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Fish Oil Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA DHA

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

We have been recommending supplementation with fish oil since the early 1980's. Little by little research piled up that indicated that these are indeed beneficial for just about everyone.

Fish oil, omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA are often used interchangeably. A literalist will find differences between these but for our purposes we can use any of these terms.

So why is fish oil beneficial? First let's consider some history. Nutritional anthropologists tell us that a primitive diet of the hunter gatherer would have a ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids of 1:1. This is because both of these types of fatty acids are in the environment. Grasses are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids. The deer would eat the grass and incorporate it into their tissues. The hunter would eat the deer and get the benefit of those high omega 3 levels.

We jump to modern times and the cultivation of corn mostly as a livestock food. Corn is very high in omega 6 fatty acids unlike the omega 3's in grass. Now you know one reason knowledgeable people prefer grass feed beef over corn fed. Too often grass fed cattle are brought into the feedlot and fattened up with a high corn diet for several weeks essentially negating the positive effects of the higher omega 3 diet.

Because of the influence of corn in livestock feed, not just for cattle but for pigs and chickens too, the standard American diet (SAD) now has a ratio of omega 6's to 3's of 20:1 or even higher. This is associated with increased inflammation that shows up as an increased propensity of diseases of all kinds but probably the easiest to see effects are in joint and teeth health. Many other common foods are also not favorable in the 6:3 ratio such as most common cooking oils. has more information.

Fatty acids help make up the layers of the cell membranes. Think of these membranes as the security perimeter of your gated community. You need to get the right people in and keep the wrong people out. If you put lower quality fats into your diet like too many omega-6 fatty acids or even worse, trans fats, your body has no choice but to use the inferior grade materials. This will weaken the cell membrane security and stuff that is supposed to stay in leaks out and stuff that is supposed to get in can't. The health of the cell begins to suffer as it struggles to stay balanced.

One way you can spot cell damage is through the appearance of inflammation. Inflammation can show up in your skin, nerves, brain, heart or joints. It is probably easiest to spot in the early stages in joints. As inflammation in the joints increases so does the achiness and tenderness.

All tissues of the body are subject to damage from inflammation from poor omega 3 to omega 6 ratios and this might show up as fertility problems, heart disease, blood sugar imbalances, poor memory and more.

It can take decades for the full impact to be felt so it wouldn't be wise to wait and see what happens. It makes more sense to get ahead of this game if you can. It isn't hard, taking a 2 or 3 high potency fish oil supplements from companies such as Nordic Naturals or Metagenics will do the trick for most people.

If you are trying to heal from serious brain problems, some researchers have found that as many as 15 capsules a day are required to make a difference.

One other point is important. Fish oil brokers move millions of tons of fish oil a year. The quality of all of these batches varies. The poorer grade batches are rejected by the companies more concerned with quality over price. They will only accept the best grades of fish oil and then take extra steps to purify it even further. Companies more interested in price than quality will accept the poorer quality batches, skip some of the purifying steps and then sell you a large bottle of 250 1000 mg capsules for $11.95. Do you think you get the same benefit from the cheaper, lower quality fish oil as the more expensive, high potency brands? Do you think your body knows the difference even if you can't spot the difference on the label? We can make more money selling the lower quality supplements but at we choose to carry only the most reputable brands we can find to protect our own health and the health of our clients.