The Very Best Supplement Ever

Why is Omega-3 Supplementation Important?

Fatty acid imbalances are common in societies like ours that consume an abundance of processed foods with artificial ingredients and hydrogenated (trans) fats, and have an over-reliance on grains.  This “inflammatory” diet is a strong contributor to the increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, pain disorders, cognitive decline and overall poor health.

If you didn’t know already, Omega-3′s from fish oil are really good for you. In fact, as a supplement, a quality fish oil could potentially give you the most bang for your buck than any other supplement on the market. The FDA recently established that Omega-3 fatty acid, including EPA and DHA found in fish oils helps to protect against heart disease. Due to the decline in wild caught fish sources, the cost associated, concern over Mercury content, and the fast-paced nature of our lifestyles, supplementing with over the counter fish oil products has become commonplace.

The majority of fish-oil studies have only looked at the long-term benefits of the essential oils EPA and DHA. It has been abundantly clear as to the numerous health benefits associated with long-term fish oil supplementation, however, most recently, the acute benefits have been recognized in a dose-response manner. Increased dosing (more than the recommended daily allowance) has been shown to contribute to:

1) Lower inflammatory markers in the blood

2) Less joint pain

3) Less death from cardiovascular disease and up to 62% lower risk of fatal heart attack

4) Improved effects on serotonin levels (feel good chemicals)

5) Lower incidence of inflammatory diseases such as asthma

6) Improvement in lean body mass and decreased fat mass

7) Lowered blood pressure

8) Help prevent age-related cognitive decline

9) Help ensure adequate brain development in developing children in utero.

How Much Do We Need?

Most of the current research supports 3-5 grams/day to reduce inflammation. However, due to the dose-response benefits associated, many practitioners are suggesting anywhere from 10 – 30 grams/day depending on the weight and body fat percentage of the individual. For most people 30g is excessive, but the bottom line is we need more than the recommended daily allowance.

A good rule of thumb if you’re trying to lose body fat and benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects are: ½ gram of Omega-3′s per 10lbs of body weight. So, for a 200-lb man, he would be taking around 10 grams/day, or about 3 grams/meal.

Fish oil capsules typically contain anywhere from 500 – 1000mg of Omega-3′s per capsule (0.5-1g), which means for some larger people, that’s going to be A LOT of fish oil caps. Therefore, it can be beneficial to take a fish oil liquid as they are usually much more potent.

What to Look For:

As educated consumers, we need to take into consideration the type of fish used to make the oil, the size of the fish (i.e., it’s position in the food chain), it’s fat content and where the fish were caught. It’s a good idea to avoid any farm-raised fish product as they often contain harmful chemicals.

Here are a few products I recommend:

1) Nordic Naturals: Whole Foods or on-line

2) Omega-3 Liquid

3) EPA-DHA 720 Blend

NOTE: If you have problems digesting fish oil (“fishy burps”), you may need to be taking digestive enzymes, or try a higher quality fish oil. If you are pregnant or nursing, you will want a fish oil with a higher DHA-EPA ratio, as babies can not adequately absorb the EPA.

*As with any supplement, you should always consult with your health care practitioner before taking, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on blood thinning medication.