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Posted on 02-03-2017

Why Fish Oil is of Vital Importance

Dr. Adam Mootz

While many elements of diet and what we should/should not consume in what proportions is still being constantly debated and researched, one thing almost all healthcare professionals agree on is that most people should be on a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids.

Fish oil, a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, probably has been recommended to you at some point or another, but what makes this nutrient so vitally important that we should be taking it every day?

First, an important note about fats.  We often see and pick out items that are “fat free” and think these items are healthy, and while some fats, such as trans fats, are unhealthy and should be avoided, other fats are vital to life itself.  In fact, every single cell in our body utilizes fats, including our cell membrane which houses the rest of our cell’s contents.  Other functions include being essential for growth and development and proper functioning of your brain and nervous system, being a source of energy, as well as containing fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Humans can make most of our fats that the body needs from other fats and raw materials.  This is not so for Omega 3 fatty acids.  They are what we call an “essential fatty acid.”  The only way for our body to get them and use them is through our diet! They are commonly found in foods such as fish, nuts, flaxseeds and flax oil and leafy vegetables.

Besides all of the benefits listed above, Omega 3’s provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Because of these great benefits, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control auto-immune and inflammatory disorders, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.  With heart disease and cancer being the number one and number two killers in America, it stands to reason that fish oil could potentially be an important piece to reduce your risk of those diseases.

Lastly, not all fish oils are created equal!  Fish oil is very sensitive to light, oxygen and heat. If exposed to any of these elements during processing, fish oil becomes rancid and is no longer a benefit and in some cases could cause increased inflammation.  It is better to take a smaller amount of a high quality fish oil rather than a high quantity of a cheap low grade fish oil.  Ask your doctor for a reputable company or try to find what’s called a third party GMP certified product.  This means that the company paid for an independent agency to test its product for quality (This process costs money which usually makes the product a little more expensive).

I hope this information helps and we can all have a better understanding of why fish oil has been such a hot topic!  If you have any questions about fish oil or other health questions feel free to let us know!

May this New Year be the start of a new and healthier you!

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