Although omega-3 fish oil has been a popular supplement for many years, there are still people who ask me why. Why do you take fish oil?
People take the supplements for different reasons. Personally, I take it because it helped me overcome problems with anxiety and depression.
The brain is a complicated piece of equipment. We know a lot about how the brain works, but we continue to learn more, almost on a daily basis.
Not too long ago, scientists believed that once you entered your twenties, you stopped growing new brain cells. They believed that damaged cells were not replaced. They were unaware about how new neuronal paths are forged whenever we store new memories.
Today, we know that brain cells continue to be produced throughout a person's life, assuming of course, that person is healthy and well-nourished. Much of the nourishment your body needs to grow new brain cells is found in fish oil.
Fish oil contains specific omega-3 fatty acids called DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid). Plants like flax seed, another supplement you may have heard of, do not contain EPA or DHA, they contain ALA, which is important but is readily available through your diet.
DHA and EPA are very important to brain form and function. During the developmental stages of life, a lack of DHA can cause learning disorders and behavioral problems. Since we continue to grow brain cells throughout our lives, we continue to need DHA.
Why Is DHA So Hard to Find?
People also ask me why DHA is not present in other foods. They say, "Some people don't eat fish."
You may have heard fish described as brain food. But, you might not enjoy eating the kinds of fish that are rich in DHA and other omega-3s. Primarily, they are found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and anchovies. Whiting and other popular fillets contain little, if any.
The reason DHA is so hard to find has to do with the modern-day diet. Food production has become an industry, just within the last hundred years or so.
People rely on the food industry to provide beef, pork, poultry and fish. Not many people hunt or grow their own food.
It may be that wild game provided the DHA that people needed in the past, especially wild game that feeds on fish. We know for sure that when cattle and poultry are fed on grass, rather than corn, their fatty acid profiles are better. The free range cattle and chicken available today provides more omega-3 fats, although they are still not sources of DHA specifically.
The main reason that DHA is so hard to find has to do with the source. Fish eat marine algae. It is their source of DHA. We eat fish, but not algae.
Research has shown that in traditional societies where fatty fish and other wild game are the main sources of fat, the people are healthier, in general.
While the benefits to the brain are what are most important to me, research concerning the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids has focused primarily on something else.
How omega-3s benefit the heart has been well documented. There is not just a single benefit. There are numerous ones. It seems that omega-3s provide everything we need to enjoy good heart health. Here's what the nutrients do for your heart.
Increased intake of the omega-3s found in fish oil will:
The benefit to blood triglyceride levels has been proven. In the US, omega-3 fish oil is currently prescribed for treating very high triglycerides. Some doctors feel that the prescription form of the supplement was unnecessary. It costs more than the dietary supplements and there is no proof that it works any better.
When it comes to cholesterol levels, omega-3 fish oil works because it is a source of the "good" HDL cholesterol particles. The HDL particles scavenge the "bad" LDL particles and carry them away from the arteries.
Research has shown that omega-3 fish oil supplementation causes an increase in HDL levels and at the same time cause a decrease in LDL levels.
The other benefits have been proven as well. The anti-inflammatory benefits are among the most exciting, because chronic inflammation has been found to play a role in many age-related diseases. Not just arthritis and other painful conditions. Inflammation also plays a role in life-threatening diseases like cancer and heart disease.
But . . .
There is always a "but". Not all omega-3 fish oil supplements are the same. The quality of the different brands on the market varies greatly.
The package label reveals that some fish oil supplements are not very good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. In particular, the DHA content of many brands is too low to provide the benefits to the brain.
Some people truly notice the difference between how they feel after taking a good fish oil supplement and how they feel after taking a bad one. I myself have been tempted enough by discount prices to try another brand. They simply don't work like they should.
Testing by environmental groups has revealed that some fish oil supplements contain high levels of mercury and PCBs. Mercury is, of course, a toxic heavy metal. It accumulates in the bodies of the fish, because it is present in the oceans, streams and lakes that they live in. When we eat the fish, we consume the mercury.
PCBs are cancer-causing chemicals produced by industry. There use is no longer allowed in much of the world, but they are persistent in the environment. Bottom dwelling fish are the most likely to contain PCBs.
Scientific testing has revealed that the anti-inflammatory activity of fish oil varies, too. At one time, it was thought that the variance in anti-inflammatory activity was due solely to the content of DHA and other omega-3s. New research has shown that something else is going on. There is a
Scientists have yet to learn exactly enough about the anti-inflammatory X factor to give it a name. All they know is that the natural oils derived from the New Zealand hoki fish have more anti-inflammatory activity than other types, even more than the ones that have been concentrated in order to boost the omega-3 content.
Because the oil of the New Zealand hoki fish is particularly pure, there is no need to distill it. There is no detectable level of contaminants of any kind.
Scientists conducting the testing assume that something about the distillation process reduces the anti-inflammatory activity of the oils. Distillation is normally necessary to remove toxins. Luckily, the New Zealand hoki fish has yet to be contaminated, but there is only one company that sales oil derived from the fish. That company is
There is no doubt in my mind that Xtendlife is the best supplement manufacturer in the world. The owners care about their customers. They feel as though they are part of the family.
Founder Warren Matthews has said that unless his company can make an affordable product that is better than what all of the other companies have to offer, they won't bother.
What makes Xtendlife Omega-3 Fish Oil Better than Other Brands?
Number 1, it is the only brand that contains natural non-distilled oils from the hoki fish. It is the brand that the scientists used for testing. It was found to have higher anti-inflammatory activity than any of the concentrated oils.
Number 2, there is no detectable level of mercury, PCBs or other contaminants in the finished product. Every batch is tested for purity and freshness. The company's quality control is the best in the industry.
Number 3, the price per milligram of DHA is lower than that of any other company. Xtendlife keeps their prices low by marketing directly to consumers, rather than through a middle man. They do not sacrifice quality to lower costs, which is what most companies do.
Number 4, every Xtendlife product is guaranteed to satisfy. In this day and age, it is practically impossible to find guaranteed products. In the US, health supplements are never accompanied by a money-back guarantee.
If you had questions about why people take fish oil, now you have answers. Only some of the benefits have been listed here.
To learn more about the omega-3 fish oil benefits or to learn more about what makes Xtendlife omega-3 DHA Fish Oil better, visit the company website. Warren and the Xtendlife family publish a great deal of natural health information at the site.
PS - If you're still unsure about whether Omega 3 Fish Oil is right for you, I urge you to subscribe to my five-part report on Omega 3. In it you'll learn: