Our diets today are incredibly deficient in omega-3 fatty acids compared with the diets we were evolved to eat.
Research suggests that we evolved eating a 1:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. Today, even a very healthy diet will have a ratio of 20:1, with unhealthy diets up into the ranges of 100:1!
Thus, the magic of fish oil and other omega-3 supplements isn’t that they ADD something special – it’s that they bring our bodies back into balance so we can have the health, energy, vitality, and weight we were designed to have!
A review study from the Center For Genetics in Washington D.C. looked at supplementation of omega-3s and found some amazing results. If you are at all interested in your health, you’ll want to take a look at this:
Omega-3 fatty acids decrease platelet aggregation, blood viscosity, and fibrinogen. This means there is less plaque build-up in your blood vessels, which lowers your risk for heart disease and heart attacks.
Omega-3 fatty acids lower LDL (bad) cholesterol – again supporting heart health and proper blood flow.
Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides in both normal people and people with genetic triglyceride problems. (Check out this post: Drop Triglycerides 93.5% in 21 Days!)
There is either no effect on HDL (good) cholesterol or else there is a slight increase when supplementing with omega-3s, so you don’t have to worry about the added fats from fish oil supplements having a negative effect on your HDL.
From the study: “eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the form of fish oils along with antirheumatic drugs improve joint pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis; have a beneficial effect in patients with ulcerative colitis; and in combination with drugs, improve the skin lesions, lower the hyperlipidemia from etretinates, and decrease the toxicity of cyclosporin in patients with psoriasis.” Which basically says that fish oil will make almost everything better!
Omega-3s have also been shown to decrease the number and size of tumors (cancer fighting) as well as increasing time before tumor appearance (cancer prevention).
DHA is also essential for the normal functional development of the retina and brain, especially in premature infants.
And one final bit of advice from this study: “Because omega 3 fatty acids are essential in growth and development throughout the life cycle, they should be included in the diets of all humans.”
I personally take both fish oil and the more potent krill oil as my omega-3 fatty acid supplements. For more information on krill oil and a great video explaining EPA and DHA, check this out: Krill Oil Explained
Here is the study reference for my fellow research geeks:
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 54, 438-463.
Omega-3 fatty acids in health and disease and in growth and development
Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, Washington, DC.