Why is Fish Oil Good for the Heart?

It’s Heart Health month again; a time when many become more conscious of how they live and what changes can be made to promote a longer, healthier life. While there are no Band-Aid fixes or magic pills to give you a strong heart, there are many ways you can take control of your health. One such factor that has been under heavy research over the last decade is Omega 3 fatty acids, specifically in the form of fish oil.

What is Omega 3?
Omega 3 is considered an Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) because it cannot be manufactured inside your body. It must be consumed in your diet on a regular basis.

Two derivatives of the Omega 3 chain are DHA and EPA, which are of particular importance for heart health. Your body can either convert Omega 3 into these chains or they can be consumed already converted and ready to be used.

How does it help my heart?
DHA and EPA have been shown to benefit heart health by lowering blood cholesterol[1], reducing the progression of cardiovascular disease including sudden cardiac death[2], inhibiting atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries)2, and reduce inflammation2.

What about Omega 6?
Omega 6 is another essential fat, but is typically over-consumed in the North American diet. It is estimated that that our diet should contain equal parts of Omega 3 and Omega 6. The average North American consumes 20 to 50 times more Omega 6[3]. While it is important to good health, an Omega 6 to Omega 3 imbalance can actually increase the risk of inflammation, cardiovascular conditions, arthritis, obesity and other problems3.

Where can I get Omega 3?
Omega 3 fats can be consumed from a number of sources, including plant and fish. Plant sources include leafy vegetables, walnuts, soybeans, flaxseed and vegetable oils. The problem with plant-based Omega 3 is that the body must convert it to DHA and EPA (inefficiently). For non-vegetarians, it’s estimated that only 0.1 to 10% of plant Omega 3 is successfully converted[4].

The best sources of dietary EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel.  This is because the fish have already done the necessary conversion for you.

Is food enough?
After giving consideration to the body’s limited ability (in non-vegetarians) to convert plant-based Omega 3 into the heart helpful EPA and DHA, the best choice is fish. However, fish is not always convenient to prepare and not everyone enjoys the taste. As well, with the increasing levels of mercury, PCBs and Dioxin, you need to limit your intake.

How do I choose a good Fish Oil supplement?
A good solution to meet your Omega 3 needs is to add a high quality fish oil supplement to your daily regime. Here are a few things to look for when considering different brands.

Pure:
Look for a fish oil made from a blend of small, cold water fish like sardine, anchovy and mackerel.  Because they have spent less time in the water, they have accumulated fewer toxins. As well, make sure it has been Molecularly Distilled to remove any contaminants.

High Potency:
Liquid fish oils can vary in their potency of DHA and EPA contained within the full serving. Progressive OmegEssential is a high potency fish oil, providing 1,000mg of EPA and 550mg of DHA in a balanced 2:1 ratio.

Third Party Tested:
It’s important to choose a fish oil product that has been third party tested to guarantee it is completely pure and possesses the promised potency.

Every batch of OmegEssential is approved and certified by IFOS. IFOS (International Fish Oil Standards) is an international program for verifying the purity and potency of fish oil products.

Sustainable:
Selecting fish from a sustainable population is a top priority. Environmentally conscious fisheries follow and enforce the principles of protecting the eco-system, preserving bio-diversity and sustaining marine resources.

OmegEssential is from fish caught off the coast of Peru, where their fishing methods follow the FAO code of conduct for responsible fishing and leave the seabed undisturbed.

Antioxidant Protection:
As soon as fish oil touches the air, it begins to oxidize and lose its health benefits. Look for antioxidants like Grape Seed Oil, Vitamin E and Green Tea Extract protect the oil and ensure its purity and potency after opening.

Support Nutrients:
While fish oil is a valuable supporter of your health, it still requires processing by your liver and gall bladder.

OmegEssential contains Almond Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon Oil to naturally support these organs, improving your body’s ability to assimilate essential fatty acids and receive maximum benefit without putting you out of balance.

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[1] Connor WE. The importance of n-3 fatty acids in health and disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(1 Suppl):171S-5S.
[2] von Schacky C. n-3 Fatty acids and the prevention of coronary atherosclerosis. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(1 Suppl):224S-7S.
[3] Simopoulos AP, Cleland LG. World Rev Nutr Diet. Basel, Karger 2003;92:1-22.
[4] Hussein, N, et all. J. Lipid. Res. 2005;46:269-280.