So, are Omega 3 and Fish Oils ‘worth it’?
Short answer – YES. Omega 3 and fish oil supplements are routinely prescribed by doctors and recommended by professionally organizations such as the American Heart Association. Omega 3 supplements are the only supplement on the market that are backed by countless independent scientific studies. You can read more about the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids by checking the pages on the left, however to highlight a few examples:
The March 2007 issue of the journal “Atherosclerosis” reported that omega 3s can protect against heart disease and can actually reverse atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries);
The August 2010 issue of “The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society” documented that omega 3s can fight inflammation;
The December 2009 issue of the “Journal of Neurochemistry” highlights that vital roles of omega 3s for brain development and indicates that omega 3s may prevent memory loss;
According to the July 1999 issue of the “European Journal of Cancer Prevention”, omega 3s can protect against cancer.
More on the benefits of omega 3
Note that these are all scientific studies published by leading researchers; they are not marketers’ claims! You can read more on these studies on pubmed. What is the Relationship of Fish Oil with Omega 3s?
Basically, fish oils are the main type of supplement of omega 3 fatty acids. Fish are rich in these nutrients, and fish oils are a concentrated source. In addition, omega 3 from fish oils (or other marine sources such as algae), are superior to omega 3s from terrestrial sources (such as flaxseeds and evening primrose oil). This is because the types of omega 3s in marine sources are more biologically active than those in terrestrial sources. If you don’t consume fish or algae, you are at high risk of being deficient in omega 3s – consider an algal-based supplement. These types of supplements are suitable for vegans and are rich in the biologically-potent omega 3 fatty acids (called EPA and DHA – eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid).
Benefits of Fish Oil: heart disease protection, cancer protection, and more.
Benefits of Algae Based Omega 3s: vegan, high in DHA, more environmentally friendly
Are Omega 3s and Fish Oil Expensive?
If you consume a lot of fish, seafood, nuts and seeds, you may get enough omega 3s (although evidence is emerging that most persons from western countries may be deficient in omega 3s and will benefit from supplementation). If you do not regularly consume omega 3-rich foods, you should seriously consider starting an omega 3 supplement such as fish oil. These supplements are not expensive; however price should not be your main priority. Instead, you need to choose a brand that produces a pure and fresh supplement that is high in EPA and DHA.
Are Omega 3 and Fish Oils Safe?
Yes – if you choose a supplement from a reputable brand. These brands will only use uncontaminated sources and will carry out extensive tests for purity – they will display the results of these tests on their website. On the other hand, cheaper brands may contain residues of industrial toxins such as mercury and dioxins.
There are also 3 types of omega 3 sources which you should avoid: these are shark liver oil, seal oil and mussel oil. These contain dangerously high levels of toxins.
What Types of Omega 3 Supplements are there?
Fish oils are perhaps the most known of all omega 3 supplements. However, they are not the only one. For vegetarians, algae oil omega 3 supplements are an excellent alternative and the best source of non-animal marine omega 3s. Calamari oil omega 3 and krill oil omega 3 are two new omega 3 supplements on the market. Calamari oil is becoming popular because as a product, it is more environmentally friendly than fish oil (more sustainable). In addition, its DHA:EPA ratio is higher than that of fish oil. Krill oil has the advantages that it has a longer shelf life than fish oil (owing to its astaxanthin content) and that the EPA and DHA in it are more easily absorbed than those in fish oil. However, a limitation of these two supplements is that because they are new, research backing their use and benefits is very limited. Types of omega 3 supplements you should avoid are shark, green lipped mussel, and seal oil.
How many omega 3/fish oil per day? – we take a look at the recommended doses of omega 3 supplements (including fish oil) for the various conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, asthma, allergies, hardening of arteries, and rheumatoid arthritis. Also read Maximum Dose of Omega 3 Intake Per Day.
Krill Oil For Depression – krill is emerging as an all-natural product that is very beneficial to persons with depression owing to its high content of omega 3 EPA and DHA and phospholipid.
Krill Oil For Inflammation and Arthritis – A 2007 study found that 300 mg of krill oil daily can significantly reduce inflammation and improve the symptoms of arthritis in ninety adult patients.
Krill Oil Lowers Cholesterol and Triglycerides – A 2004 clinical trial exhibited that krill oil at 1 to 3 g daily is very effective, and much more effective, at cholesterol and triglyceride levels management than fish oil. Krill oil supplements are therefore very effective at preventing heart disease.
Krill Oil Side Effects & Dangers – Krill oil is completely natural and associated with a number of health benefits. However, it may also cause some side effects, for example it may interact with blood thinning medications and cause allergic reactions.