Omega-3 Consumer Awareness Guide
by Garey, OptimalHealthBridge.com
The National Institute of Health tells us that each year, about 1.1 million people in the United States have heart attacks, and almost half of them die. If you first diagnosis of heart disease is a heart attack you have about a 50/50 chance of survival. Coronary Artery Disease, which often results in a heart attack, is the leading killer of both men and women in the United States. Coronary and cardiovascular disorders among fifty and sixty year old populations are growing alarming alarming rates. The sad and unfortunate fact is that heart attacks are affecting Americans at younger and younger ages as well.
Even teens are showing up at emergency rooms presenting with heart attacks. Doctors are prescribing statin drugs to kids as young as eight years old.
Unfortunately, traditional allopathic interventions usually include prescription drugs that are toxic and damaging to the liver and drastic, invasive measures such as surgery.
Dr Mehmet Oz once said in a lecture, “When I performed my first open heart surgery on a person younger than myself, I said, this is not what I signed up for.” Dr Oz teaches prevention in all matters related to weight, cardio health and diabetes.
These are what are known as “modern post-industrial diseases.” In other words, we sit around all day at computer desks and watch way too much TV. We no longer have to hunt, forage or even farm for our food. We don’t even have to open the supermarket doors anymore, they open for us automatically. In many buildings we use escalators or elevators and don’t have to take the stairs. Let me give you a clue. If you have a choice, take the stairs! Please!
However, the benefits of Omega-3 fish oil in preventing heart ailments have been proven through literally thousands of clinical trials. Let me quote this abstract from the Mayo clinic.
Mayo Clinic 2000 Jun;75(6):607-14.
From Inuit to implementation: omega-3 fatty acids come of age.
O’Keefe JH Jr, Harris WS.
Mid America Heart Institute of Saint Luke’s Hospital and Department of Medicine, University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA.
During the past 25 years, the cardiovascular effects of marine omega-3 fatty acids have been the subject of increasing investigation. In the late 1970s, epidemiological studies revealed that Greenland Inuits had substantially reduced rates of acute myocardial infarction compared with Western control subjects. These observations generated more than 4,500 studies to explore this and other effects of omega-3 fatty acids on human metabolism and health. From epidemiology to cell culture and animal studies to randomized controlled trials, the cardio protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids are becoming recognized. These fatty acids, when incorporated into the diet at levels of about 1 g/d, seem to be able to stabilize myocardial membranes electrically, resulting in reduced susceptibility to ventricular dysrhythmias, thereby reducing the risk of sudden death. The recent GISSI (Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto miocardico)-Prevention study of 11,324 patients showed a 45% decrease in risk of sudden cardiac death and a 20% reduction in all-cause mortality in the group taking 850 mg/d of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have potent anti-inflammatory effects and may also be antiatherogenic. Higher doses of omega-3 fatty acids can lower elevated serum triglyceride levels; 3 to 5 g/ d can reduce triglyceride levels by 30% to 50%, minimizing the risk of both coronary heart disease and acute pancreatitis. This review summarizes the emerging evidence of the use of omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention of coronary heart disease.
If you are interested in purchasing fish oil capsules and I hope you are; here is a look at some vital information.
There are three grades of Omega-3s in the market today.
- Molecularly Distilled
- Refined and Molecularly Distilled.
Thanks to Bioriginal for the creation of this chart.
Why should you take molecularly distilled fish oil?
Fish oil is prone to contamination; for instance, cod liver oil often includes contaminants such as lead and excessive amount of vitamin A. Also, this type of oil is not stable at high levels due to the inclusion of pollutants such as organic mercury. DDT and PCBs. Cod liver oil generally contains 500 mg of long chain Omega-3 fatty acids.
The contaminants in this grade of fish oil severely mar its benefits and may cause additional health concerns. On the other hand, molecularly distilled fish oil is 100% pure and does not contain any contaminants making it the safest form of fish oil available in the market. The procedure used for molecular distillation not only removes obvious contaminants but also highly toxic pollutants such as dioxin which are usually present in minute quantities but can have serious health ramifications in the long run.
700 mgs EPA/DHACapsules vs. 500 mgs EPA/DHA Capsules vs. 300 mgs EPA DHA capsules
Health food grade fish oil capsules will usually contain 300 mg of EPA/DHA per one gram capsule; this means that you would need to take 8 capsules per day to get a daily dose of 2.4 g which is recommended in case of cardio vascular and coronary illnesses.
The prescribed dosage of fish oil for high triglycerides is usually in the range of 2 to 4 g per day while for heart diseases most physicians can prescribe 1 to 2 g of fish oil.
On the other hand, if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you will need to take 3.8 g of EPA and 2 g of DHA.
Molecularly distilled, pharmaceutical grade fish oil will usually contain more than 500 mg of EPA/DHA; some supplements may even contain as much as 600 mg of EPA/ DHA. For instance, good quality pharmaceutical grade fish oil will have twice the amount of EPA and DHA found in health food grade oil with 1.8 g of EPA and 0.9 g of DHA per teaspoon.
The benefits of fish oil Heart: The American Hearth Association recommends that people with heart ailments should consume at least 1000 mg of EPA/ DHA through fish or fish supplements.
Fish oil is known to reduce instances of cardiac arrhythmia, regulate and reduce the secretion of VLDL (very low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol). It also helps to remove triglycerides from VLDL by increasing the secretion of lipoprotein lipase.
It also has blood thinning properties. It is also effective in reducing high blood pressure in patients who suffer from hyper tension and can significantly lower the risk of cardio vascular disease related mortality.
As a matter of fact, a single fish meal per week can lower the risk of sudden death due to a cardiac arrest by almost 52%.
Brain: 60% of the brain is made of fats and half of that which is a whopping 30% of the human brain comprises of DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Now, if you do not consume Omega-3s through your food intake, or through supplementation, your brain will suffer and the body will use other fats to try to replicate the processes that should be controlled by Omega-3s. Howeveer, the use of Omega-6s which nutritionists tell us we consume too much of is an inferior material. If you are feeling dull and lethargic, if could be that you are not getting your omega-3s.
So, fish oil provides the necessary nutrition to your brain which in turn leads to better memory, retention and concentration. Fish oil intake has offered great hope to researchers and may yet be proven to be effective in patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. It stands to reason if we bathe our organs in the right oils and substances for hormonal balance the better off we will be mentally and physically.
It also helps to regulate mood related disorders and their symptoms including aggression and chronic depression. The landmark book by Dr. Andrew Stolle chronologs this research and gives a natural and alternative “cure” to various mental imbalances without the use of anti-depressants.
Joints: Fish oil is also known to be particularly beneficial for people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
Clinical trials have shown that taking fish oil supplements for 3 to 4 months can greatly reduce the intensity of join pain and lower muscle and joint stiffness in the morning, improving mobility. Taking fish oil regularly can help to reduce your dependence on OTC pain killers. Fish oil has powerful anti inflammatory properties that can alleviate the pain associated with most joint related disorders.
Various grades and forms of fish oil Fish oil is available in 3 grades and these are:
Cod liver oil: This is the lowest grade of fish oil available in the market. Cod liver oil is not suitable for high dose usage because it has too many man-made as well as organic contaminants including mercury, lead, DDT and PCB etc. It also has the highest level of saturated fats and can cause a fishy after taste and gastric distress due to the impurities it contains.
Health food grade: If you find the label of the product mentioning the species of the fish that is used for the extraction of the oil; you can be sure that it is made from health food grade oil. Normally, this grade of fish oil is extracted from oily fish including tuna, salmon, sardines and anchovies, etc. While health food grade oil is better than cod liver oil, it still tastes poor, so it is only available in the form of soft gelatin capsules.
Health food grade fish oil may also contain several contaminants including mercury, dioxin and PCBs; these can lead to gastric upset including nausea. The level of saturated fat in health food grade oil is also quite high and its safety is questionable at high levels. Most fish oil capsules that are made from health food grade oil contain about 300 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. This means that you will need to take 8 to 10 capsules per day to meet your daily requirement of EPA/DHA.
Pharmaceutical grade oil: Pharmaceutical grade fish oil is manufactured through the use of stringent molecular distillations process that removes almost all the impurities and contaminants from the oil. It eliminates most of the issues associated with the other two grades. It does not contain any man-made pollutants such as mercury, lead, PCB or dioxins. The saturated fat content is very low because the oil is put through a process known as winterization at low temperatures to remove the excessive amounts of saturated fat normally found in fish oil. Because the pharmaceutical grade fish oil is refined, it tastes relatively good and there are none of the bothersome aftereffects which are generally caused due to the consumption of regular health food grade fish oil or even cod liver oil.
Variations in Dosages: Depending on the target goal you have in taking Omega-3s you can have a different dose. If you ask ten nutritionists, what their recommended dose for fish oil is more than likely you will get ten different answers. There are differences however small amongst human beings and their body types. Be aware that fish oil is comprised of a percentage of EPA/DHA anywhere from 30% to 70% or better. So the bottle can very well say it’s a 1000 mg capsule but might contain 300 mgs to 700 mgs of EPA/DHA. What you want to look for is the mgs of EPA/DHA per capsule.
My Recommendation: To cover all aspects of health with the target being “Optimal Health,” I generally recommend a minimum of 2800 mgs of EPA/DHA for a healthy adult. For example that is two capsules, twice a day of “True Omega-3” a 1000 mg capsule that contains 700 mgs of EPA/DHA per capsule. If there is an indication of risk factors for heart disease this could easily be increased to 3 capsules in the morning and 3 capsules in the evening. Let me help you with a coupon for True Omega-3.
- Works hard every moment, of every day.
- Never takes a day off.
- Never calls in sick.
- Morning, noon and night, your heart is no slacker.
- Shouldn’t you take good care of this tireless servant?
- If you are at all concerned about heart health then take note:
I am a five year veteran of taking Omega-3 capsules.
I witnessed this in my own life.