Spotlight on Omega-3s
Back in the 1970’s, two scientists made an interesting discovery – they found that Greenland Eskimos consumed a high fat diet, yet had almost no incidence of cardiovascular disease. This observation simply didn’t fit with the medical theory at the time, which was that high fat = bad for your heart. Further investigation revealed that the types of fats they consumed were very different from those that dominated the Western diet.
Eskimo diets centred around cold water marine animals such as oily fish, which were rich in particular types of polyunsaturated fats known as omega-3 – namely EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) & DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). In contrast, sources of fat in the Western diet were mainly saturated types from meat and dairy products.
Now, around 40 years and many research studies later, we know that omega-3s can offer tremendous benefits for many different aspects of health. And whilst the Eskimos are able to maintain optimal intake from diet alone, this is much more of a challenge in the Western world.
Read on to find out why you need to make a priority of getting enough omega-3 & whether this is best achieved through diet or supplementation.
Omega 3s & Your Health
Omega-3s are vital for many different aspects of health, including:
• Cardiovascular Function
• Brain Health
• Hair, Skin & Nails
• Mood Balance
• Weight Loss
• Hormonal Balance
• Immune Support
Symptoms of Omega-3 Deficiency
• Dry, rough skin
• Dry eyes
• Frequent infections
• Poor memory
• Loss of hair or dandruff
• Excessive thirst
• Poor wound healing
• PMS or breast pain
• Cardiovascular health problems
• Joint pain or arthritis
• Inflammatory health problems such as eczema or arthritis
Omega-3 – Diet vs. Supplements
In an ideal world, we would be able to obtain an optimal intake of all nutrients from food sources alone. Dietary sources of omega-3s are nuts, seeds and in particular, oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, tuna and anchovies. Increasing your intake of these special fats though isn’t unfortunately as simple as eating a bit more oily fish. Many environmental contaminants enter our food supply through water – oily fish is particularly susceptible to contamination because many of these contaminants are ‘lipo-philic’, which in simple terms means ‘fat-loving’. Fat stores are often a great reservoir of contaminants such as dioxins, heavy metals and PCBs – thus increasing your intake of fatty fish, often means increasing your intake of these unwanted substances too. Optimal intake of omega-3s is best achieved through a combination of dietary sources (nuts, seeds & 1-2 servings of oily fish per week), and supplementation to top up your daily intake.
Choosing your Omega-3 Supplement…
Here are a few key points you need to consider when choosing your omega-3 supplement:
Since oily fish is highly vulnerable to contamination, you need to choose a supplement that has been thoroughly purified to remove possible environmental contaminants. The method of purification is also key as omega-3s are highly vulnerable to damage from heat, light and air.
Compared to other products on the market, Nutri Advanced’s High Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil has a very high level of purity. This is achieved using a method of molecular distillation, which ensures the-omega 3 fats are kept protected and any contaminants are safely removed. Many widely available products simply cannot assure consumers of such a high level of purity and may actually do you more harm than good.
Nutri Advanced’s Omega-3 Fish Oil supplies a high potency of 1000mg fish oil concentrate per capsule, with an EPA: DHA ratio of 3: 2 which has been found to be the optimal ratio for health.
Polyunsaturated oils such as omega-3s are highly vulnerable to damage by heat, light and air and once damaged may actually do the body more harm than good. By adding antioxidants such as vitamin E and rosemary the omega-3 fats are protected against damage and thus able to exert beneficial effects in the body.
Ethical & Sustainable
Ongoing worries about over-fishing means that sustainability is an important factor to consider when choosing your omega-3 supplement too. If you’re at all concerned about protecting our marine environment and resources for future generations, you can be reassured by Friends of the Sea certification when it comes to choosing your omega-3 supplement.
What exactly is a Friend of the Sea?
Friend of the Sea is a non-profit, non-government organization, which is now a major international certification project for products originating from sustainable fisheries. Any fishery wishing to receive certification must adhere to the strict criteria laid down by Friend of the Sea as follows:
✓ Target stock not to be over exploited
✓ Fishery to generate maximum of 8% discards
✓ No by-catch of endangered species
✓ No impact on the seabed
✓ Compliance with regulations
✓ Social accountability
✓ Gradual reduction of carbon footprint