Correcting the Omega-3 Deficiency

March 31st, 2014 · No Comments · Disease Prevention, Heart Health

This is a guest blog from Nordic Naturals.  We are happy to have such an informative blog from a company so well known for quality fish oils! Thank you Nordic Naturals!

“Brain and heart disorders resulting from long-chain omega-3 EPA and DHA deficiency are the biggest challenge to the future of humanity”

            -Global Summit on Nutrition Health and Human Behaviour

The quote above indicates the severe consequences a deficiency in omega-3 EPA and DHA will present to the world — both in the short and long term future.  EPA and DHA are the two most critical omega-3 fats required for neurological development and performance, cardiovascular function, and cellular communication.  Just like our bodies starve without vitamin C and develop scurvy, much of the developed world is starving without omega-3s. This poses a serious threat to our health and the generations that will follow.

Essential fatty acids have been shown to positively impact children in a whole host of ways. Unfortunately, recent research has also shown that only 22% of children get adequate amounts of these essential fatty acids. Along with a healthy diet that includes fish and fresh green leafy vegetables, supplementing with a premium fish oil product is the best way to ensure that families begin to reverse this trend.

Essential fatty acids have been shown to positively impact children in a whole host of ways. Unfortunately, recent research has also shown that only 22% of children get adequate amounts of these essential fatty acids. Along with a healthy diet that includes fish and fresh green leafy vegetables, supplementing with a premium fish oil product is the best way to ensure that families begin to reverse this trend.

Consider first that our brains are largely made of fat.  DHA is a structural fat that comprises nearly 30% of the fat in the brain – but it must be consumed through the diet, we cannot make it ourselves.  If we don’t consume enough DHA in utero, throughout infancy and beyond, our brains are not given the components they require to function.

In fact, EPA and DHA are found in nearly every cell of the body.  Without enough omega-3s in our cells, they become inflamed, impacted, rigid and stiff – which can compromise communication and overall function.

Each and every one of the 60-100 trillion cells in your body is surrounded by a soft and pliable membrane, which protects the cell’s contents, and enables cells to communicate with one another.  These membranes require fat to keep them flexible and functioning properly.  These fats are omega-3s and omega-6s— which are not made in our bodies, so we must consume them in our diet.  However, the typical American diet includes a staggering amount of omega-6 fats and only a scant supply of omega-3 fats.

An imbalance of these two essential fats means the 60-100 trillion cells in your body are continuously receiving pro-inflammatory messages, which come from omega-6 fats, and insufficient anti-inflammatory messages, which come from omega-3 fats.  This disproportionate amount of omega-6 to omega-3 in the cells cascades into chronic inflammation, which can lead to many diseases and disorders we now view as commonplace.

Correcting the omega-3 deficiency requires an understanding of the battle omega-3s and omega-6 fats fight, as they compete with one another for metabolic pathways and space in our cell membranes.  Having such opposite effects in our bodies, it’s vital to consume them in balance.

Clinically shown to support heart health, and the body's natural anti-inflammatory response.

Clinically shown to support heart health, and the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response.

So how do you find the balance, and correct your omega-3 deficiency?  Nix the 6 and eat the 3.   Reducing the amount of omega-6 is trickier than one might expect; luckily, there’s a guide. Visit www.fastlearner.org!  There you can view an exhaustive list of nearly every available food’s omega-3/6 ‘balance score.’  When you tally up the foods you eat in a day based on their scores, you can see which omega is winning the battle.  Reducing the amount of omega-6 foods means your body will be able to incorporate more omega-3 into its cells.  The goal of the balance scores is to get a positive number, which means you are consuming more omega-3 than omega-6 in a given day.

While plant-based omega-3s such as those found in flax and chia are beneficial, they are not the same as consuming preformed omega-3 EPA and DHA, which are the two most critical omega-3 fats to human health.  For this reason, it is vital to intentionally consume EPA and DHA through fish, fish oil or algae oil.

The American Heart Association recommends 1 gram of omega-3 EPA and DHA combined through either oily fish consumption (such as anchovies and sardines) or fish oil supplementation for anyone with a history of heart disease.  Considering that most of us have some family history, most of us fall into this category.

While the bare minimum reference intake of omega-3 is around 500 mg, many experts now agree that a 3000 mg dose is required by most to stem the tide of inflammation most of us are experiencing constantly, and begin seeing the powerful benefits of omega-3s, such as:

–          Supporting healthy blood vessel function and circulation

–          Promoting metabolism of dietary fat and cholesterol

–          Supporting a healthy heart rhythm

–          Promoting healthy triglyceride levels

–          Supporting healthy brain and cardiovascular function

–          Promoting positive mood and well-being

–          Supporting focus, attention, memory, and learning

–          Promoting joint mobility and flexibility

–          Nourishing hair, skin, and nails

–          Protecting against free radicals

How much omega 3 is enough from Nordic Naturals

For this reason, Nordic Naturals’ Ultimate Omega has become the number one fish oil in the U.S.; not only does one dose of two soft gels reach the 1 gram EPA/DHA intake recommended by the AHA, it is also a delicious and fresh way to enjoy your omega-3s without fear of aftertaste or repeat, one of the major impediments to compliance.  Our patented oxygen-free processing and strident purity standards have earned us this place of honor.

This is what drives us as a company – our commitment to correcting the omega-3 deficiency allows us to give each generation what they need to grow healthy and strong.

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