Fish Oil Supplements

Welcome to our information site on Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the health benefits associated with taking high quality Fish Oil Supplements.

Why Is Everyone Talking About Fish Oil Supplements?

Fish Oil SupplementsYou’ve probably heard good things about fish oil supplements. That may be why you are researching and found this website.

If you’re like us, you are cautious, even cynical, about the never-ending stream of hyped health breakthroughs — you know, the latest gizmos, doodads, “miracle pills” or supplements. That’s because, time and again, it has turned out that these products didn’t measure up to their hype. In most cases, they didn’t really improve our health, they just separated us from our hard-earned cash.

However, there is one supplement that has been proven to be worthy of its press clippings, and that’s fish oil that contains essential Omega-3 fatty acids.

Rigorous scientific studies conducted over many years have proven that Omega-3s can enhance heart health and brain health, as well as help with such things as depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain, other rheumatoid problems and certain skin ailments. Some research has even shown that Omega-3s can boost the immune system and help protect us from an array of illnesses including Alzheimer’s disease.

Have you ever heard fish (which contains large concentrations of Omega-3s) referred to as “brain food?” Actually, there’s something to this old wives’ tale.

Fish Oil With Omega 3It may sound like a joke, but the brain is largely composed of fat. No, it’s not the saturated fat that comes primarily from meat and full-fat dairy products in our diets. What our brains need is polyunsaturated fats, especially the long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids called eicosapentenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexenoic acid (DHA) which are common in fatty fish.

In fact, according to a 2004 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and reported among other places in The Times Newspaper, “People who eat oily fish or take fish oil supplements score 13% higher in IQ tests and are less likely to show early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.”

How’s that for an advantage in business, at work or in school — 13% more fire power!

The benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids are so well proven that they are endorsed by both the establishment medical community and the alternative health practitioners.

As you know, the traditional medical community is mostly concerned with treating illnesses whereas the alternative health practitioners focus more on preventing illnesses. It’s unusual and pretty amazing that they both embrace the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids.

What Exactly Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids & Which Ones Benefit Your Health?

Were you surprised to learn that some forms of fat are good for you? Actually, Omega-3s are called essential fatty acids because they are not only good for you, they are necessary for normal growth and human health.

According to Laurie Tansman, MS, RD, CDN, a nutritionist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, Omega-3 “not only plays a vital role in the health of the membrane of every cell in our body, it also helps protect us from a number of key health threats.”

There are actually 8 different Omega-3s, but the ones with the proven health benefits are the “long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids” DHA and EPA .

Omega-3 Fatty Acids As An Anti-Inflammatory

You may be wondering exactly how Omega-3s help people with so many different health problems.

One way, experts say, is by encouraging the production of body chemicals that help control inflammation — in the joints, the bloodstream, and the tissues.

Fish oil is, indeed, a natural anti-inflammatory.

Striking The Right Balance Between Omega 3s and Omega 6s

It turns out that not all essential fatty acids are good for us.

The point to remember is that it is important to have a balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in your diet.

As we’ve been discussing, Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation. However, most Omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.

Found in foods such as eggs, poultry, cereals, vegetable oils, baked goods, and margarine, Omega-6s are also considered essential because they support skin health, lower cholesterol, and help make our blood “sticky” so it is able to clot.

But when Omega-6s aren’t balanced with sufficient amounts of Omega-3s, problems can ensue.

“When blood is too ‘sticky,’ it promotes clot formation, and this can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke,” says nutritionist Lona Sandon, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. But once you add Omega-3s to the mix, the risk of heart problems goes down, she says.

The latest research shows that the most promising health effects of essential fatty acids are achieved through a proper balance between Omega-3s and Omega-6s. The ratio to shoot for, experts say, is roughly 2-4 parts Omega-6s to 1 part Omega-3s.

Most of us, these experts say, come up dangerously short of this ideal ratio.

“The typical American diet has a ratio of around 20 to 1 — 20 Omega-6’s to 1 Omega-3 — and that spells trouble,” says Sandon, an assistant professor of nutrition at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

While reducing your intake of Omega-6s can help, getting more Omega-3s from food or good, pure fish oil supplements is also important.

Health Problems That Can Benefit From Taking Fish Oil Supplements

Heart Health

Fish Oil SupplementsFish oil supplements, very high in Omega-3 fats, have been shown to help preserve and enhance heart health.

Clinical studies suggest that EPA and DHA help reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Fish oil supplements have also been shown to lower levels of triglycerides, which are fats in the blood. High triglycerides are a serious health problem.

Fish oil lowers the risk of death, heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heart rhythms in people who have already had a heart attack.

Fish oil also appears to help prevent and treat atherosclerosis, which is hardening of the arteries, by slowing the development of plaque and blood clots which can clog arteries.

Heart disease is also characterized by inflammation, and Omega 3 oils have potent anti-inflammatory properties that can counter this.

The heart health benefits have been summarized this way by the American Heart Association: “Omega 3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of – or who have – cardiovascular disease.”

That’s pretty much everyone, isn’t it?!

And . . .

“The best part of this story is that if your Omega-3 Index score is too low, you can do something about it, unlike other risk facts such as age or genetics,” says Professor William Harris, the Director of the Nutrition and Metabolic Disease Research Center at the University of South Dakota, and co-author of the American Heart Association’s official guidelines on ‘fish consumption, fish oil, Omega-3 fatty acids and heart disease.’

Brain Health

Deficiencies in Omega-3 fats have been linked to:

    Depression
    Anxiety
    Mood swings
    Bipolar disorder
    Postpartum Depression
    Alzheimer’s disease
    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and
    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, and other prestigious institutions, have shown some of these conditions will greatly improve with increased Omega-3 fatty acid intake such as through taking fish oil supplements.

Other studies have shown that even if you don’t have any of these conditions, memory and focus can improve with consistent use of fish oil supplements. Research has even shown that people who eat oily fish or take fish oil supplements score higher in IQ tests!

Arthritis

Did you know that a lot of the aches and pains associated with arthritis are due to inflammation? This is why studies have shown that fish oil supplements, rich in Omega 3 s, can help alleviate these pains in those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints.

Crohn’s Disease & Inflammatory Bowel Disorders (IBDs)

The same is true for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two types of IBD, which are characterized by painful inflammation of the bowels.

Although more research is needed on this subject, in one particular year long study, 69% of Crohn’s sufferers who used fish oil supplements stayed symptom free as opposed to only 28% who were administered a placebo.

Pregnant or Nursing Mothers

It’s established that for the fetus brain to develop properly, it needs a great deal of DHA and EPA.

If you are a pregnant mother, you should strongly consider using a molecularly distilled fish oil supplement so your fetus’s brain has the best chance of developing properly. Of course, speak with your doctor first.

If you are a nursing mother, you should also be taking Omega 3 fish oil supplements or eating enough Omega 3 foods because the Omega 3 you take in is passed along to your baby when you breast-feed.

Even if you are no longer breast-feeding, you should be careful to take in enough Omega 3 fat for your own health.

Lastly, the Omega 3 s in fish oil supplements have also been shown to help ease menstrual cramps.

Psoriasis, Acne, and Other Skin Disorders

One of the primary problems in these conditions is inflammation. Although fish oils are not going to cure these conditions, their anti-inflammatory (or anti-flammatory) properties may help make them better.

And There Are Even More Conditions That Omega 3 and Fish Oil Supplements Can Help . . .

In addition to the health problems already mentioned, studies have shown that these other conditions may be improved by taking in Omega 3 fats in fish oil supplements:

Diabetes. People with diabetes often have high triglyceride and low HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements can help lower triglycerides and apoproteins (markers of diabetes), and raise HDL, so eating foods rich in Omega-3s or taking fish oil supplements may help people with diabetes.

Lupus. Several small studies suggest that EPA and fish oil may help reduce symptoms of lupus, an autoimmune condition characterized by fatigue and joint pain. More studies are needed, though.

Osteoporosis. More study is needed here as well; however, in one study of women over 65 with osteoporosis, those who took EPA and GLA Omega 3 fish oil supplements had less bone loss over 3 years than those who took a placebo. In addition, many of these women also experienced an increase in bone density.

Asthma. In one small, well-designed clinical study of 29 children with asthma, those who took fish oil supplements rich in EPA and DHA for 10 months reduced their symptoms compared to children who took a placebo. More research is needed.

Macular Degeneration. Studies show that people who eat more fish, and who have a healthy dietary balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, are less likely to have macular degeneration, a serious age-related eye condition that can progress to blindness.

Cancer. Eating foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids seems to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. For example, Eskimos, who tend to have a high-fat diet but eat significant amounts of fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, have a low rate of colorectal cancer.

Although not all experts agree, women who eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids over many years may be less likely to develop breast cancer. More research is needed to understand the effect that Omega-3 fatty acids may have on the prevention of breast cancer.

Population based studies of groups of men suggest that a low-fat diet including Omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish oil supplements help prevent the development of prostate cancer.

Can You Get Sufficient Omega 3 Fats From The Food You Eat?

Although Omega 3s are essential to our health, our body cannot produce them. Instead, we must take them in through the food we eat or by taking a supplement.

Ideally, you should eat enough foods that are high in these essential fatty acids so that supplementation is not necessary.

But there are several problems with that.

One is that, try as we may, neither we nor anyone else that we know has the discipline and the time to prepare and eat a diet that contains the recommended servings of all the necessary nutrients. It’s just not realistic in today’s fast-paced world.

Another problem is that modern farming techniques have diminished the nutritiousness of the soil and the nutrition of the foods grown in it. The demands of big agro-business don’t allow for it. So you have to eat even more of a particular food than you used to have to eat to get equivalent nutrition.

What about fish, you may ask. Aren’t fatty fish the best source of Omega 3s? Can’t you eat enough fish to get the Omega 3s that you need?

The problem here is that many of today’s fish come from industrially polluted waters. These fish often contain PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls, a dangerous chemical), mercury, lead, dioxins and the like. Ingesting these pollutants causes more harm than the good you receive from the Omega 3s.

So, What’s The Best Way To Get Necessary Omega 3s?

Well, if you want all the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids without the harmful toxins that you’d get by eating a lot of fish, the solution is to take a molecularly distilled fish oil supplement.

And, as an added bonus, not only are purified fish oil supplements the best source, they are also the most economical. A month’s supply of a top notch product will cost you less than $20. Heck, if you go buy a few fillets of salmon or tuna at the local fish market, you’ll spend that much just for one dinner.

But Not All Fish Oil Pills Are Equal

However, not all fish oil supplements are equally effective in providing optimum levels of good Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

On top of that, some of the products offer much better value than others.

So, as a consumer, how do you compare them and choose?

Here are the types of questions you should ask . . .

    1. What type of fish is being used? Is it naturally high in DHA and EPA Omega 3? Especially DHA!

    2. Is it purified by being molecularly distilled?

    3. Is the fish caught near where the product is produced, ensuring freshness? Or is it shipped long distances in large tankers, increasing the chances of rancidity?

    4. Does the product tell you the exact breakdown between DHA Omega 3 and EPA Omega 3 and not just the total Omega 3 content per serving? Does it even tell you the total Omega 3 per serving?

    5. How many servings are in each bottle?

    6. What is the cost?

Of course cost is always a very important consideration. But be sure to analyze the cost carefully to make sure you are comparing apples with apples.

For example, if fish oil supplement A costs $18 for a month’s supply, and fish oil supplement B costs $16 for a month’s supply, you would think that product B is a better buy. Not necessarily!

What if product A has 1,000 mg of Omega 3 per capsule, and product B has 500 mg. They both have 60 soft gels, and the recommended dosage is 2 per day, which means it’s a one month supply of product for each. Well, now the $16 fish oil supplement definitely doesn’t seem like the better buy because product A is only $2 more but contains twice the Omega 3 fats per capsule.

What I Take Personally

After researching the market and doing just the type of comparisons I discussed, I concluded that the best fish oil supplements come from New Zealand.

Here’s why I decided on this product.

Fish Oil Supplements1. It is made from a fish species called Hoki. Hoki are a sustainable, natural resource which is regulated by the New Zealand government. They thrive naturally in the cold, deep waters off the Southern coast of New Zealand, one of the most pristine areas of the world, virtually untouched by industry and industrial pollution.

2. Even more important, Hoki are one of the few fish species which are naturally very high in Omega 3s. They naturally contain a higher level of DHA Omega 3 than EPA Omega 3. Remember this: DHA can be converted by the body into EPA when more EPA is needed, but not the other way around. Therefore, it’s very important that your fish oil supplements have more DHA than EPA.

3. This fish oil supplement, produced by a company called Xtend-Life Natural Products, is molecularly distilled. Why does it need molecular distillation if the fish is already coming from the cleanest area of the world? Because nature can create pollution too, such as by erupting volcanoes, to give one example. For your safety, all fish oil products should undergo molecular distillation. Period.

4. Cost. Given the amount of DHA and EPA, and total Omega 3 per serving, I have yet to find a better priced fish oil supplement than the Omega 3 fish oils produced by Xtend-Life Natural Products. That is, when you do a real apples to apples comparison.

I use the Xtend-Life Omega 3 fish oil supplement myself . . . and I intend to keep taking it for the rest of my life. In my opinion, it has been and will continue to be one of the best health decisions I have ever made.

The Fish Oil Supplement I Recommend
Xtend-Life Omega 3 DHA Fish Oil