As heart disease is the number one killer in the Western world, fish oil pills have become increasingly popular.
Significant research and clinical studies have been conducted both in American and in Europe that have validated the premise that the consumption of fish oil with the corresponding Omega-3 fatty acids slow the progression of heart disease.
In 1996, in a study conducted at the University of Munich, 253 patients were recruited. Of these 253, an angiogram (an x-ray of blood vessels) showed their clogged arteries.
For the next two years, half of the participants were given a daily dose of a fish oil supplement that contained 1.5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids.
The other half were given a placebo (a dummy pill with no nutrition value at all).
According to the report, “to avoid bias, assignments were made randomly and neither the investigators nor the participants knew who had been assigned to which treatment group.“
Fish Oil help combat heart disease, but they have other powerful health benefits as well. In a study done by Harvard University in 1999, fish oil supplements helped to lessen the characteristic mood swings of manic depressives. The researchers said:
“Omega-3 fatty acids may prove to be efficacious, well-tolerated, inexpensive, and [have] desirable mood stabilizing compounds.”
The results were tangible and showed a lessening and a regression of arterial plaque build up — and this was just with taking a supplement — their diets didn’t drastically change. Fish oil has also been shown in studies to be instrumental in a number of health issues. Some of its benefits are, but not limited to the following:
- Fish oils lower blood triglycerides (fats) that are a known factor in heart disease
- Lowers high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Helps avoid thrombosis (blood clots) by preventing platelets from sticking together. (This is internal clotting in the venous structure. Not the kind of clotting you need if your skin was cut, for example.
- Minimizes circulatory problems including varicose veins
- Improves brain function. DHA is linked to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Lowers the risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.
- Helps rheumatoid arthritis patients.
- Improves the health of hair, nails, and skin.
What Are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?
There are four types of fat that our bodies glean from food. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of them. Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fat. The other three are: cholesterol, saturated, and monunsaturated fat. Omega-3 are called essential fatty acids (EFAs) as they’re shown to be essential for good health.
The problem is our body cannot manufacture EFAs — it must come from the food and nutritional supplements we consume. Now, there are three types of Omega-3 fatty acids. They are:
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
- DHA (docosahexanoic acid)
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)
EPA and DHA fatty acids are found in cold-water fish like salmon and tuna. (According to research, seaweed is the only plant food that has EPA or DHA.) The third type of Omega-3 fatty acids is alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. It’s found in flaxseed oil, vegetable oil, and green leafy vegetables. Flaxseed oil does not contain DHA and EPA — they possess the forerunner to DHA and EPA in the form of ALA.
Omega 3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of — or who have — cardiovascular disease.
Now, here’s an important point about Omega-3 fatty acids: ALA needs to be chemically converted by the body to long-chained Omega-3 fats to then be assimilable. For those in ill health whose bodies can’t properly convert ALA to long-chained version, its health benefits are lost!
Even if you’re in superb health, your body only converts less than 20% of the ALA to DHA and EPA. Which brings us to a key point of this page: In order for you, then, to glean the known therapeutic benefits of DHA and EPA, you need to take it in the form of fish oil.
Fish Oil Tablets & Fish Oil Pills Precautions
Whenever you take a dietary supplement, consult with your doctor as some supplements react with certain prescribed drugs. Fish oil and fresh oil pills are no exception. Fish oils actually intensify the blood-thinning effect of aspirin, Dalteparin Sodium, Enoxaparin Sodium injection, and Warfarin.
As many people take aspirin, please be aware of this. (By the way, don’t confuse cod liver oil with fish oil. Cod liver oil comes from cod fish liver; fish oil comes from the body of the fish.) Fish oil pills work.
However, not all fish oil are equal and this is why. Most of the fish oils sold as supplements come from sardines and anchovies caught off the coast of north and South America. The fish are then turned into fish meal, which is where the fish oil is extracted. The oil is then sent to refineries for complete processing.
There’s a problem, though. While the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids is self-evident now, fish taken from many areas of the ocean are heavily contaminated with metals like mercury, contaminants in the form of PCBs, and dioxins. (This is why the U.S. FDA recommends limiting one’s consumption of fish and rightly so.)
How To Choose Good Fish Oil
Only buy molecularly distilled, quality pharmaceutical-grade like fish oil supplements. What is molecular distillation? Once the oils have been processed, molecular distillation means the oils are placed in centrifugal force machines that separate the toxic metals from the fish oils. This is vitally important. If a fish oil product isn’t molecularly distilled, chances of its purity are remote and most likely it’s contaminated.
The best fish oil supplements emulate Pharmaceutical Grade. What does this mean? It means these fish oil are produced at pharmaceutical GMP compliant and certified manufacturing facilities. In other words, these are the exact same standards prescription drugs are required to undergo in the U.S. as mandated by the FDA.
While obtaining pharmaceutical GMP compliant supplements is important with all dietary supplements, it is especially important with fish oil or as the risk of contamination is so pronounced. The oceans of the world, especially in areas where fish are harvested for fish oil, are contaminated with various industrial pollutants — especially the North Atlantic.
I’ve discussed the importance of molecular distillation and of obtaining only pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplements. These two criteria offer substantial safety as to the purity of the fish oil supplements, but there is another level of protection: The source of the fish. Listen to one company’s approach to this problem.
“Early in 2003 [our company] recognized these drawbacks and after a year of development, perfected a pure fish oil product that addressed these problems! The result — a pure molecularly distilled fish oil ester with NO CONTAMINANTS with exceptionally high levels of DHA! This was made possible by using a cold deep water New Zealand fish called Hoki. This fish has naturally high levels of DHA which is further enhanced during the purification process. It is caught in the pristine Southern Ocean and is naturally free of contaminants.”
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement, you might want to check out this New Zealand company’s fish oil Omega 3 DHA Fish Oil Premium. This innovative company offers GMP compliant fish oil.
Their product, Omega 3/DHA, is scientifically formulated containing fish oil esters, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, DHA, EPA, and Vitamin E.
(The body needs to convert fish oil to an ester for it to be usable so the fish oil is made into an ester. An ester is an organic compound.) Incidentally, we’ve been taking this supplement for more than a year now and can attest to its benefits. I’ve experienced greater energy, better sleep, increased mental functionality, and better overall health.
I hope this fish oil page has been useful to you.
Yours in health,
Nutritional Supplement Bible.com