Omega-3 Fatty Acids – An Essential Contribution
Omega-3 fatty acids are fats commonly found in plants and marine life.
Two types are plentiful in oily fish:
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): The best-known omega-3 fatty acid, EPA helps the body synthesize chemicals involved in blood clotting and inflammation (prostaglandin-3, thromboxane-2, and leukotriene-5). Fish obtain EPA from the algae that they eat.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): In humans, this omega-3 fatty acid is a key part of sperm, the retina, a part of the eye, and the cerebral cortex, a part of the brain.
DHA is present throughout the body, especially in the brain, the eyes and the heart. It is also present in breast milk.
The Benefits of Taking Omega3 Fish Oil
• Fish oils, rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, are well-established as cardioprotective nutrients.
• New evidence supports the benefits of omega-3 supplementation in a wide range of metabolic disorders, including obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and fatty liver disease.
• Omega-3s have been shown to help with depression and some types of dementia, perhaps largely through their powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
• Even cancer, autoimmune disease, and kidney disorders are showing signs of responding favourably to omega-3 supplements.
• Like many inflammation-fighting strategies, fish oil may work best before major clinical disease is evident, highlighting the importance of prevention.
Quality counts with all supplements, but it is especially critical when considering fish oil.
The sources, processing, shipping, and final concentration of fish oil products are critical indicators of their quality—and many falls short.
Before choosing a fish oil supplement, you should consider two important categories:
1. Concentration and value
2. Freshness and sustainability
As an example, a readily-available commercial “natural fish oil” supplement sold at a major pharmacy chain offers an enormous jar of softgels at an apparently reasonable price. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see that the recommended dose contains 1,000mg of “total fish oil,” but only 300 mg of “total omega-3” fats—and some there are no details about exactly how much EPA and DHA is present.
That means that just 30% of the daily dose may be composed of beneficial EPA/DHA. Alaskan Pollock, which is sustainably caught in the clean arctic Bering sea where the fishery has a 37-year record of sustainable fishery management. The Alaskan Pollock fish stock has shown an increase of 65% in biomass, according to 2014 NOAA assessment and is caught with selective mid-water, pelagic trawl (not destructive demersal bottom trawl fishing practices which destroy the floor bed of the sea). Within hours of catch, the wild-caught Alaskan Pollock are hand-sorted and processed to ensure maximum freshness and the lowest possible totox value. Totox is an important measure of an oil´s oxidation level. Have you ever smelled or even tasted a rancid oil? It´s really disgusting, that´s why freshness is key!
Finally – be smart and only consume products which are certified by the MSC (Marina Stewardship Council) - ultra-low bycatch and non-target species <1% and carry the official label to help save the planet and the diversity of species, please don´t buy products from waste or the farmed salmon industry or made from fish, who could become endangered soon such as Anchovies or Sardines.