Omega 3 Fish Oils and Their Benefits

Omega 3 fish oilHeart disease is still number 1! Cardiovascular disease and heart attacks lead the way in cause of death, and Harvard Medical studies [1] have identified 12 modifiable dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors that influence your heart health. The list includes obvious risks like smoking, high blood pressure and obesity, but also includes “low dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and low omega 3 fatty acids”, solid evidence that supports the nutrition theory that increasing these healthy fatty acids can reduce your risk of heart disease and death.

What is fish oil? As the name suggests, fish oil comes from the tissues of “fatty” fish. The amount of available oil varies by type of fish and wild fish tend to contain more oil than farm raised. The best sources of omega 3s include mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon. For those who do not have access to fresh fish, omega 3s are available from a health food store in nutritional supplements, both liquids and capsules.

What are PUFAs? Fish oil contains high levels of omega 3s which are Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, or PUFAs. While our bodies are able to make many of the fats we need, essential fatty acids like omega 3s must come from the foods we eat or through nutritional supplementation.

Why are Omega 3 fish oils important?

  • Heart Health – Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease triglyceride levels, slow the rate of accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque, and over time, lower blood pressure.
  • Reduces Inflammation – Omega 3s prevent inflammation that leads to damaged vessels.
  • Reduces Blood Clotting – Helping to prevent thrombosis, any blood clot within a blood vessel. These clots can occlude the vessels of the heart or block vessels leading to the heart.
  • Brain Health – Omega 3s and PUFAs are essential to brain cell health and regeneration. They also allow for the transport of proteins and neurotransmitters across brain synapses. They will also help delay the onset of mental decline related to Alzheimer’s and age-related losses on mental acuity, improving memory and focus.
  • Reduces Depression – Depression has been linked to inflammation, Omega 3 fatty acids have a positive effect on and reduce inflammation in the brain while also increasing the level of dopamine promoting feelings of well-being.
  • Skin and Hair – Fatty acids improve the health of your skin by nourishing the skin with fats and contributing fat-soluble vitamins that help your skin maintain a smooth, elastic texture. There is also growing evidence that fish oil and fatty acids prevent wrinkles and helps slow the aging process.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to health and must be consumed. If your diet does not meet your needs, then a high-quality fish oil supplement is an option. Purchase supplements from a reputable source to avoid mercury and heavy metal contamination.

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