Fish Oil And Inflammation

Fish Oil And InflammationIs there a relationship between fish oil and inflammation?

Does the sun set in the west? Is Donald Trump’s hair weird?

Yes, there’s a clear relationship between fish oil and inflammation! (And of course the sun sets in the west and Donald Trump’s hair is way weird.)

Fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Why Is Inflammation A Health Concern?

Some people ask: “Why is inflammation bad?”

However, inflammation in the body is not normally a bad thing. In fact, it is essential.

Inflammation results when your immune system responds to some form of insult to your body such as an infection, an irritation or an injury.

Say you cut your finger while cooking along with television’s Naked Chef (you are fully clothed, of course).

Your body’s immune system sends microphages, or white blood cells – disease fighters – to the area to repel the invading bacteria, viruses or other pathogenic invaders and to heal the wound.

When you see such things as redness and swelling and you feel heat and pain in the area, you know those little germ fighters are working to repel the invaders.

This is called acute inflammation and it is normally short-term. That’s because, when the threat has been controlled, your immune system turns off the inflammatory response.

But . . .

Sometimes, your immune system does not turn off the inflammatory response, and the inflammation continues for a long time, well beyond the time it is needed (becomes chronic).

When inflammation is chronic, white blood cells remain in the tissues at the site of the inflammation for so long that the waste chemicals they release begin to damage the very tissue they’re designed to save.

Chronic inflammation is the cause (or, at least, a cause) of many diseases. In fact, many experts now believe that chronic inflammation is the cause of all chronic diseases.

Fish Oil And Inflammation

What Diseases Are Caused By Inflammation?

Inflammation is suspected to be a cause of such horrible killers as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

In addition to these, chronic inflammation also plays a role in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Barrett’s esophagus, macular degeneration, and even obesity.

Does Fish Oil Reduce Inflammation?

Yes, there is a beneficial relationship between fish oil and inflammation. Fish oil has been shown to be a natural anti-inflammatory.

More specifically, it is the “long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids” in the fish oil, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), that cause the anti-inflammatory effect.

Omega 3s are called essential fatty acids because they are necessary for your health. They are critical components of the walls of each cell in your body and they are critical for brain health. However, your body does not produce Omega 3s, you have to take them in through the food you eat or by taking a supplement.

Omega 3s are found in some foods such as flaxseed. However, the best source of Omega 3s is fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and hoki.

For the anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3s, you can either eat fish regularly or you can take a high quality, pure fish oil supplement.

Not All Essential Fatty Acids Fight Inflammation

Draw near, young Jedi, because this next point is very important.

Not all essential fatty acids fight inflammation. In fact, some of them cause inflammation!

Omega 3 fatty acids, such as are found in fish oil supplements, are a natural anti-inflammatory.

However, other essential fatty acids, Omega 6s cause inflammation.

Omega 6s are found mainly in food that is made of, or cooked in, vegetable oils such as corn oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil and soybean oil.

Over history, the human diet consisted of about 2 times as many Omega 6s as Omega 3s. However, the modern Western diet is seriously out of whack! It consists of a ratio of Omega 6s to Omega 3s of about 20:1!

We’re causing more inflammation with the Omega 6s than we are reducing with the Omega 3s! That increases our risk of heart disease, diabetes and all of the other inflammation-related diseases.

Therefore, if you’re serious about fighting inflammation, in addition to increasing your consumption of Omega 3s, you should reduce the Omega 6s that you take in through foods made from or cooked in vegetable oils. The proper ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is essential for your good health.

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