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Time to talk Omegas

Of all the supplements that we recommend, Omega-3 is at the top. Omega-3’s are essential nutrients, specifically fatty acids, which are vitally important to human health and seriously lacking in today’s modern diet. These essential fatty acids are not manufactured in the body; therefore, they must be obtained through food and/or supplements.

Omega-3 fats are vitally important in nearly all human functions: growth and development, nerve and brain function, emotions and behavior, skin and bone health, regulation of healing and inflammation, cholesterol, digestion, heart function, immune function and vision. The main Omega-3 fatty acids are Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). The latter two are more important for human consumption. ALA is found in plant sources such as flax seed. However, ALA cannot be sufficiently converted to EPA and DHA, therefore EPA and DHA are superior in humans. EPA and DHA are naturally found in wild game and wild cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna.

There are also Omega 6 fatty acids that are essential for human health, specifically a healthy inflammatory response. However, research indicates that the modern western diet is toxic with Omega 6 fatty acids and seriously deficient in Omega 3. A healthy ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 is 1:1. Modern western diets have been found to be anywhere from 1:10 to 1:30. This unhealthy ratio is thought to be caused by excessive consumption of grains, grain products, and grain fed farmed meat as well as a number of food oils such as palm, rapeseed, soybean, and sunflower. Chronic excessive intake of Omega-6 has been associated with arthritis, inflammation, and cancer and may increase the probability of a number of other diseases. Although it is reasonable for someone to partially meet their requirement of Omega-3s through diet, by eating wild game and coldwater fish, it is highly unlikely that one would be able to sufficiently take in enough Omega-3s to bring the ratio even close to 1:1, especially if you are consuming any grain, grain fed meat, or specific food oils. Therefore, supplementation with Omega-3 rich fish oil is critical.

Studies have shown that high concentrations of liquid fish oil can reduce inflammation, lower serum triglycerides and improve cardiovascular health. Clinical research suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, MS, bipolar conditions, depression, ADHD, chronic pain and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. How much fish oil you should take is very subjective depending on your state of health. Those who have signs of systemic inflammation, autoimmunity or who are insulin resistant may have to take as much as 1g / 10lbs of body weight initially. However, most healthy active people should optimally take around 0.25g/10lbs of body weight. That would put most people between 3-5g daily. If you are pregnant or nursing you should focus on a DHA heavy fish oil, as DHA is a key factor in neurological development of your baby.

Fish oil comes in both capsule and liquid form and both are equally effective. Not all brands are created equal though. You want to look for a brand that contains approximately equal amounts of EPA and DHA. Some cheaper brands may also come with a “fishier” after-taste. My favorite brand is Innate Choice Omega Sufficiency, and it’s 10% for the month of April, 2014

Get out there and start taking this vital nutrient today! If you have questions let us know!

Until next time…live well!

**Thank you to Learning Curves for this valuable information**

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