This site was created to help consumers learn more about omega 3 fish oil.
Assuming you are the average consumer, you have seen fish oil on store shelves. You may have seen internet, magazine or television advertisements featuring fish oil.
The advertisements and the presence of fish oil in the marketplace are good things. They draw attention to this very important dietary supplement. It may actually be the most important dietary supplement you can take.
The problem with the ads is the lack of information. Consumers are still left wondering about the benefits. They have no idea how to compare the quality of the brands on the market. They may have concerns about contaminants or the environment.
You may have been wondering about some or all of those things. If so, you have come to the right place.
The information provided here will clear up any confusion you may have. The material is arranged so that you can easily read the sections of particular interest to you. Let's start with
The benefits of fish oil and eating fatty fish like salmon are due primarily to nutrients called omega-3 fatty acids. While we could do without most of the fats in a typical diet, omega 3 fats are essential.
People who don't get enough omega-3s suffer from nutritional deficiencies. But the symptoms of the deficiency are not as specific as those of say scurvy, which is caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet. This makes diagnosis difficult.
The body can get by on other kinds of fats, but it cannot thrive!
If omega-3s are lacking in your daily diet, you may notice
Men who don't get enough omega-3s may have fertility issues; low sperm counts, poor sperm motility, etc. Women may suffer from PMS and menstrual cramps.
Those are things you notice. Other things go unnoticed until there is a serious problem.
Omega-3 fish oil is commonly recommended for heart health. Do you know how well your heart and circulatory system are functioning?
The early symptoms and risk factors for heart disease include
There may also be a genetic factor. Heart disease seems to "run in the family", although the family connection could have to do with the family's dietary preferences rather than their genes.
So, what do omega-3s do?
Achy joints and many of the other health problems are caused by chronic inflammation. Omega-3s have natural anti-inflammatory activity. Some fish oils have more anti-inflammatory activity than others. You'll learn more about that in the comparing fish oils section.
Excessive hunger is your body's way of telling you that something is missing from your diet. Research has shown that omega-3 fish oil can be beneficial for weight loss and weight maintenance, because of the effect it has on appetite. Dieters feel more satisfied after eating.
Omega-3s are a major component of the brain. People suffering from depression typically have low blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. In particular, they are usually missing a specific omega-3 called DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). The only good dietary source of DHA is the oil of fatty fish.
Research has shown that DHA is essential for normal brain development and function.
Supplementation has proven to be beneficial for people suffering from anxiety, depression and attention deficit disorders.
DHA is also found in the retina in the back of the eye. Research has shown that infant's eyesight develops faster when they get more DHA. Other studies indicate that DHA supplementation may reduce your risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration, the main cause of blindness in elderly individuals.
Dry flaky skin and dull hair may be symptoms of fatty acid deficiency. A recent study showed that 3 months of omega-3 supplementation improved the firmness of volunteer's skin and resolved dryness issues.
Many digestive complaints are due to underlying inflammation. Studies have shown that omega-3 supplementation is beneficial for inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel and constipation.
That brings us back to the heart of the matter.
What does omega-3 fish oil do for your heart and circulatory system?
Benefits that have been seen include:
In order to get all of the benefits, it is important to choose a good brand. Studies have not always shown positive results. When the quality of the supplement used in the study was poor, the results were not as impressive. So, here's what you need to know about
Comparing Fish Oils
There are 6 main things to consider when comparing fish oil. You need to know about the
The presence of contaminants cannot be determined simply by reading the label. Independent studies from a number of different groups have shown that some of the many popular brands contain high levels of PCBs.
The better companies have each batch evaluated for contaminants, freshness and omega-3 content. They post this information on their websites in a document referred to as a COA, certificate of analysis.
Freshness is determined by measuring the level of peroxides and other free radicals. The best companies guarantee you will have no burps or repeating, because of the freshness of the oils.
Some companies try to mask freshness issues by adding flavorings or fragrances. When you open a bottle of fish oil capsules, there should be no smell and the capsules should be tasteless.
The omega-3 content was at one time thought to be the most important consideration for reducing inflammation and providing other health benefits. A recent study showed that some fish oils have 2.5 times more anti-inflammatory activity than comparable brands, even though the omega-3 content is lower.
There is more anti-inflammatory activity in natural fish oils than in those that are molecularly distilled. However, molecular distillation removes contaminants. In order to include the natural oils, a company must be very selective about the fish used.
Tuna oil, for example, must be molecularly distilled. Tuna is a larger fish, high up on the food chain. The flesh, fat and organs have a higher concentration of contaminants.
The New Zealand hoki fish is an example of a small species, low on the food chain. The fish swim in cold clean waters. Their oils are free of any detectable level of mercury and PCBs.
Whatever you do, do not buy cod liver oil. The liver is the dumping ground for contaminants.
When it comes to the environment, the fishery must use practices that are environmentally sound. The regulations in New Zealand are among the best in the world. Fishing boats are monitored to ensure that catches are not excessive and the fishing practices used do not cause damage to the environment.
You might also be interested to know that fish oil is a byproduct of fishmeal production. The fish are not caught exclusively to create your dietary supplements. You are not contributing to the depletion of fish populations by taking fish oil supplements.
After doing a lot of comparison shopping and considering all of the factors mentioned above, I believe that one brand is better than any other.
That brand is Xtend-life!
Xtend-life has the highest anti-inflammatory activity of any brand on the market. It is one of the few brands that have been scientifically tested for anti-inflammatory activity. Testing is not required, so most companies don't bother.
Xtendlife's Omega-3/DHA fish oil has proven purity and freshness. The company guarantees you will not have fishy tasting burps, even though there are no artificial additives or flavorings.
The Xtend-life brand includes a combination of molecularly distilled tuna oil and natural New Zealand hoki oil. Because of that, you get a high omega-3 content, a high DHA content and the anti-inflammatory activity of the natural triglycerides.
The oils are derived from the flesh, not the livers of the fish. The fishing practices used by the New Zealand hoki fishermen are environmental sound and the hoki populations are sustainable.
When all things are considered, Xtend-life Omega-3/DHA fish oil is the best choice. It is the brand that I take personally. I recommend it to others, because I am confident in the quality.
I am sure you will see many health benefits if you choose Xtend-life. If you choose a different brand, I cannot promise you will see results.
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: