Omega-3 DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) are anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids. Our bodies can't make them, so they must come from our diet and dietary supplements. EPA and DHA are the most important fats within the Omega-3 family. It is therefore important to ensure that we maintain healthy levels of EPA and DHA to support good health.
Plant sources provide an Omega-3 known as alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Whilst ALA is the precursor to EPA and DHA, our body needs to make this conversion and our ability to do so is limited. The main plant sources are Flaxseed, Hemp seed and Chia seed which all contain these important fats.
If you eat Flaxseed, be sure to get fresh from the whole seed and grind it fresh just before eating. If you are in the habit of purchasing pre ground Flaxseed, then stop!!
These omega 3 fats are hugely perishable so quickly oxidise and become rancid and won't perform the function you need or get the health benefits you want.
Hemp seed and Chia seed are fine bought in large tubs, just check your best before date.
Oily fish, such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies and other seafood including algae and krill contain the most superior and preferred source of Omega-3 fatty acids in the forms of EPA and DHA. Unless you regularly eat seafood, concentrated fish oil or algae-derived EPA and DHA oil, it is likely that your omega-3 index (see below) will be low and if you rely solely on ALA from plants as a source of Omega-3 fatty acids it is likely that your Omega-3 index will be <4%. You need both plant and fish based options in your diet. I supplement with at least 1000mg daily.
The challenge with fish is they live in oceans contaminated with mercury and toxins. The bigger the fish, the possible higher does of toxins. Pick Alaskan fish as this is a low pollution area. Also, ensure you pick a quality, sustainable and ethical provider for your supplements.
Some people believe, Krill oil provides superior Omega-3 than fish oil. That Krill is more sustainable as they're available in such large quantities, the harvesting process is well regulated so no 'dent' will be made if we continue to source krill for our Omega-3 needs. Krill is believed to absorb more efficiently in the body so the EPA and DHA content per serving can be less than my recommended 1000mg daily of fish oil.
Krill oil, in case you haven't guessed, comes from krill, tiny shrimp-like creatures that live in frigid Northern waters. Krill oil also contains both antioxidants (such as Astaxanthin) and easily absorbed omega-3s. And because krill is only harvested from the pristine waters of Antarctica, they are largely free from pollution and contamination.
An incredibly potent antioxidant to help reduce cellular damage from free radicals. Found in marine life including algae, wild salmon, red trout, krill, shrimp, crab and lobster. Protects our cells against oxidation so is particularly good for the skin as it increases moisture, moisture retention, elasticity and hence decreases lines and wrinkles. Studies have shown the following benefits:
I recommend alternating between krill and fish oil and add Astaxanthin to your supplementation.
BioCeuticals UltraClean 85Liquid - 1 teaspoon: 2500mg EPA & 940g DHA.
Although some omega-6 fats are good for your health and play a role in the immune system fighting infections, too much creates a pro-inflammatory environment in our bodies. The balance of omega-6s : omega-3s is crucial. Unfortunately, most people consume an overabundance of omega-6 fats found in processed foods.
The Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio provides information on the balance of our intake of these two important families of fats. Knowing your Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio can be very helpful in understanding your general health status and how this aspect of diet can contribute to potential risk of health complications later in life.
A ratio of at least 1:3 of Omega-6: Omega-3 is ideal, however for many people its 20:1 which can lead to heart disease, inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis.
Anything cooked in industrial seed oil such as: vegetable oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil. All of which have been bleached, deodorised and chemically processed! The problem is escalated when these oils are heated to high temperatures. They become carcinogenic. Foods also high in Omega-6 (and sugar) include baked goods like bread, cakes, doughnuts and pastries.
Cook your food in extra virgin olive oil, butter or ghee. Drizzle your salads in extra virgin oil. Aim for at least 4 tablespoons a day.
I cook in coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin contains mostly monounsaturated (double bonded) fatty acids so is stable when heated. I add a knob of grass fed butter to stabilise it further.
The omega-3 index is the amount (%) of EPA and DHA fatty acids found within the membranes of our red blood cells and is used as a biomarker to reflect the amount of EPA and DHA found within the body’s tissues and organs.
Unfortunately, in most western countries the average Omega-3 Index is very low, often around the 4% range. For reference:
0-4% is UNDESIRABLE - this person is deficient in these essential fatty acids.
4-8% is DESIRABLE
>8% is OPTIMAL - to decrease the risk of chronic disease.
To achieve an Omega-3 Index above 8% typically requires at least 1 gram daily of Omega-3 fatty acids. I take a quality, sustainably and ethically produced, 1000mg DHA & EPA Fish oil sourced from Alaskan fish where toxins and mercury has been removed. I also take a daily astaxanthin supplement plus a quality, sustainably produced Krill Oil. I was delighted with my recent Opti-O-3 test result stating my Omega-3 Index as 9.2%. I repeat this test every 6 months.
A recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the Omega-3 Index level was a better predictor of sudden cardiac death than cholesterol. In fact, people with the lowest Omega-3 Index compared with those with the highest have a 90% higher risk for sudden cardiac death.
Studies have also shown that daily doses of 2000mg of Omega-3 was associated with reducing anxiety.
A simple test from Opti-O-3 will test your Omega-3 Index and is the best way to determine your current level of Omega-3 plus your subsequent necessary intake. The tesostet is a simple pin prick blood test that takes a drop of blood and analyses the amount of Omega-3 in your red cell membranes.
Based on scientifically established data, the Opti-O-3 blood spot fatty acid profile is able to provide you with a personalised dosage of the most appropriate fatty acids required to achieve optimal blood levels of EPA and DHA fatty acids taking account of your body weight to ensure your health biomarkers are maintained within the desired ranges.
The amount of Omega-3 fatty acids required in the diet to combat deficiency or to provide therapeutic support are unique to each individual and are influenced by a number of factors, including diet and lifestyle. Whilst supplementing with Omega-3 (fish oil and Krill oil) should result in an increase within cell membranes, there is considerable variation in response, with body weight being the strongest influencer.
BioCeuticals UltraClean 85Liquid - 1 teaspoon: 2500mg EPA & 940g DHA
Dislcaimer: We’re not doctors. We have summarised key messages for an easy read and are firm believers ketones are the only fuel we need for our bodies to glow and excel inflammation free!
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