Omega 3 Fish Oils and Cholesterol

DHA Omega 3

The best source of DHA omega 3 is fish oil. Fish oil is an important dietary supplement. The human body does not produce omega 3 fatty acids, so they must be obtained from the diet.

Most people do not consume enough fish to meet the body’s omega 3 requirements. Plant sources of omega 3s are called ALA and must be converted to DHA. This conversion is not always efficient; thus, fish oil, because of its naturally high DHA omega 3 content, is recommended by natural health experts as the best possible choice to obtain important DHA and EPA omega 3 fatty acids.

The brain probably has the largest omega 3 requirements for optimum performance. About one third of the brain’s mass is DHA omega 3. The concentration of DHA in the brain is higher than in other organ of the body. Low levels of DHA omega 3 has been linked to neurological conditions like depression and attention deficit disorder. High quality purified pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplements meet the brains omega 3 requirements.

DHA helps nourish the brain, allowing it to rebuild and maintain its health.

Another organ that is benefited by fish oil supplementation is the heart. Doctors and scientists believe that EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids, both of which are found in fish oil, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. There is much clinical research supporting this belief.

Daily supplements of EPA and DHA omega 3 may ensure normal heart and blood flow. These fatty acids also help to reduce the build up of the bad fatty acids (omega 6) on the walls of the arteries. Too much of this build up blocks the flow of blood to the brain and heart and may lead to stroke and heart attack.

Exact omega 3 requirements are unknown, but the Food and Drug Administration, which usually has very little to say about health supplements other than basic vitamins and minerals, recognizes a reduced risk of heart disease as a “qualified” health claim and recommends omega 3 fatty acid intake.

Some doctors maintain that DHA omega 3 requirements are much higher and recommend dosages as high as 4-5 grams per day, although to us this seems excessive.

Lower dosages are recommended for children.

If the fish oil is purified or pharmaceutical grade, there should be no side effects related to the higher dosage other than a fishy aftertaste and diarrhea in a few people. The fishy aftertaste can be avoided by taking the supplement with food or juice. Anyone experiencing diarrhea should reduce the dosage.

One concern with high dose fish oils to be cautious of is its ability to act as a blood thinner. In itself this is not a bad thing per se, and can actually be beneficial. But if you are already on other blood thinners (like aspirin) the combination of too many blood thinners can lead to negative consequences. So talk to your doctor before using fish oils if you are already using blood thinners.