One of the most researched substances on the planet, the benefits of good quality fish oil to health have been known for centuries and was one of the many reasons why civilisation itself flourished so well on coastal regions.Fish oil provides essential fats, which are those which the body can’t produce on its own. The most important essential fat from a health perspective is the omega 3 in fish oil, this comes in two forms:
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which is great for countering inflammation and is found in big warm-water fish.
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is great for brain health and found in small cold-water fish.
The Anti-inflammatory effect
Fish oil works with both acute and chronic inflammation. As we keep hearing inflammation is at the forefront of disease, illness, delayed recovery and obesity ( not good! ) so being able to counter this process should be of interest to everybody.
Alongside curcumin, fish oil is a great ‘go-to’ supplement for anybody with acute joint pain as it has been shown to be very effective at lowering pain and discomfort.
On a systemic level fish oils help reduce inflammation by healing the gut. It’s been shown that 66% of neurotransmitters are made in the gut lining, which is why people say they have a ‘gut feeling’ prior to important events. Omega 3s help balances out gut bacteria by turning on lipolytic genes which decrease bad gut bacteria whilst also promoting beneficial bacteria growth.
Fish oil also helps lower triglycerides in the blood which helps keep your arteries healthy and can aid in lowering blood pressure.
Finally, fish oil helps offset the inflammatory effects of processed vegetable and seed oils such as soy or corn oil that most Westerners consume in high quantities.
Fish oil promotes Insulin sensitivity and cellular health
The body uses the omega 3 oil to build the outside lipid layer that protects cells. All fats can be used for this purpose including trans fats. However, if the body uses omega 3 to manufacture cells they function much better and signalling is greatly enhanced.
This is something we notice when taking skinfold measurements, if a client has an especially unhealthy processed diet prior to seeing us then often their skin folds are specially ‘clumpy’ as their cells contain trans fats. Once their diet improves and inflammation is lowered we see a marked improvement in cell health especially with the addition of quality fish oil which allows for much better skin separation and in turn body fat measurements.
As the cell health improves so too does insulin sensitivity, as the cell receptors are able to bind more easily with insulin allowing for nutrients to move in and out of the cell more efficiently.
Fish Oil recommendations
- Aim to get 1 to 3 grams of EPA and DHA daily from a combination of oily fish and supplementation.
- To combat high inflammation, try a high-EPA concentration of fish oil.
- To promote cognition and brain health , choose a high-DHA concentration fish oil.
- For body composition, get a combination of EPA and DHA in a 3:2 ratio.
Quality Fish Oil
Quality is very important when it comes to fish oil. Not all fish oil is created equal, indeed how the oil is processed, stabilised and stored all have a big effect on the quality. Many of the commercially available brands have very poor bioavailability and are often rancid even prior to purchase. Fish oils should be in a high quality triglceride form rather than ethyl ester allowing for improved bioavailability. They should also be sourced in a sustainable manner with proper processing and storage.Browse Fish Oil
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