by Dr. Chad Laurence
Omega-3 fatty acids contain eicosapentaenic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), found in fish, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found in plants. Unlike saturated fats in foods which can raise unhealthy (LDL) cholesterol, polyunsaturated fats found in fish oil help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation.
EPA and DHA are essential fatty acids because the body doesn’t produce them, making it necessary to acquire omega-3 fatty acids from diet and supplements. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed, walnuts, walnut oil, and winter squashes such as pumpkin, butternut, and acorn. The best source of omega-3 oil is from cold saltwater fish such as sardines, anchovies, tuna, and salmon. Warm water and fresh water fish may be good for you, but are not considered acceptable sources of omega-3.
Research has found that omega-3 fatty acids are proactive for health in many ways:
• They help lower levels of triglyercerides up to 30%, and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, the fatty substance that can build up and clot arteries, thereby increasing risk of heart attack or stroke.
• They can lower blood pressure and inflammation in the body, the precursor to many autoimmune diseases.
Which brand or type to buy?
All brands are NOT created equal. There are big differences with regard to sources, quality, potency, and quantity. For instance, you’ll want to ensure your supplement eliminates PCB’s, dioxins, toxins, lead, mercury, and other heavy metals from the oil.
An average adult should be taking at least 1,000mg EPA per day in combination with DHA. Read your labels: Some manufacturers sell capsules with less than 80mg EPA, while others can contain upwards of 750mg.
How do you know which one to buy? Look for a brand that contains no less than 650mg of EPA, 450mg of DHA, and 180mg of other omega-3’s in each dose, that is purified of contaminants like mercury, lead, and PCB’s, and is preferably tested by a third party.
Dr. Chad Laurence focuses on structural correction of the spine, massage therapy and nutrition and can be found on www.correctivechiro.net.