Are the Omega 3 Fatty Acids in my Diet Enough?

oilsThere is a lot of confusion surrounding this topic, so I thought I would provide a summary of the latest research on why supplementation is now being viewed as critical.

Q: What is an EFA

A: An EFA is an essential fatty acid, essential meaning that the body does not manufacture it and it has to be obtained from the diet.

The only 2 essential fatty acids are LA (Omega 6 linoleic acid) which is found in foods such as corn, safflower, soybean and sunflower oils and ALA (omega 3 alpha linolenic acid) which is found in flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, canola and chia seeds.

EPA and DHA are the fatty acids that have the majority of health benefits, but they are actually not considered essential as they can be converted in the body from ALA. EPA and DHA are found in fish, fish oil, algae and krill oil.

I eat fish a couple of times a week, is that enough?

One would have to consume 4 servings of salmon per week, or 52 servings of lean fish such as cod to get 1g of EPA and DHA.

Is 4 servings of Salmon per week Okay to Consume?

This is the unfortunate part of our food chain. Due to pollution farmed salmon has the highest level of PCB in the diet and fish in general are high in mercury. PCB have carcinogenic properties, and have also been linked to hormonal imbalances and immune imbalances. In fact, farmed salmon has been reported by some to be the most toxic food you can eat. The only salmon that is recommended to eat is wild atlantic salmon as it has the lowest toxicity panel

I eat Flaxseeds every day, is that enough?

It has been shown that the conversion in the body of ALA in flaxseed to EPA and DHA is extremely low. This can be due to the amount of omega 6 we are eating in the diet which impedes the conversion, or things like age, low micronutrients (zinc, bvitamins) in the diet, and genetics. Studies are showing that even a diet rich in these ALA containing foods will not convert to high enough levels of EPA and DHA that are needed for disease prevention.

What Should I Do?

Due to the broad spectrum health benefits of EPA and DHA (like cardiovascular health, prevention of neurological diseases, brain function, and blood sugar management) and the fact that our food chain has been altered, it has been recommended that people obtain therapeutic levels through supplementation.

Safe supplementation of EPA and DHA can be 3g/day. Anything higher than that should be supervised by a health care practitioner

Algae sourced fish oils can provide a great alternative for vegetarians

What Should I Look for?

Fish oils are one of those supplements that you want to make sure you are taking the highest quality. Because of the heavy metal and PCB contamination of our fish, we need to make sure that we are taking a supplement that has been properly manufactured.

Because we love you, we have put all of our fish oils on sale this month. We only use fish oils that have been third party tested for impurities, making sure that you get the highest quality of fish oil supplements available. Other clean brands include nutrasea, and carlsons.

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