QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Most frequent Omega-3 questions and answers
Your body needs certain polyunsaturated fats known as EFAs. However, your body cannot produce them naturally, so you need to get them from another source, such as food or supplements.
EFAs come in two categories: Omega 3 and Omega 6. These two types of fatty acids need to be consumed in balanced proportions to achieve optimal eicosanoids production.
Eicosanoids are compounds resembling hormones, and they affect almost all your bodily systems, including blood pressure, pain regulation, inflammation levels, cholesterol, and nerve signal transmission. Modern diets and food production have led to a situation in which there is very little Omega 3 in our foods, whereas there is an abundance of Omega 6.
This imbalance is the case even in the healthiest diets, and decades of scientific research indicate that the situation can lead to various chronic health issues. The most crucial Omega 3 fatty acids that we lack are Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA).
Eating fish will provide you with the most significant source of DHA and EPA. However, not many people eat fish in sufficient quantities to get the recommended daily dosage of these healthy fatty acids. Even if you consume fish regularly, it is unlikely that you’ll be getting enough DHA or EPA. The reason is that much of the fish you eat is farmed and lacks the exact quantities of DHA and EPA that wild fish have. Another reason for people consuming enough DHA and EPA comes down to lifestyle choices. They believe that many fishing grounds have become contaminated with PCBs, mercury, and other toxins, making their way into the food chain.
Therefore, they avoid eating fish, so they lose out on consuming many healthy fatty acids.
Other factors that contribute to the consumption of EPA include poor absorption due to age, diet, or alcohol consumption. Inadequate intake of specific vitamins or taking certain prescription drugs can negatively impact the absorption of EPA. The same can be said of diets high in saturated or trans fats, such as those found in processed foods.
There are certain types of foods that are rich in healthy fatty acids. These include:
- Fish and seafood – cod, mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna
- Nuts and seeds – flax seeds, walnuts
- Plant oils – soya oil, canola oil.
As previously mentioned, many people find it challenging to eat fish and seafood because they are concerned about mercury and toxin levels. Prosana immune-supporting cod liver oil is toxin-free. Therefore, you can enjoy the benefits without any concerns over toxicity.
We can guarantee our cod liver oil’s purity and freshness. All of our oil passes third-party testing according to strict international purity and freshness criteria.
The most significant difference between Omega 3 capsules and liquid cod liver oil is how the oil gets extracted. Liquid cod liver oil is produced from fresh cod livers. Omega 3 capsules have their oil extracted by squeezing anchovies, sardines, and other small fish.
The two also differ in what they contain. Cod liver oil contains natural vitamins A and D. However, these must be added to oil squeezed from small fish. Both cod liver oil and Omega 3 capsules contain the healthy fatty acids DHA and EPA.
Various bodily functions use both Omega 6 and Omega 3. The issue is that although it has an abundant supply of Omega 6, your body struggles to get adequate Omega 3. Therefore, an imbalance exists between the two, which can have adverse side effects.
As both Omega 3 and 6 use the same receptors, having a glut of Omega 6 means there is less capacity for the uptake of Omega 3. You can address this imbalance through a daily dose of Omega 3 from other sources.
Over the past century or so, Western eating habits have changed considerably. These dietary changes have altered the ratio between Omega 6 and Omega 3. The imbalance between the two contributes to poor nutrition and more common occurrences of chronic diseases.
To address the ratio imbalance, you can increase your intake of Omega 3 through fish and fish oils, or Omega 3 alpha-linolenic acids (ALAs) found in fruit and vegetables. You can also decrease your Omega 6 linoleic acids (LAs) intake by cutting back on meat, eggs, and dairy products.
The blood test results will inform you what the ratio is between your Omega 6 and Omega 3 levels. The percentage of Omega 3 in red blood cells is referred to as the Omega 3 Index. This index relates to the risk of cardiovascular disease and your aging rate.
Although these two key biomarkers seldom get tested, they are crucial for good metabolism. Blood tests are also helpful if you have been consuming fish oil for a reasonable time and want to find out what effects it has had.
Unless your doctor has recommended otherwise, you should not exceed the recommended daily dosage, particularly vitamins A, D, and E. However, it is generally harmless to take more than the recommended dose, but repeatedly doing so has adverse effects.
It is not only okay to take other supplements with cod liver oil; doing so will give you more significant benefits from the others. That’s because consuming Omega 3 improves the permeability of your cells’ membranes. Therefore, you can take in more nutrients. If you have a low Omega 3 index, your ability to absorb nutrients is degraded.
There are various Omega fatty acids, including ALA, DHA, EPA, and LC MUFA.
Each type plays a different role in your health and well-being.
- Consuming ALA helps you to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. DHA and EPA are what are known as long-chain fatty acids. They play a crucial role in protecting your heart and blood vessels and also help to keep inflammation at bay.
- DHA is the most crucial fatty acid, and it can be found in your brain. Critical functions that DHA helps with include those in the retina and other body parts. An excellent source of DHA includes fish and fish oils. Norway’s Directorate of Health recommendations states that you should be eating 2-3 times per week. However, many people cannot meet these criteria, so they use Omega 3 supplements to maintain their recommended dosage of DHA. Consuming DHA is particularly crucial for pregnant women and newborn children as it helps with brain development.
- EPA is responsible for forming eicosanoids which are signaling molecules. These molecules help regulate your blood pressure and boost your immune system. EPA can only be found in ocean-living fish. Arctic cod are the only fish species that provide you with a source of LC MUFA.
- Although scientific studies into the benefits of LC MUFA are in embryonic stages and need further research, initial signs are positive. These studies indicate that LC MUFA can be beneficial in combating lifestyle illnesses and diseases such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It also helps boost cardiovascular protection and assists in maintaining its normal function.