- Reduce occurence of heart attacks
- Improve circulation
- decrease arterial clotting
- reduce inflammation in the body
- reduce joint pain
- boost immune system
- increase brain function
- improve insulin resistance
- lower blood sugar
- Lower triglycerides
- improve cholesterol profile
- reduce stress hormones
- burn fat
- build Lean muscle
- improve muscle glycogen uptake
- decrease constipation
- improve skin, hair and nails
- lessen symptoms of many chronic disease processes
Oh, yes, there is, and it's called omega 3 essential fatty acids. In fact, this is one of the easiest, quickest ways to see a marked improvement in overall health, on many different fronts.
The reason Omega 3's are called Essential Fatty Acids are because they are essential to major functions and processes in the body, and they must be ingested. Your body cannot manufacture or convert Omega 3 fatty acids from other substances found in the body.
You see, we used to have Omega 3's in many of the foods we ate daily, but as we began feeding the livestock unnatural grain diets instead of their natural diets of green grass, leaves, and insects, eventually the animals' triglyceride (fat) profiles took a turn for the worse. Think of it this way: It's akin to the differences in blood labs between humans that eat lean protein and vegetables versus humans that eat only processed, gluten-rich carbohydrates and fatty processed meats. In a nutshell, we have farmed many viable sources of Omega 3s right out of our diet (grains are as bad for animals as they are for humans, but we'll touch on that in another post).
While there are some vegetable sources of Omega 3's out there, the most common being flax seeds and certain nuts such as Walnuts and Hazelnuts, they are comprised of ALA, a fatty acid chain that the body can convert to the usable forms of Omega 3 found in animal sources, which are DHA and EPA, with varying degrees of success. So, animal forms of Omega 3 are far superior to their vegetable counterparts, and, lucky for us, they are available to us in convenient pill form - fish oil capsules.
I would be remiss in my duties if I did not suggest you increase your intake of omega 3 fatty Acids through natural food sources, such as by eating more coldwater fish or omega 3 eggs; however, seafood is expensive, and there are many concerns regarding mercury toxicity. And unless the fish is wild caught and not farmed raised, there may not even be many omega 3's left in the grain-fed, farmed fish. So this is one case where I feel that taking in Omega 3's in a food supplement form like fish oil tablets is justified. You can be bettered assured of the dosage, and you can buy capsules that are molecularly distilled to remove any heavy metals and toxins, ensuring that you are not increasing your mercury intake along with your increased Omega 3 intake. While almost all brands of fish oil are now purified through this process, there is still a wide range of available potencies on the shelves, so turn the bottle around and read the back to see a breakdown of the amount of EPA/DHA found in each pill. For every gram of actual fish oil, try to find a DHA/EPA concentration around 300 mg. 300 mg per gram of fish oil. The ones that I personally take have 360 mg of DHA/EPA per 1 gram of fish oil, but on the bottle they have it listed as 720 mg, because the serving size is for 2 grams of fish oil, or two tablets.
As far as storage, I would keep them in your refrigerator if at all possible. Heat and light will deteriorate the fatty acid chains found in the capsules, causing them to turn rancid over time. Keeping them refrigerated also reduces the chances of getting "fish oil burps."
"Fish oil burps" are about the only undesirable side effect that fish oil users report, and the number one reason for these is actually taking the capsules on an empty stomach. As long as you take the capsules after your meals instead of before, and you store them in the refrigerator, and you get a quality fish oil product, these burps are not likely to occur.
As far as dosing, I like to start my clients on 1 tablet after each meal, assess tolerance, and then ramp up to 2 to 3 capsules after each meal. For Type II Diabetics and those involved in rigorous training, or for those that are seeking drastic body composition changes, I personally recommend 10 grams of fish oil daily, but doses in this range are always something to be discussed with your medical professional first. The doses recommended on the bottle are typically for those interested solely in cardiovascular benefit, but to unlock the true power of omega 3 supplementation, I have found that it takes at least 10 grams.
On an anecdotal note, almost every client that has started on the fish oil habit has noticed some additional health benefit almost immediately: regular bowels, less acne, healthier hair, improved mood - it seems in most cases it will cure what ails you!
Here are some interesting reads from major medical universities regarding their research on fish oil in humans.
University of maryland
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
University of connecticut
Please take a look at these links and post your comments below! We would love to hear about your personal experience with fish oil supplementation! And please, please take your fish oil!