Do I need Omega-3? November 10 2012
There are trillions of cells in our bodies, and every single one of them has polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids in its membrane. Omega-3s are a critical component of the cell structure.
Human bodies cannot create Omega-3 fatty acids; we must obtain them from the diet, either food or supplements. That is why they are sometimes called essential fatty acids.
Should the diet and supplementation provide insufficient Omega-3 levels, the body will compensate by using other Omega acids, e.g. Omega-6, and saturated fats and other lipids to patch the cell membranes.
Omega-6 fatty acids have pro-inflammatory effect. When the body uses excessive Omega-6 in lieu of Omega-3 in the cell membranes, the natural and healthy balance between the acids shifts towards Omega-6. This puts the body into the state of constant silent inflammation.
Saturated fat molecules are straight and inflexible. When our bodies uses excessive saturated fats in lieu of Omega acids in the cell membranes, the cell membranes become rigid and inflexible. This rigidness interferes with the normal cell functioning.
The safest food source of marine Omega-3 fatty acids is wild caught salmon species. Someone who consumes 3 - 4 servings of salmon a week should not require any Omega-3 supplementation. Most other fish are high in Mercury and should not be consumed often. Shellfish is not as high in Omega-3, but it is low in mercury. This article provides analysis of safe sources of marine Omega-3.
If you are interested in taking an Omega-3 supplement, but prefer to buy elsewhere, we recommend that you look for:
- A triglyceride (TG), molecularly distilled and concentrated form of Omega-3 supplement made by a reputable company.
In addition to the TG form, molecular distillation and concentration, look for the following quality criteria in the product:
- Freshness. Fresh fish oil does not cause fishy after-taste (“fish burps”)
- Manufactured according with the cGMP – current Good Manufacturing Practices prescribed by the Code of Federal Regulations and Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act
- The manufacturer is explicit about the cleanness of their Omega-3 fish oil from heavy metals and environmental toxins (PCBs, dioxins, and furans).