Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient, as they are necessary for human growth. However, it is the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids that come after we are fully grown that have received more attention lately. The first major step occurred in 2006 when the United States FDA (Food and Drug Administration) gave what is called a “qualified health claim” to omega 3 fatty acids like those in fish and flax seed oils. This important designation meant that there was evidence that omega 3 fatty acids may significantly reduce a medical risk, in this case the risk of heart disease. It is very difficult and rare in the U.S. right now for supplements and over the counter (otc) nutrients to get these kind of strong backing, but perhaps this is just the beginning for omega three fatty acids
The following are the latest benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids that have been found:
– People with varicose veins saw a reduction when using omega 3 fish oil.
– Omega-3 fatty acids from either fish oil or flax seed oil have been suggested to significantly reduce symptoms of ADHD in children (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).
– Some children with learning problems have had improved school performance with omega 3 fatty acid supplementation (fish oil for example)
– Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to decrease the memory losses of people who are older
– Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to have an anti-inflammatory property that can help with such medical issues as neck pain and rheumatoid arthritis
– Women who ate fish containing omega 3s during their first trimester of pregnancy had over 3 times less risk of low birth weight and premature birth of their babies.
– Some studies have shown that omega-3 supplementation including fish oil and flax seed oil reduced symptoms of depression.
There are some people who should not take omega 3 fatty acid supplementation, in in some cases either fish oil or flax seed oil is preferred, so it is important that you check with your doctor or medical practitioner before taking omega 3s (For example, people with congestive heart failure and chronic recurrent angina may be told not to take omega 3s).
Beyond fish and flax oil supplements, the most widely available and popular source of omega 3s are cold water fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. Other fish such as tuna also contain omega-3 fatty acids, but in very small amounts. We provide a full listing of foods rich in omega 3s
It is clear that there are strong reasons and many possibilities that make supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids a good choice. As always, you should consult with your health care provider before taking a new nutritional supplement, so ask her or him about his or her opinion on omega 3 fatty acids today.
The Omega 3 Omega 6 balance
Many experts talk about the importance of people getting the proper balance of Omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. People generally get too little Omega three fatty acids – the kinds found in fish, especially dark fish, and too much omega 6 fatty acid, such as the kind found in meat and many processed foods. There is much debate over whether there is truly a need for “balance” or whether these two goals can be pursued separately – in other words, do you really need to concentrate on both goals, or is it better than nothing to merely raise your Omega three intake
At Omega Three Fish Oil we believe that people are certainly eating too many omega 6s and far too few omega 3s. But we also believe that it is not an imbalance but rather two separate problems that are the cause of issues such as chronic disease. In fact, some foods that contain omega 6 fatty acids have health benefits so its complicated to cut down on these. A healthy diet that contains a good dose of omega three fatty acids, or supplementation of a healthy diet with fish oil is better than doing nothing for fear of not meeting goals related to an imbalance.
Increasing your daily intake of omega 3 fatty acids, from fish oil most notably, is most definitely a good thing. Cutting down on unhealthy processed foods and an overabundance of meats is also a good thing. But each of these changes can be done in isolation for health benefits, and we are here to tout the health benefits of omega three fatty acids, especially from fish oil.
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Omega Three Fatty Acid Food Listing
Posted on May 22, 2012 by admin
Here is a partial listing of foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids:
Cold-water fish have a ton of omega 3 fatty acids such as such as:
- halibut sardines
Nuts and Seeds also have a moderate amount of omega 3 such as:
- pumpkin seeds
Oils have some omaga 3, including:
- flaxseed oil
- canola (rapeseed) oil
- soybean oil
- pumpkin seed oil
- walnut oil
Beans also have some omega three fatty acids, such as soybeans
Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include krill and algae.
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Omega three fish oil: Health benefits
Omega 3 Fatty Acids have been found or theorized to help with all of the following diseases or conditions. The best way is to get Omega 3s naturally (see food list on another page), but supplementing with fish oil of flax oil can help as well.
Depression and Anxiety
High blood pressure
As with any medical regimin, always consult your medical practitioner before supplementing with omega 3s or any other nutrient.
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Omega three fish oil vs. flax seed oil
One of the challenges involved with making Omega 3 fatty acids “work” is what is called “DHA conversion”. This refers to the rate that your body is able to take the omega 3 fatty acid source and convert it to the end product that does all of the beneficial things, called DHA
Fish and fish oil are taken for omega three fatty acid supplementation and they contain the ingredient EPA, which is the immediate precursor to DHA. If you have cold water oily fish such as salmon, anchovies and sardines you will get EPA. The drawback is that many oily fish have dangerous amounts of heavy metals and fat-soluble (i.e. they build up and can’t be flushed from our systems) pollutants like PCBs.
Flax seed oils are taken for omega three fatty acid supplements have a ton of the precursor ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), but this chemical has to first be processed in our bodies into EPA and only then can it be made into DHA. For some people, particularly men, this extra step robs the omega 3 fatty acid production process of a lot of efficiency.
So, it seems like the choice is between heavy metal poisoning and no benefit if you are to take omega 3 fatty acid supplements!? Actually, there is a third choice, which may be your best bet: Some fish oil supplement manufacturers are able to remove heavy metals and other contaminants from the oil through means such as molecular distillation, and these may provide the highest omega 3 benefit.
Research has shown that omega three fish oil may have a wide range of positive effects, including:
Lowering High cholesterol
Some studies have been anecdotal, including the well-known research into the Inuit Eskimos who eat a large amount of omega threes from fish oil and tend to have very low cholesterol. Other more controlled studies regarding omega three fish oil have also borne this out. It does seem that whether you take supplements or just eat foods high in omega three fish oil, you may see your cholesterol go down.
High blood pressure
A meta analysis of studies on omega three fish oil suggests that it may reduce blood pressure if consumer regularly, especially through healthy foods like those listed on our home page.
The most well-known effect of omega three fish oil is it’s ability to reduce the risk of heart disease. The EPA and DHA in omega three fish oil reduces the chances of stroke by reducing the amount of overall plaque in the arteries, and fish oil has also been shown to lower levels of triglycerides which cause heart problems.
Omega three fish oil helps lower triglycerides and apoproteins, both of which are common problems in those with diabetes. This suggests that this supplement they may be helpful to this group in general, and there will likely be studies that follow this hypothesis which are worth following.
Omega three fish oil has been found to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis including joint pain and stiffness – this is one of the most researched benefits of this kind of supplement or diet change.
Some studies suggest that omega three fish oil can help increase the available levels of calcium in the body, thereby improving bone strength and decreasing osteoporosis.
Omega three fish oil may work as a powerful adjunctive to prescription medication for depression. Those who added this supplement to their routine had a larger reduction in symptoms than those who took regular medication alone. Whether omega three fish oil alone would have any benefit against depression is up for debate.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
It has been suggested that many children with ADHD have lower levels of EPA and DHA, and some studies have found that supplementation with these chemicals may help reduce ADHD symptoms. Since omega three fish oil does in fact contain them it is hypothesized that it may help.
One very promising study found that women had reduced menstrual pain if they took omega three fish oil supplements.
Colon, breast and prostate cancer
Those who eat foods rich in omega three, including omega three fish oil may have a reduced risk of some cancers.
These are just some of the hypothesized or researched benefits of omega three fish oil supplements or a diet rich in omega three fish oil. Please stay tuned to out omega three fish oil home page for the latest information and advice about this exciting dietary supplement and potential home remedy.