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Omega 3 fish oil: nature’s helper for heart, joint and brain health

Omega 3 fish oil: nature’s helper for heart, joint and brain health

Omega 3 essential fatty acids: what exactly are they?

Fatty acids are nutrients that our bodies need in much the same way that they need vitamins or minerals.  Our bodies break down the fats and oils in our diet into fatty acid “building blocks”.  Then they use these building blocks in a wide range of ways to support our health and wellbeing.

Fatty acids are loosely categorised as essential and non-essential.  Our bodies can synthesise the non-essential fatty acids from other nutrients, but we need to get the essential ones through our diet.  

Fatty acids are also grouped into families according to their chemical structure - either Omega 3, Omega 6, or Omega 9. Each type is important, but this article focuses on the Omega 3 fatty acids such as those found in fish oil.

The benefits of Omega 3 fish oils

Oily cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are some of nature’s richest sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. If these types of fish don’t feature regularly in your diet, fish oil may be the most convenient way to get your daily Omega 3 intake.

Researchers have been studying the benefits of Omega 3 fish oils for a vast number of inflammatory and other health conditions.  Some of the most compelling evidence1,2 currently supports using fish oil to help:

  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels and support good HDL:LDL (good cholesterol to bad cholesterol) ratios
  • Support heart, cardiovascular and circulatory health
  • Maintain joint health – especially in cases of joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis
  • Support brain health, mood balance, and healthy development in children
  • Maintain prenatal health in both mother and baby

What to look for when you choose an Omega 3 Fish Oil

Because Omega 3 oils are so well known as a health supplement, most brands offer at least one fish oil option in their range.  However, not all products are alike; and with rising concerns about contamination from mercury and other heavy metals, it pays to be choosy.  Make sure the fish oil you pick is tested for mercury, cadmium, lead and other contaminants.

Additionally, dwindling fish stocks mean it is important to ensure that the fish from which the oil is extracted are sustainably harvested.  Manufacturers will usually tell you on the label if their fish oil is sustainably sourced. Ideally, look for independent verification, such as that provided by Friend of the Sea (www.friendofthesea.org).

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/993.html

2http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet

 

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Omega 3 fish oil: nature’s helper for heart, joint and brain health

Fish oil has positive effects for several health conditions – including inflammation, mood balance & brain health. Learn how to choose a good Omega 3 Fish Oil here.

Omega 3 essential fatty acids: what exactly are they?

Fatty acids are nutrients that our bodies need in much the same way that they need vitamins or minerals.  Our bodies break down the fats and oils in our diet into fatty acid “building blocks”.  Then they use these building blocks in a wide range of ways to support our health and wellbeing.

Fatty acids are loosely categorised as essential and non-essential.  Our bodies can synthesise the non-essential fatty acids from other nutrients, but we need to get the essential ones through our diet.  

Fatty acids are also grouped into families according to their chemical structure - either Omega 3, Omega 6, or Omega 9. Each type is important, but this article focuses on the Omega 3 fatty acids such as those found in fish oil.

The benefits of Omega 3 fish oils

Oily cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are some of nature’s richest sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. If these types of fish don’t feature regularly in your diet, fish oil may be the most convenient way to get your daily Omega 3 intake.

Researchers have been studying the benefits of Omega 3 fish oils for a vast number of inflammatory and other health conditions.  Some of the most compelling evidence1,2 currently supports using fish oil to help:

  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels and support good HDL:LDL (good cholesterol to bad cholesterol) ratios
  • Support heart, cardiovascular and circulatory health
  • Maintain joint health – especially in cases of joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis
  • Support brain health, mood balance, and healthy development in children
  • Maintain prenatal health in both mother and baby

What to look for when you choose an Omega 3 Fish Oil

Because Omega 3 oils are so well known as a health supplement, most brands offer at least one fish oil option in their range.  However, not all products are alike; and with rising concerns about contamination from mercury and other heavy metals, it pays to be choosy.  Make sure the fish oil you pick is tested for mercury, cadmium, lead and other contaminants.

Additionally, dwindling fish stocks mean it is important to ensure that the fish from which the oil is extracted are sustainably harvested.  Manufacturers will usually tell you on the label if their fish oil is sustainably sourced. Ideally, look for independent verification, such as that provided by Friend of the Sea (www.friendofthesea.org).

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/993.html

2http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet

 

Omega 3 fish oil: nature’s helper for heart, joint and brain health
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