Fish Oil & Its Benefits: The Pathway to Better Health
People often ask me what are the benefits of fish oil and why is it good for me? Fish Oil is an essential fatty acid, (EFA), which are fatty acids that our bodies cannot make, and we must get it from our food. EFA’s include:
• Linoleic acid, (omega-6)
• Alpha-linolenic acid, (Omega 3)
• Arachidonic acids, collectively termed vitamin F.
Linoleic acid is necessary for the synthesis of Prostaglandins. Prosta what? Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances, aka chemical messengers. But, unlike hormones, that are secreted by glands, circulated in the blood and turn on and off certain organ functions, prostaglandins are produced in the cell.
In a split second prostaglandins can turn on or off inflammatory signals. Inflammation is part of our immune system, and when in control, it is an important part of the body’s defense from injury or when under attack from foreign invaders.
Arachidonic acids, found in red meat, turns on inflammatory signals, while alpha-linolenic acid found in fish oils, turns off inflammatory signals.
Fish Oil Benefits
So why are fish oils important? Here are just some of their functions:
• Reduce inflammation throughout your body (omega-6)
• Keep your blood from clotting excessively (Omega 3)
• Maintain the fluidity of your cell membranes
• Lower the amount of lipids (fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides)
• Decrease platelet aggregation, preventing excessive blood clotting.
• Inhibit thickening of the lining of the arteries
• Increase the activity of a chemical known as nitric oxide, which causes arteries to relax and dilate
• Reduce the production of messenger chemicals called cytokines, which are involved in the inflammatory response associated with atherosclerosis
• Reduce the risk of becoming obese and improve the body's ability to respond to insulin by stimulating the secretion of leptin, a hormone that helps regulate food intake, body weight and metabolism, and is expressed primarily by adipocytes (fat cells)
• Help prevent cancer cell growth
Best Way to Take Fish Oil
One of my favorite ways to take my fish oils is Barlean’s swirls. Barlean’s utilizes proprietary emulsification technology called Amplified Absorption™, which is designed to boost absorption and deliver significantly more nutritional value than standard supplements per serving. I put it in my smoothie every morning. A tablespoon of delicious Barleans swirl gives you 1500 mg.
Barlean's Ultra High Potency Fish Omega Swirl
Available in Citrus Sorbet and Key Lime flavors
*Find it at any of our pharmacy locations.
This is the first part of my 4-part series on EFAs. Be sure to check back for part 2.