I thought it was so good that it was worth re-posting here -- its a
great article on the benefits of omega-3, which I have been writing
Written by Dr. Carrie Jones on August 17, 2009 - 8:18pm
More and more Americans are taking their fish oil and eating
cold-water fish as part of a healthy diet. Fish oil is made up of
fatty acids called EPA (eiosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic
acid) that are part of the polyunsaturated omega-3 anti-inflammatory
pathways in your body. These two fatty acids are important to cell
membranes which ultimately help heart electrical conduction and tone.
According the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is
the number one cause of death followed by cancer and accidents. It is
also highly preventable and recent research shows that taking fish oil
or eating fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, or anchovies can
help fight heart disease by reducing the risk of:
1) atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
2) arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
3) heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI)
4) sudden cardiac death
5) heart failure
Omega 3 fatty acids are made by microalgae in the ocean which are then
eaten by cold-water fish. The oil is deposited into their organs and
stored in their fat tissue. When choosing your fish oil, make sure it
is free of heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides and that the
manufacturer tests every batch for freshness. There are two forms of
fish oil: the triglyceride form and the ester form. Studies lean
towards the natural triglyceride form as being more digestible, but
the ester form is cheaper to produce.
If you puncture your fish-oil pill and it smells rancid, then you have
a bad batch. It should smell naturally like clean fish.
For the best heart benefits, take enough fish oil such that you are
receiving at least 500 milligrams of EPA and DHA. Your total omega-3
may read 1000 milligrams or more; however it's the actual EPA/DHA
numbers you add up. When choosing to eat fish as part of your healthy
diet, go for wild caught or farmed and free of dyes and chemicals.
1. Lavie, C. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Aug. 11,
2. Lawson, L.D.; Hughes, B.G. (October 1988). "Absorption of
eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid from fish oil
triacylglycerols or fish oil ethyl esters co-ingested with a high-fat
meal." Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 156 (2):
3. Beckermann, B.; Beneke, M.; Seitz, I. (June 1990). "Comparative
bioavailability of eicosapentaenoic acid and docasahexaenoic acid from
triglycerides, free fatty acids and ethyl esters in volunteers."
Arzneimittel-Forschung 40 (6): 700–704.