High Quality Fish Oil is Extremely Valuable to Health

December 31, 2018 | Wellness Resources

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 High Quality Fish Oil is Extremely Valuable to Health
DHA is the most biologically useful omega-3 fatty acid. It is of extreme value to your health, but regretfully lacking in the American diet. Supplementation with highly purified fish oil is an easy way to increase intake of DHA safely and support health in many different ways.

Fish Oil 101

Fish oil is a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, a unique type of fat that cannot be produced by your body from other fats and so must come from your diet. Fish oil is composed of two main types of omega-3 oils, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is the most biologically active omega-3 oil, and is the dominant type found in your cell membranes. It plays an essential role in keeping the immune system balanced as well as in supporting brain cells, eyes, cardiovascular health, and skin health. DHA is especially important during pregnancy for healthy eye and brain development.

The length of an omega-3 fatty acid, in terms of its carbon spine, is very important. The shorter omega-3 is called α-linolenic acid (ALA). It is 18 carbons long with three unsaturated bonds (starting at the 3rd carbon – thus the name omega-3). ALA is the type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants such as flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts and grass (what grass-fed animals eat).

Fish oil is composed of two main types of omega-3 oils, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These oils are longer in length (EPA is 20 carbons, DHA is 22) and they have more unsaturated bonds (EPA has 5, DHA has 6). The number of unsaturated bonds in a fatty acid is very important. The longer the chain and the more bonds, the more energy potential there is for metabolism.

DHA is by far the most biologically active omega-3 fatty acid (playing important roles in maintaining health), due to its length and the number of unsaturated bonds it possesses. It is the dominant type that is found in your cell membranes. DHA, not EPA, is also the primary fatty acid associated with cardiovascular and circulatory health.

Plant-based omega-3 oils like ALA can be converted to DHA by your body's enzyme system; however, this process is inefficient. Research shows that ALA is made into DHA at only a 2 to 5 % rate. Many individuals have additional trouble converting plant-sourced omega-3’s (ALA) into DHA and EPA because of deficits of nutrients required for the conversion (zinc, B6, and iron) or genetic challenges. This means plant oils are an inferior source of omega-3 fatty acids for many aspects of health, leaving fish oils as the best and most efficient way to get essential omega-3’s.

How to Get More DHA

When animals are grass-fed and pasture-raised, the ALA omega-3 in the grass they eat is converted by the animal to EPA and DHA and stored in their fat. Unfortunately, most of the animals in the conventional American food supply do not eat grass and are GMO corn and grain fed instead. They have little omega-3 oils in their fat and instead are high in saturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids that can cause problems when out of balance.

This leaves fatty fish as the main dietary source of DHA. Sadly, fish from the ocean are prone to accumulate mercury, PCBs, and other fat-soluble toxins. Farm-raised fish are not raised in cold, deep ocean waters, and do not make as much fatty insulation to protect against the cold. Thus, they have lower levels of EPA and DHA. Furthermore, many farm-raised fish are fed a diet consisting of corn and grains.

Our food supply is lacking in other sources of high quality DHA. Making matters worse, omega-3 oils that keep inflammation in balance are overwhelmed by the widespread use of omega-6 oils (soy oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, and cottonseed oil) which can tip the balance too much. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is about 1:1. The typical American diet can be as high as 30:1 with too much omega-6. Too much omega-6 oil also blocks the enzymatic conversion of ALA to DHA. To achieve balance once again, the answer is to increase intake of EPA and DHA from fish oil and decrease omega-6 oils commonly found in processed foods and grains as much as possible.

DHA is the key biologically active omega-3 fatty acid to make sure you get in adequate amounts. Everyone at any age would benefits from at least 100 to 300 mg of DHA per day, as part of a healthy diet, just to meet basic nutritional needs for essential fatty acids and help maintain balance in the immune system.

Fish Oil Supplement Quality

Taking a daily fish oil supplement will help to bridge the gap left by the lacking standard American diet. However, you don’t want to take cheap fish oil supplements from anywhere as there are huge quality differences. Make sure you are taking a high quality, purified fish oil supplement. Here are a few things to look for:

1. Fish Oil Purity
Because of the pollution of the oceans, most fish contain contaminants such as mercury, PCBs, and other fat soluble toxins. To ensure you aren’t ingesting these contaminants, the fish oil product should state that it is mercury free. It should be molecularly distilled for the highest purity fish oil. Also check labels for the source of fish oil. Small fish that are lower on the food chain, like sardines and anchovies, naturally have a lower concentration of toxins and make a purer product from the start.

2. High in DHA
Because DHA is the more biologically available oil and competes with EPA for absorption, it should be the primary omega-3 form in the fish oil. Wellness Resources sources fish oil that is 50% DHA and 10% EPA, so that you can get the higher levels of the beneficial DHA without getting too much of the blood thinning EPA. Our fish oil is molecularly distilled, meaning any mercury, PCBs, or other toxins have been removed.

3. Triglyceride Form
Fish oil in the natural triglyceride (TG) form is more bioavailable than ethyl esters (EE). The triglyceride form is easier for the body to digest and absorb. The triglyceride form is a more stable form of fish oil that will not oxidize in the capsule. This means no "fishy taste" or burping of fish oil and better DHA uptake into cells.

4. Freshness
Omega-3 oils are susceptible to oxidation, which can turn them rancid. This can cause an immune response that upsets balance in the body, the opposite effect that fish oil would normally have! Production of the fish oil supplement should be performed on equipment and in storage tanks which form a closed, nitrogen-filled system in which the production is not exposed to oxygen. The production process should never be under high temperatures that could also damage the oil.

Wellness Resources is committed to the health of our customers and produces Daily DHA, DHA Kids, and Leptinal that strictly satisfy the above quality standards.

Most health conscious individuals understand the importance of getting the good omega-3’s contained in fish oil. However, not all fish oil supplements are created equal. Knowledge is power; do you know exactly what’s in your fish oil?

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