To Your Health
June, 2013 (Vol. 07, Issue 06)
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Fishing For Fish Oil

By Tina Beaudoin, ND

How many times a week do you eat fish? Unfortunately, we do not eat enough fish in my house. One study found that modest fish consumption (1-2 serving per week) reduced the risk of fatal heart attacks by 36%.

Fish oil supplementation is an easy way to get some of the health benefits associated with regular fish consumption. DHA and EPA are the omega-3 fatty acids in the spotlight when it comes to health benefits. One of the central benefits of omega-3's is that they support healthy inflammatory responses. Arthritis, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease are some of the common diseases associated with chronic inflammation.

Many people are looking for additional ways to avoid illness and increase wellness. Unfortunately, our world is a bit more complicated now. Our oceans and waterways are more contaminated than they were 100 years ago. Eating fish can be a significant source of dietary heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). When it comes to fish oil, it would be unwise to make your selection solely on which one is cheapest and the least fishy. Contamination of fish oil supplements has been in and out of the news over the past decade. You want to be sure to purchase your fish oil from companies that carefully remove toxins without leaving behind harmful solvents and residues.

Another important consideration when selecting a fish oil supplement is dosage. You wouldn't take a sip of water and expect all the benefits that come with being well hydrated. There is significant variation in the amount of milligrams of EPA and DHA that you find in stores. A good rule to follow when seeking the benefits of fish oil is to make sure there are 1,000 milligrams combined of EPA and DHA per serving. Don't be fooled! There are many products that advertise 1,000 mg on the front of the bottle but when you read the label you will find that it has only 100 milligrams of EPA and DHA. When it comes to fish oil, you really are getting what you pay for. Be sure to read labels and purchase products free of contaminants.


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