Will Omega-3 Fatty Acids Make You Healthier?
However, both tend to believe in the positive health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Most health care practitioners in all disciplines are recommending patients consume more cold water fish or take the best fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are creating quite a bit of media buzz in regards to the tremendous health benefits of omega-3. There are so many different types of omega-3; how does one decide what type to purchase and consume? What is the best omega-3 fatty acid on the market? Fish oil, krill oil, flax seed oil and squid oil all claim to be the best omega-3 available. All of the different sources of omega-3 can be quite confusing to the consumer as well as the physician. Which omega-3 oils have been studied the most? Where and whom do you trust when purchasing your omega-3 fatty acids?
Clearing up the confusion surrounding omega-3 fish oils
Recent negative publicity and a class action law suit against many of the omega-3 producers in March 2010 alluded to the fact that many of the fish oils being purchased over the counter at the local vitamin shops, drug stores and commercial warehouse clubs were contaminated with unacceptable amounts of PCB, a persistent organic pollutant banned in 1979 but still present in ocean waters. Around the same time, Whole Foods Markets discontinued all krill supplements sold in their stores for sustainability concerns. In 2013 an analysis of a prostate study tried to link prostste cancer to omega 3 without any merrit. The authors tried to say that since the patients with prostate cancer had higher omega 3 levels in their blood there must be a cuase and effect. a much more plausible reason for the elevated omega 3 in their blood was the patients with prostate cancer were taking more omega 3 than the healthy control group. People with any sickness tend to take more supplements . Then in November of 2013 a new study came out concluding omega 3 fish oil is good for prostate cancer patients. This New Study reveals that men suffering from prostate cancer who took fish oil supplements alongside a low-fat diet demonstrated changes in their cancer tissue that may indicate reduced cancer aggression. CCP scores were significantly lower in the prostae cancer men who were on a low fat fish oil diet. Lowering of CCP score may help prevent prostate cancer from being more agressive. This recent controversy in omega-3 has really created a lot of confusion surrounding omega-3.
Fish oil, cardiovascular disease and fatal heart attack
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are crucial for life and essential for optimal health. Demographic studies indicate that populations that consume more fresh fish are less prone to a variety of health conditions. Populations that consume higher than normal levels of cold water fish have less cardiovascular disease and are less likely to have a fatal heart attack.. The Inuit Indians of Greenland are an example of a particular culture that consumes a lot of fatty fish and has a very low rate of heart disease.
Sources of omega-3
The majority of large clinical studies that have documented the positive health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have utilized fish or fish oil consumption. There is a multitude of positive studies supporting the benficial health aspects of a higher consuption of omega-3 from fish oil or fish. The FDA has given a “qualified health claim” for omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) stating “supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” The medical community has readily embraced these positive health benefits and is prescribing and recommending fish oil supplements to their patients. The increased public awareness regarding omega 3 fish oil has created an omega 3 explosion . Consumers that are in tune with prevention and wellness are becoming proactive in their health and practicing prevention by consuming more fish or purchasing good fish oil supplements from the drug store , health food store or internet. However, one must be careful with consuming too much fish because of the potential contaminants that are in particular types of fish. With all of the contamination in the oceans it is becoming more and more difficult to recommend consuming large amounts of fish. I do however still recommend patients to try to consume sardines or wild Alaskan salmon two to three times per week. I do not recommend eating any farm raised salmon due to the high contaminant level, synthetic dye and higher omega-6 content when compared to wild Alaskan salmon. I am also somewhat reluctant to personally consume fish from the Gulf of Mexico since the BP oil spill.
Triglyceride form fish oil versus ethyl ester fish oil – which is better?
Omega-3 fish oil has two available forms, ethyl ester fish oil and triglyceride form fish oil. I recommend purchasing the triglyceride form fish oil over the ethyl ester version of omega-3 fish oil for a variety of reasons. The ethyl ester form of fish oil is highly unstable and therefore it can oxidize and become rancid quicker than the triglyceride form of fish oil. Many of the ethyl ester fish oils may become rancid before you purchase them. This is one of the reasons many people get a nasty aftertaste or have problems burping up an unpleasant fish taste from the ethyl ester form of fish oil. Studies also indicate that the triglyceride form omega-3 fish oil absorbs much faster and more efficiently therefore increasing bio availability. Most fish oil that is being sold OTC or as a prescription in the United States is the ethyl ester version because it is significantly less expensive to manufacture. The final phase in the purification of a triglyceride form of fish oil requires the ethyl ester molecule to be cleaved off and replaced with a triglyceride molecule, thus making it a more natural omega-3 fish oil than the ethyl ester version. The triglyceride form of omega-3 fish oils are extremely pure and concentrated making them the ideal choice for consumers. If you do not know if your fish oil is an ethyl ester version or triglyceride version then call the customer service department on the back of the bottle. You can also squeeze the contents of your fish oil into a Styrofoam cup and watch for the chemical reaction. If the cup begins to dissolve after 10 to 20 minutes, then you have an ethyl ester form. However, some fish oils with very low concentrations of ethyl ester fish oil may not dissolve the cup. When shopping for a good triglyceride form fish oil look for high levels of EPA and DHA. I recommend finding an omega-3 fish oil supplement that has an EPA between 400-450 per gel cap and a DHA around 250-300 per gel cap. These are the levels I have studied using the latest in omega-3 blood testing and have found that the consumption of two gel caps a day of this concentration can increase your omega index to a desirable level over 8%. This omega-3 index measures the concentration of EPA and DHA as a percent of total essential fatty acids in the red blood cell membranes. Recent research is proving that the desirable level for cardio protection is an omega index over 8%. This research claims that levels greater than 8% correlate with a 90% reduction in the potential for a fatal heart attack. The vast majority of Americans have an omega index closer to 4%.
Are all omega-3 fatty acids essentially the same?
My research team and I have tested a variety of omega-3 oils from flax, krill and ethyl ester fish oils and have not found nearly the improvements in the omega index with these other types of omega-3 fatty acids. So all omega-3 supplements are not created equal! Most of the inferior brands of fish oil will be relatively inexpensive. A highly refined and purified triglyceride form omega-3 fish oil will cost between $25-$45 for a one month supply. I recommend investing in your health and spending a little extra money when purchasing a fish oil supplement. If you want the best omega-3 fish oil, purchase only the triglyceride form of fish oil. This form of fish oil is actually cheaper becuase to get to a true therapeutic level on the omega index you will need to take much less capsules than the ethyl ester form.
What are the health benefits of omega-3 fish oil?
Some of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are a reduction in the risk of heart attack or stroke, and a reduction in the possibility of hypertension, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and joint pain from arthritis. Improved circulation to the brain and the entire body is also one of the benefits of omega-3 consumption. Omega-3 fatty acids may slow down chromosomal aging by slowing down the rate at which the telomere (the end cap of a chromosome) shortens. Omega-3 is a very potent natural anti-inflammatory and may help with a variety of inflammatory conditions in the body. Many people notice improved health of their skin, nails and hair after consuming a good omega-3 supplement. Omega-3 consumption is proving to be helpful in patients with dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction and macular degeneration. The treatment of elevated triglycerides is a potential benefit of consuming a good omega-3 fish oil. Taking a good triglyceride form omega-3 fish oil on a daily basis is one step in prevention that everyone at any age should be taking. Another recent study suggests that an increase in omega-3 fish oil may decrease prevalence of breast cancer, prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s.
How do you choose between fish, squid, krill or flax seed oil?
Earlier in the article I stated, “All omega-3s are not created equal.” This is so true. You hear commercials, you see ads in magazines and on the Internet, and you watch talk show hosts on television. They are all promoting their particular omega-3 products, while authoritatively stating that what they offer is “the best on the market”.How do you figure out what is real and what is marketing hype? I think all omega-3 experts will agree that the most bio available form of omega-3 comes from marine sources like fish, squid or krill. Plant based omega-3 is not a good absorbable source of the two most important essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. Flax seed oil is very unstable and therefore it oxidizes very quickly. Flax seed oil ay be rancid before it even gets to the store shelf. Chia, hemp, perilla and marine plant life may be a better plant source of omega-3 fatty acids than flax seed oil. Populations consume omega 3 fatty acids from a variety of different sources based on their culture, religion and geogrphic location. A vegan will only want to consume omega 3 fatty acids from a vegetable source. People with allergies to shellfish will want to stay away from krill oil . This is because the proteins and antigens are not refined out of the krill oil. I think krill has a future as a good alternative to omega-3 fish oil, however, the concentration of krill in most supplements is still relatively low and quite expensive. Krill does have phospholipids which improve the absorption of the omega-3 and a small amount of astaxanthin (the super carotenoid) naturally in the oil. Once krill oil becomes more concentrated and refined I may change my mind regarding the consumption of krill oil. It seems at this time the majority of krill oil contains very small amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. The krill oils we have tested have shown very limited improvement in the omega-3 index and other omega blood studies we have been analyzing. Krill oil studies are very limited at this time and therefore it is very difficult to determine the potential positive or negative impact krill may have. Good quality omega-3 concentrated triglyceride fish oil will have an omega-3 content of approximately 1500-1600 mg per serving combined EPA, DHA and DPA. Many omega-3 experts are concerned krill may become over fished in the Antarctic region and this could hurt the ecological system. This is why Whole Foods pulled all krill off the shelves in early 2010.
Get good quality highly refined triglyceride form fish oil
I think squid oil (calamari) has a potential bright future in the omega-3 market but currently I do not recommend it since it is still an ethyl ester form oil. However, once squid oil is available in the triglyceride form it will be a good alternative to TG form fish oil. There is a class action suit that was initiated in early 2010 claiming many of the ethyl ester fish oils that are purchased over the counter at the local drug store, warehouse club or vitamin store were filled with higher than acceptable levels of contaminants, especially PCBs. Consumers must be careful when purchasing fish oil from a local store or on the Internet unless you know what you are getting. Ethel ester fish oils turn rancid very quickly and may taste and smell bad due to this fast rate of oxidation. These oils have a much poorer rate of absorption than triglyceride form fish oil and may have higher than the acceptable levels of contaminants in the oil. So spend a little extra money and get a good quality highly refined triglyceride form fish oil and start to gain the positive health benefits of omega-3 essential fatty acids from a good fish oil. When looking at the label make sure it states triglyceride form or TG form fish oil on the bottle. If it doesn’t say it, it probably isn’t a triglyceride form.
Creating the highest quality omega-3 fish oil possible
I became quite frustrated when trying to recommend a good fish oil to my patients due to the the lack of good quality omega-3 fish oils available over the counter, so I decided to develop an extremely high quality omega-3 fish oil. Years of research and a trip to the most advanced omega-3 factories in the world in Norway led to the development of Fortifeye Super Omega, a highly refined, concentrated, triple molecularly distilled triglyceride form fish oil with an EPA of almost 900 and a DHA of almost 600 in two capsules. This omega-3 fish oil is designed to be swallowed or chewed. Fortifeye Super Omega has a great taste and no odor or burp back. This is a great fish oil for patients that have difficulty swallowing or vegetarians that do not want to swallow the gelatin outer capsule. This highest quality fish oil is independently evaluated to be free of any contaminants. Fortifeye Vitamins has done multiple blood tests proving the superior bio availability and absorption properties. The omega-3 index rises significantly at two weeks and almost 100% of participants in the studies had an omega index over 8% after one month while taking two capsules daily. Studies suggest that an omega index greater than 8% correlates with a 90% reduction in the possibility of a fatal heart attack. Doctors all over the world are recommending Fortifeye Super Omega and thousands of people world wide are enjoying the positive health benefits of this higher quality fish oil. Fortifeye Super Omega is concentrated and refined by one of the most experienced teams in Ålesund, Norway. If you want the very best fish oil, then consider taking Fortifeye Super Omega. You can purchase this highly concentrated and extremely pure omega-3 fish oil at www.fortifeye.com or by calling toll free at 1 866 503-9746. Do it today. Take a step into the right direction of prevention and become proactive in your health. If you aren’t sure if your omega-3 supplement is really helping you or just wasting your money ask your physician to run an omega-3 blood test. You can learn more about the new at-home omega-3 blood test at www.fortifeye.com. This at-home blood test is a simple and painless way to determine what your omega values are, and it’s a great tool to helping you become healthier.
Compare the omega-3 profile of this highly purified and concentrated fish oil to anything on the market and you will see why more and more doctors and patients are switching to Fortifeye Super Omega.
Dr. Michael P. Lange
Board Certified Optometric Physician
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Syndicated Daily Talk Show Host (Ask the Doctor)
CEO and founder of Lange Eye Care and Associates
CEO and founder of the Lange Eye Institute
CEO of Lange Sun and Nutrition Centers
Author: Dr. Michael Lange, Ocala, Florida, Optometric Physician and Certified Nutrition Specialist is involved in multiple nutrition, bio availability and absorption studies. Dr Lange’s nine eye care wellness centers, Lange Eye Care and Associates, utilize the latest in omega three nutrition to help their patients on a daily basis. Dr. Michael Lange and the Lange Eye Care team use specific intracellular and plasma blood tests in a clinical setting to help determine what levels of specific nutrients are right for their patients. Dr Lange preaches the power of proper nutrition, exercise and life style changes daily on his radio talk show “Ask The Doctor“, to his patients in clinical rotations, the public at seminars and to doctors from all over the world at conferences. Dr Lange reaches out to many others via the Internet in forums and through numerous articles he has authored. Learn more about Dr. Lange and view his fish oil comparison demonstration at www.DrMichaelLange.com.