January 23, 2017

Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement Review

Taking omega-3 supplements can help reduce inflammation in your body. Mostly comprised of fish oils, the important components of omega-3 supplements are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and are more widely known as fatty acids. These fatty acids from fish oil are polyunsaturated (“good” fat), known to:

  • Lower the risk of heart disease and cholesterol levels
  • Produce prostaglandins to treat and lower your risk of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Help depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia
  • Reduce the risk of premature delivery, as well as encourage fetus development
  • Treat menstrual cramp flare-ups
  • Decrease symptoms of bowel disease (Crohn’s, IBS, ulcerative colitis)
  • Assist Lupus patients
  • Decrease chance of developing disease of retina
  • Reduce the risk of the colon/rectum and breast cancer
  • Prevent weight loss during chemotherapy

Role of Omega-3 on Mental Health

OMEGA 3 FOR DPERESSIONDepression

The EPA content of omega-3s has shown promise in treating major depressive disorder. Depression can be characterized by low levels of omega-3 in blood cells. An EPA-rich supplement can restore omega-3s in the blood thereby lifting episodes of depression. It is thought that omega-3s increase white matter in the brain in the areas associated with depression. To lift your mood and your spirit, take 4 g of omega-3 a day that provides 1,600 mg of EPA and 800 mg DHA.

Suicide

An analysis of blood samples from 1,600 military personnel showed those who committed suicide had, prior to suicide, significantly lower blood levels of DHA than personnel who did not commit suicide. DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the human brain, and is clearly critical to mood, memory, and other mental functions.

Anxiety

A study of U.S. medical students revealed those receiving omega-3 showed a 20 percent reduction in anxiety compared to the placebo group. Treated students also had a 14% decrease in a marker of inflammation. The study intentionally used concentrated fish oil high in EPA because of its role in reducing the level of cytokines in the body, compounds that promote inflammation. Reducing cytokines is a big plus in dealing with the overall health of people at risk for many diseases…and now anxiety.

Omega-3 for stressStress

Omega-3 oils keep stress hormones under control while also regulating adrenaline. Reduce heart rate and nervous tension with 9 g of omega-3 daily.

Alzheimer’s

Mood and mental function are inextricably linked with depression impairing cognitive ability. In fact, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias often first appear as changes in outlook and personality. Not surprisingly, deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids has also been implicated in cognitive impairment, whereas diets supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids appear to benefit cognitive function. Further studies suggest that dietary supplementation with DHA may protect against the type of brain damage seen with Alzheimer’s disease.  Some scientists also believe that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and that they may be of modest benefit in some patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease.

Testing and Fish Oil Ranking

omega 3 supplement reviewWith the growing importance of omega-3s, scores of supplements now fill the shelves of stores that sell natural products. Choice is great, but it can also be confusing.

Because toxins such as mercury, dioxins and PCB are possible contaminates in fish, which naturally contain these important fatty acids, the regulation and testing of omega-3 quality is very important.

Furthermore, rancid fish oil can produce bad breath and reduce effectiveness. If the fish oil is encapsulated, absorption may be hampered due to poor breakdown, and with hindered absorption its effectiveness is compromised.

An independent testing lab reviewed and examined a large number of omega-3 fatty acid supplements (see below). Two products, in particular, failed to label correct amounts of EPA and DHA. These omega-3 supplements would NOT be recommended for consumption:

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Sources:
http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v17/n12/full/mp2012116a.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21903029
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21784145
Cole GM, Frautschy SA. Docosahexaenoic acid protects from amyloid and dendritic pathology in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Nutr Health. 2006;18(3):249-59.
Saugstad LF. Are neurodegenerative disorder and psychotic manifestations avoidable brain dysfunctions with adequate dietary omega-3? Nutr Health. 2006;18(2):89-101.
Pinilla FG. The impact of diet and exercise on brain plasticity and disease. Nutr Health. 2006;18(3):277-84.
Cole GM, Frautschy SA. Docosahexaenoic acid protects from amyloid and dendritic pathology in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Nutr Health. 2006;18(3):249-59.
Saugstad LF. Are neurodegenerative disorder and psychotic manifestations avoidable brain dysfunctions with adequate dietary omega-3? Nutr Health. 2006;18(2):89-101.

 

 

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