Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Truth About Fish Oil And Omega 3's

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        Omega 3's is on the tip of everyone's tongue today

The question is weather fish oil is our best option. Let's say at the start that the important Omega 3 essential fatty acids are DHA and EPA. Both Krill and fish oil have high amounts of these important Omega-3 fats. So if both oils contain both EPA and DHA how do you choose one or the other? Researchers are attributing a number of health benefits to omega-3 fat, including, stronger bones, while protecting your tissues and organs from inflammation. It is generally considered that DHA is more important to your health than EPA, though EPA is certainly important as well. Around 60% of your brain is fat, and DHA is the most prevalent, adding DHA and EPA to your diet promotes a range of health benefits including benefits to your mental function as well as reducing the risk of death from heart disease, helping your cholesterol levels and helping you reduce weight. Along with improved brain and eye health and mood regulation. Also a reduced risk of Parkinson's disease, and reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.  


Fish oils containing omega-3 fat's, are typically extracted from the flesh of mackerel, sardines, and herring. These are fish that are generally not consumed often by the average person. They are considered bait fish. These fish are very high in EPA and DHA. The health benefits of these fats are well established. There is however a dark side of fish oil. A primary concern that is not widely recognized is that many of the fish oils on the market are contaminated with relatively large amounts of heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Especially bargain brands. The stuff sold in big box stores is a waste of money. You can bet they aren't very refined. Toxins like mercury are typically screened for, at least in higher quality brands, but there are other contaminants that are more unlikely to be identified or removed. Especially supplements from China. Some of the most common contaminants found in fish, aside from mercury, include:

  • PCB's
  • Dioxin
  • PDE's
  • PCP's
  • Radioactive substances like strontium
  • Toxic metals such as cadmium, lead, chromium and arsenic 
In 2010 there was a lawsuit brought by environmentalists in California with claims that popular brands of fish oil dietary supplements contain unsafe and illegal levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which are carcinogenic chemicals.

Should you need to choose fish oil, like if you have a shellfish allergy for instance. Here are some guidelines you should follow to ensure you're getting a high-quality, non-rancid fish oil:
  • Buy smaller bottles
  • Avoid fish oil in clear containers, because they will let through more light than dark bottles. Light oxidizes the oil, turning it rancid.
  • Have them shipped overnight to your home, directly from the manufacturer.
  • Buy from a company with high product turnover to minimize the possibility of getting a product that's been in storage for an extended period of time.
  • Store the fish oil in your refrigerator.
As far as I'm concerned, unless you can absolutely verify the purity and freshness of the fish oil, I recommend you avoid it. The sensible way to look at this is, the shorter the lifespan of the organism, the less contaminants it's going to have in it's flesh. So for instance, a salmon is going to have less toxins in it than a 500lbs. tuna. A large tuna has a lot more mercury and other heavy metals in it because they're older fish. They accumulate these things in their body. Accumulation of these in our bodies causes all kinds of bad things like autoimmune diseases.
 
A much better omega-3 alternative, in fact your safest and most cost effective choice, is to take a quality krill oil supplement every day. Yep krill oil. Isn't that whale food? To understand the benefits of krill oil, first we need to know what a krill are. Krill are small crustaceans that resemble a shrimp. They are mostly in the clean colder oceans like the Antarctic and the North Pacific. They're fairly small, only up to 2" long. They're eaten by whales, seals and penguins. Now while fish oil has a very short shelf life, going rancid quite easily, krill oil does not. Also unless added synthetically fish oil doesn't have the antioxidant properties of krill. When compared to fish oil, krill oil was discovered to be 48 times more potent. The benefits of krill oil have been studied for a long time. Some research dates back twenty years. A number of those studies involve how krill oil affects cholesterol.

The results were very positive showing that krill oil actually reduces LDL bad cholesterol and increases HDL good cholesterol. Fish oil percentages were not nearly as impressive. Our cell membranes are made of phospholipids. So Krill Oil takes to our cell membranes quickly and easily. The DHA and EPA phospholipid structure in Krill oil offers many more health benefits than fish oil. While krill phospholipids are more readily absorbed through your cell walls, fish oil is not. It takes a different pathway to digestion one that involves your liver, pancreas, and bile. This process greatly reduces the amount that is absorbed and it's bioavailability. So you can take less krill oil and absorb much more. Krill also contains astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant with significant health benefits. Astaxanthin is not found in fish oil. To date there are very few negative side effects associated with krill oil. The biggest precaution is to persons suffering from shell-fish allergies, sorry, but here is where you may have to find a high quality fish oil. Do an online search for the name of that company you picked to buy your krill or fish oil from, and see if anyone is complaining about their service or their products. This is a process that you should use when buying anything online. Daily Omega 3 supplementation is something every one at every age can benefit from. Good Luck...




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