Omega 3 Fish Oil
Omega 3 fatty acids play critical roles in cognitive development and learning, visual development, immune strength, fighting inflammation, pregnancy, brain health, and preventing Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, cancer, mental illness and so much more. They affect every one of your hundred trillion cell membranes. Fatty acids are one vital part of integrative medicine for holistic healing.
In fact, a recent and the most comprehensive review on omega 3 fats looked at 19 studies from 16 countries (including 45,637 participants) and found that those with the highest levels of omega 3 fats in their blood had lower risks of heart attack. Not getting sufficient amounts of these crucial fatty acids can profoundly affect your health. But even with all of the studies that show how crucial these fatty acids are, there is contradictory information as well. As a leader in integrative medicine in Springfield Missouri, we’ve compiled all of the missing information that you need to know about the fat that you need to survive and thrive.
Omega 6 vs. Omega 3
Dr. Joseph Hibbeln, the scientist in nutritional neurosciences at the National Institutes of Health, presented some startling data about how omega 3 fats impact mental health. He said soy oils and seed oils contain high amounts of inflammatory linoleic acid that create inflammation and disease. He noted 80 percent of the fats that Americans eat are inflammatory omega 6 fats, while just 20 percent come from the anti-inflammatory omega 3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
In Japan, that number is reversed: 80 percent of their fats come from EPA, while only 20 percent are inflammatory omega 6 fats. Over the last century in the U.S., we have witnessed a 1,000-fold increase in soy oil consumption. About 10 to 20 percent of our calories come from soybean oil rather than omega 3 fats and other healthier fats we should be consuming.
The omega 6 fats aren’t the fats our ancestors ate. Human evolution occurred in an environment where seafood and wild animal fat was the predominant source of dietary fat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate no seed oils. Obviously, they weren’t eating French fries, donuts and the zillion Frankenfoods products that contain these oils. The refined oils in these create and exacerbate inflammation, which contributes to nearly every disease and makes us fat. Beyond that, the repercussions are dramatic and far-reaching. Disturbing recent research shows homicide in the United Kingdom increased dramatically with increased consumption of linoleic acid-rich soybean oil. The same thing happened in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Argentina. Interestingly, homicide mortality rates become inversely related to seafood consumption, meaning societies who eat more seafood have lower homicide rates.
Equally dramatic, one study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry gave one prison group recommended daily amounts of vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 fats, while the other group maintained their regular diet and lifestyle. Researchers found reduced felony-level violent offenses among prisoners who took omega 3 supplements. In fact, providing vitamin and fish oil supplements reduced felony-related violent crime among the prisoners by 37 percent.
More Good Fat is the Cure
More fat to cure brain maladies makes sense when you consider omega 3 fats affect how we think and behave. Research even shows omega 3s help treat depression, including postpartum depression.The omega 3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a critical part of mother’s milk, helps the fetus’s neurologic development. Studies show women who have higher levels of omega 3 fats, specifically DHA, have lower rates of postpartum depression.
Omega 3 deficiencies also affect our children. Young kids with dyslexia, dyspraxia (difficulty writing), learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder (ADD) are often omega 3 deficient. The neurotransmitter dopamine, critical for brain function in children, becomes higher when these children consume essential fatty acids. Controlled studies show fish oil improves reading, spelling, and conduct because the nervous system depends on these fats to function. This list goes on and on, but the evidence overwhelmingly supports that omega 3 fats are critical to improving mood, mental functioning, metabolism and so much more.
Thankfully, emerging research proves how vital healthy fats are. The outdated “eating fat makes you fat” paradigm has shifted to a new, more accurate understanding of dietary fat as evidence shows some fats are essential for optimal health. Yet we’re not quite there yet. Unfortunately, about 90 percent of Americans are deficient in omega 3s. We’re eating too many omega 6s and not enough omega 3s. That imbalance of omega 3 fats to omega 6 fats predicts your risk of Heart disease, Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, Neurological problems, Dementia, Attention Deficit Disorder, Depression, Skin problems, Arthritis, Autoimmune disease. Chronic diseases will only increase as we move further away from the diet of our ancestors, which consisted of omega 3 rich protein (wild, grass-fed animals and wild fish), a healthy ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fats, and plant foods. Today’s big food companies have hijacked our taste buds and our biology. We’ve gone way off course with the way our ancestors ate.
Yet there’s still hope. Science shows when you eat the right kinds of fat, you get thin, decreased inflammation and reverse heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many of the other chronic diseases that plague us. You can take control of your health and destiny, starting with your very next meal! Learn more about integrated medicine and get your fish oil supplements at Kare Health & Wellness.