NOT do this conversation well, therefore those that do not consume fish, need to pay special attention to eating more or taking in supplement form. 

Q: Should I have more EPA or DHA?

A: Depends on your need. Here is the form I focus on, depending on the condition:

EPA – Cardio Health, Joint Pain, Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

DHA – Brain Health, Eye Health, Mood, Child/Fetus Development 

Q: How much should I take?

A: Healthy, maintenance doses are about 300-500mg of EPA and DHA. If you’re looking to specifically focus on a certain health issue, it’s safe to go to 1,000 mg of each.  I take about 2-3,000mg of combined EPA/DHA per day. When looking at labels, read how much of each are in there, not the TOTAL amount of Fish Oil, the total includes other Omega’s as well. 

Q: How best to optimize?

A: Consume with a meal containing other fats for best absorption. Store in dry, dark place, and once opened, keep in the fridge for best use (not necessary). Doesn’t matter time of day. Be careful of high doses if you’re on blood thinners. Look for products that are tested for heavy metals and label claim, call the company if needed. 

Q: Product Choice?

A: One of the most well tested and cost effective is: Kirkland’s Signature – Fish Oil.