About Omega 3 Fish Oils Archives

What Is the Omega 3 Omega 6 Ratio

There has been much talk recently about the importance of adding more Omega 3 essential fatty acids to your diet. And of course that’s quite correct, if you’re like millions of other Americans you certainly need to add more Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet.

But have you ever heard of an Omega 6? You see there are more essential fatty acids than just those known as the Omega3 fats.

And even if you’ve heard of Omega 6 you know what the Omega3 Omega 6 ratio is?

It is now pretty common knowledge that the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) which are commonly found in the oil of fish are extremely important to your health, and that most of us are now eating way too little of these essential fatty acids due to the decline over the last century in eating fish and other seafoods.

Other Omega fatty acids exist as well however. Omega 6 is one of them. And whilst one of the major health benefits of omega 3 fats is that they help reduce inflammation in the body, one of the major causes of so many lifestyle diseases, Omega 6 fats increase inflammation.

Omega 6 fats are found in a range of foods, most of which we are now eating more of than we did a century ago. For example meat, including chicken, is high in Omega 6 fats, and in particular non-grass fed beef. As our beef is now primarily grain fed the amount of Omega 6 in our beef has increased.The omega 3 omega 6 ratio

However there is also a silent supplier of Omega 6 in our diet which you may not have thought of. It’s oils, primarily the oils that find their way into so many of our processed foods. Vegetable oils are a good example.

And in particular “hydrogenated” oils. These include corn, canola and safflower oil and more, and because they are cheap they are added to many of the foods that we all regularly eat.

Now to the Omega 6 Omega 3 ratio. It’s a ratio of our intake of both fats. In the past it was about 2:1, or in other words we ate twice as much Omega 6 as Omega 3, which is pretty healthy. Some say it was 1:1.

But because of drastic changes in the American diet over the last century estimates are is now anywhere from 10:1 to 20:1 or even more. We’re eating way too much 6 and not enough 3.

You may have heard of the healthy Mediterranean diet. One of the major advantages of this type of diet is its healthy Omega 6 Omega 3 ratio.

There are serious health implications for this. Whilst 6 also has significant health benefits too much of it is not a good thing, particularly when your intake of 3 is too low.

What do you do about this? You need to reduce your ratio, both by eating less Omega 6 and by eating more Omega 3. By far the simplest and most cost effective way of increasing your intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids is taking fish oil supplements.

And the best way to reduce your intake of Omega 6 is to reduce your intake of processed foods, and when you are cooking use healthy sources of oil such as olive oil rather than vegetable oils.

Because taking fish oil supplementsĀ is only part of the good health equation.

If you follow that simple formula, eat more Omega 3 essential fatty acids and reduce your intake of Omega 6 fats you are well on your way to a much healthier lifestyle.

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Supplying Omega 3 for kids is very important. But how do you get them taking those capsules?

More and more adults are beginning to understand the importance of taking fish oil supplements containing the important essential fatty acids, known as Omega 3. Kids need Omega3 in their diet as well, however there are sometimes issues getting kids to take those capsules.

Today we want to consider consider fish oil for children, and in particular how to get kids to take fish oil capsules.

Science has clearly demonstrated over the last couple of decades that the essential fatty acids DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) are extremely important to our diet and our health and that most of us are lacking in these fatty acids because we’re eating less fish and the principal source of these fats is fish oil. Children too need more Omega3 fats in their diet.Omega 3 for kids

Evidence is showing that right from conception, and in particular in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, Omega3 fats, and in particular DHA, are extremely important for the development of the fetus, and in particular the brain.

The same applies during childhood. An essential component of the diet for young children is the essential fatty acids called Omega3. Kids develop better and do better at school with an adequate supply of Omega3 essential fatty acids in the diet according to the studies.

But supplying fish oil for children in their diet isn’t necessarily easy. When they are young they are unable to take capsules, and so we suggest opening each fish oil capsule and pouring the oil onto their food.

However at a certain age you should be teaching your kids to take fish oil capsules. Here’s some tips on how you can help your kids learn to take fish oil capsules.

It’s much easier for them to swallow capsules if they do so with a liquid to help. However a thin liquid such as water or milk is not as effective as a thicker liquid, for example a smoothie.

If you give them a big gulp of a liquid such as a smoothie this will help them swallow the capsule. It also helps if you place the capsule on the back of the tongue, lengthways so that the point is facing down the throat.

Make sure that they are sitting up straight, and they should hold their head horizontally because tipping too far forward or back narrows the throat.

There is now little doubt that all of us need Omega3, kids being no exception. Initially opening the capsules and pouring the oil on their food works fine, but at a certain age you will need to start training them to take their own fish oil pills. Try it and if it doesn’t work try it again in year or so. Eventually they’ll learn.

Follow the instructions above and you should be able to help your children learn how to take Omega3 capsules relatively effortlessly. Providing fish oil for kids is important to their general health and development, and you need to do everything to ensure that taking their Omega3 is as easy as possible.

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Plant based ALA Omega 3 fats are not an efficient source of EFAs

By now it’s highly likely that you’ve heard of the health benefits of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. But did you know that there are in fact a number of different Omega 3 fatty acids, and that some of them are better for you than others?

There’s 3 commonly recognized Omega 3 fats, though there are others. These are ALA (alpha linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

It is generally considered that DHA is the most important of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids. It is DHA which makes up a large proportion of your brain and the research shows that most of us are deficient in our DHA intake.

EPA is also important to our health, and a good Omega 3 supplement should contain both DHA and EPA. There is some debate what are the best proportions of DHA compared to EPA, but there is little debate over the fact that both should be present in good Omega 3 supplements.ala omega 3

So what about ALA Omega 3 supplements? What are these and are they worth taking?

ALA is the plant-based Omega 3 fat, whereas DHA and EPA are both found in fish. There is no ALA found in fish. Omega 3 supplements containing ALA are generally taken by vegetarians who recognize the health benefits of increasing the amount of Omega 3 fats in their diet but who don’t wish to eat any fish or anything sourced from fish such as fish oil supplements.

Flax seed oil is the most well-known of the vegetarian sources of ALA Omega 3 fats.

However gradually the research is showing that ALA Omega 3 fats are not a particularly important part of the essential fatty acid equation. The reason is that ALA is only useful to your body when your body is able to convert it into DHA and EPA. In fact ALA is what is known as a “precursor” to DHA and EPA. And unfortunately it converts very poorly.

Studies suggest that our bodies are able to convert well under 20 percent of any ALA that we consume into it’s healthier cousins, some studies suggest way less than that. The rate at which your body is able to convert ALA Omega 3 fats is dependent on your state of health, those amongst us who are healthier can convert it better, those who are less healthy can convert it less easily.

The elderly will convert ALA into DHA and EPA quite poorly.

It doesn’t make sense, if you’re seeking to improve your intake of the essential Omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA to do so by consuming plant based sources of Omega3 fats contain ALA Omega 3. And if you are a vegetarian unable to take ordinary fish oil supplementsĀ there are alternative sources manufactured directly from Micro algae which are more effective than flax seed supplements, and which are fine for vegetarians.

In answer to the question is ALA omega 3 fat good for you, the answer has to be yes. However there are much more effective and much cheaper ways to get the most important of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids into your diet.

Make sure you investigate fish oil supplements. The evidence is mounting that they may be one of the single most important things you can ever do for your health.

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Enteric coated fish oil capsules are becoming quite popular. Why?

There seems to be a consumer move to search out enteric coated fish oil capsules lately, and sales of enteric coated fish oil supplements have increased over the last few years. However many people don’t fully understand the nature of enteric coating, so we wanted to discuss exactly what eit is, and whether it is important to have enteric-coated fish oil supplements or not.

There’s no doubt about the health benefits of Omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fish oil. Health professionals now almost unanimously recommend that we all increase our intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, found primarily in fish oils, for a wide range of health reasons. Primary amongst these health reasons are that we can improve our heart and vascular health, reduce the incidence of heart disease and attract a wide range of other health benefits from taking fish oil capsules.

Many nutritional capsules come in what is called an “enteric-coating”. The concept of an enteric coating is a simple one. Many nutritional substances and vitamins are broken down by stomach acids, and therefore ingesting these nutrients in capsules which are broken down in the stomach renders the nutrients useless if they are destroyed by stomach acid.

An enteric coated capsule means that the capsule that bears the nutrients is able to pass through the stomach without being broken down and is then dissolved in the intestine. This releases the nutrients into the intestine where they are not dissolved by stomach acid.Enteric Coated Fish Oil Supplements

All of this seems to make complete sense, and therefore it is perfectly understandable, once they understand the concept of enteric coating, that customers look for enteric coated Omega3 fish oil capsules. However there is one thing that is missing from this equation.

It’s this. The Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil and delivered in Omega 3 supplements are not broken down by stomach acid. Whilst it is true that many nutrients are dissolved by stomach acid fish oils are not one of them.

In fact it is better for your health for the Omega3 essential fatty acids to be released in the stomach and digested there, rather than in the intestine.

If you see enteric-coated fish oil capsules recommended to you, it is just a marketing ploy. An enteric coating is completely unnecessary on Omega 3 supplements.

The company that makes what we consider to be the best Omega 3 supplements (see our banner at right to find out who) do not use an enteric coating on their fish oil capsules as they consider it to be entirely unnecessary for the reasons outlined. They do however utilize a proprietary enteric coating for some of their other products.

In fact they use a simple gel coating for their Omega3 products, because they want the fish oils to be absorbed in the stomach rather than the intestine.

There is however another matter to consider. There are sometimes some side effects of some brands of fish oil capsules. Once taken they can lead to “fishy burps”, or a fishy odor and after taste. However this has nothing to do with the presence or absence of any enteric coating on the capsule.

The cause of a fishy odor and after taste is generally poor quality rancid fish oils. If fish oil goes off, or goes “rancid”, it gets a fishy smell, (and also loses much of its health effectiveness.) Many of the cheaper fish oil supplements use fish oil purchased from wholesalers, much of which is old.

And some of these manufacturers of fish oil supplements will use an enteric coating so that the supplements pass through the stomach, thereby avoiding the fishy burps. However by far the best way to avoid these simple side effects is to use fish oil supplements that use fresh oil. This is also much better for your health.

So there is a simple answer to the question about whether or not you need to use enteric-coated fish oil capsules to get those all important Omega-3 fatty acids into your system. It’s entirely unnecessary, in fact it reduces the effectiveness of the fishoils, and the best fish oil supplements do not have any enteric coating. Non-coated fish oil capsules are just fine.

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