Time and Time again, in the name of John Berardi, I stress that the deficiency must be fixed FIRST. One of the biggest deficiencies I see if the inherent abundance of Omega-6s and lack of Omega 3s. Recent research suggests an Omega-3 deficiency could be the underlying cause of approximately 100,000 deaths each year. Yes, 100,000!!
Let’s dive in to why Omega 3s are just plain awesome.
1. Heart Health – An Italian study (GISSI) of 11,324 heart attack survivors found that patients supplementing with fish oils markedly reduced their risk of another heart attack, stroke, or death. In a separate study, American medical researchers reported that men who consumed fish once or more every week had a 50 percent lower risk of dying from a sudden cardiac event than do men who eat fish less than once a month.
2. Omega-3 normalizes and regulates your cholesterol triglyceride levels – Compared to a statin, both fish oil and krill oil are more efficient in doing this. According to a study comparing the efficiency of krill and fish oils in reducing triglyceride levels, both oils notably reduced the enzyme activity that causes the liver to metabolize fat, but krill had a more pronounced effects, reducing liver triglycerides significantly more.
3. Got Kids? DHA affects your child’s learning and behavior – Do you want to maximize your child’s intellectual potential? A study published in Plos One in June 2013 linked low levels of DHA with poorer reading, and memory and behavioral problems in healthy school-age children. In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013, children who consumed an omega-3 fat supplement as infants scored higher on rule learning, vocabulary, and intelligent testing at ages 3 to 5.
Previous research also found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related behavior or learning disabilities are more likely to have low omega-3 fat levels.
The magical balance.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are two types of fat that are essential for human health. However, the typical American consumes far too many omega-6 fats in her diet while consuming very low omega-3 levels.
The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1. Our forefathers evolved over millions of years on this ratio. Today, however, our ratio averages from 20:1 to 50:1 – this spells serous dangers to your well-being! In fact, mainstream media has finally reported that lack of omega-3 is among the most serious and pressing health issues plaguing our world.
Omega-6 is primarily sourced from corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. These are overabundant in the typical diet, which accounts for excess omega-6 levels.
Omega-6 fats predominate the diet in the US, and this encourages the production of inflammation in your body. Many scientists believe that one reason there is a high incidence of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, premature aging, and some cancer forms today is this profound omega-3-omega-6 imbalance.
Which kind of oil is best for me?
There are tons of different kinds out there. Let me give my honest personal recommendation.
Fish Oil – of all of the research I have seen, this has the best benefits. Make sure you get one thats USP verified and contains over 600mg of EPA/DHA combined per serving. Slightly lower bang for your buck than krill oil, but I’ll explain my issues with Krill oil below. Fish Oil, however, is weak in antioxidants. This happens because fish oil is a bit perishable, and oxidation leads to the formation of harmful free radicals. Antioxidants are therefore necessary to ensure that the fish oil doesn’t oxidize and become rancid in your body. So I recommend taking with a multivitamin or greens powder or meal rich in veggies, as you’ll get the necessary nutrients to help work with the fish oil.
Cod Liver Oil – Recent research suggests this can cause insane ratios of Vitamins A and D so it’s not on a go-to list for me or hopefully anyone reading this.
Krill Oil – Has just as many of the benefits of Fish Oil, however the ONLY SINGLE REASON I don’t recommend it is that I have seen it cause irritability and lack of social awareness (which is a promoted benefit of fish oil) in children. I am simply waiting until further research comes out before I make a case for it.
Moral of the Story? Get your omega-3s, and ditch the Omega-6s like a bad date.