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Fish Oil: Benefits of Fish Oil

By
Lynne Brown
BSc Hons, HDE, Dip Clin Nutr

BENEFITS OF FISH OIL

Omega–3 is probably the most important essential nutrient that our diets lack. In fact, when one looks at all the amazing benefits that the omega-3 essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA, have on health, the only nation that could perhaps be exempt from supplementing are probably the Eskimos. The rest of us cannot possibly get enough of these essential oils from our diets to benefit our hearts, brains and bodies sufficiently. There is now overwhelming evidence that Omega–3 can improve health by lowering triglycerides, improving heart and brain function, improving circulation and helping to prevent diseases and ailments such as diabetes, strokes, depression, arthritis, allergies, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, skin disorders and gout.

Heart health

Numerous studies in top medical journals on heart health, based on the consumption of EPA and DHA from fish and fish oils, have shown that by incorporating EPA and DHA into a treatment plan, within 4-6 weeks a patient may:

  • reduce the risk of developing heart disease by 32%
  • reduce the risk of death from heart attack by 70%
  • lower blood TG levels by 32%
  • reduce plaque build-up in arteries by 75%
  • correct irregular heartbeat
  • reduce the risk of stroke by 30%

No wonder doctors in the UK and the States are now prescribing fish oil for their patients with heart problems.

Inflammation

Studies also show how the anti-inflammatory response generated in the body by Omega-3 EPA and DHA from fish and fish oils can assist the body to heal itself and they report that within 4-6 weeks a patient may experience a:

  • decrease in the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and general joint aches
  • decrease in inflammatory biomarkers associated with liver disease
  • decrease in cataracts by 15%
  • decrease risk of pneumonia by 35%
  • decrease in breathing problems such as asthma

Brain Health

Brain function is critical to health and wellness but can be prone to debilitating diseases such as Alzheimers, dementia, and depression. EPA and DHA from fish and fish oils can reduce the risk and even treat some of the conditions and their symptoms. Clinical studies show that Omega-3 increases blood flow to the brain and within 4-6 weeks on a treatment plan incorporating high doses of good quality fish oil it is possible to:

  • decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s
  • decrease the risk of seizures in epileptics
  • increase IQ by 13%
  • improve behaviour and learning capabilities
  • decrease aggression in violent adults by 33%
  • decrease occurrences of postpartum depression by 51%
  • decrease the usage days by alcoholics and drug addicts by 55%

How to get enough

To get sufficient DHA and EPA in your diet one would need to eat plenty of fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. However with the increased risk of contamination by mercury and other dangerous pollutants, a diet high in fish is no longer  recommended and taking pharmaceutical grade fish oil as a supplement is a wiser choice.

What is pharmaceutical grade?

Fish oil can only be termed ‘pharmaceutical grade’ if it has been ultra-refined and molecularly distilled, thus guaranteeing high quality oil, free of all impurities such as mercury, PCBs, dioxins and other contaminants. It will have undergone very stringent levels of testing by a third party laboratory. To produce the See Yourself Well brand of fish oil which I import from Canada, only South Pacific anchovies are used as it’s the smaller fish which are less contaminated to begin with, and thus are the best for the highest quality oil. Every batch of oil is tested by the International Fish Oil Standards Laboratories and each batch has received a 5 star rating. I strongly recommend that anyone looking to take fish oil needs to know the history of the oil used. Most manufacturers will be unable to give you this or direct you to a website showing the IFOS rating.

Disclaimer: All information here is for educational purposes only and is not meant to cure, heal, diagnose nor treat. This information must not be used as a replacement for medical advice, nor can the writer take any responsibility for anyone using the information instead of consulting a healthcare professional.  All serious disease needs a physician.

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