Fish Oil … Good or Bad?
I went back and forth deciding whether I would recommend fish oil in the Conscious Nutrition Program. It isn’t that we are fish oil deficient, however that we are imbalanced with our ratio of Omega 3’s to Omega 6’s. A healthy balance of this ratio is essential to reduce systemic inflammation in the body. (prolonged inflammation = an environment for many diseases to begin) The ideal ratio is 1:1, but the average American’s ratio is more like 20:1, or even 50:1 in favor of omega-6.
Your body can’t produce its own omega-3s. Omega-3s protect against heart disease, stroke, control blood clotting, reduce inflammation, help build cell walls in the brain, makes skin healthy, promote joint and bone health, and improve mental health. These are all great reasons to recommend Omega 3’s. However, do you want to gamble to make sure you are getting it from your diet or implement a high quality fish oil product as a back up? Most people are not getting enough Omega 3’s in their diet and buying their fish oil from a vendor on the sale rack.
There are recent studies showing that the fish oil being marketed does not include the amount that is stated on the label. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and this can hinder quality and control. The companies who have the highest standards are the companies who are certified in quality control and practice sustainable fishing.
Also, there was recent study regarding Omega 3 fish oil and prostate cancer increase in men. This study has a variety of information missing to make an informed decision.
- Algae derived EPA/DHA – This will insure that you will not be consuming fish with heavy metals or toxicity. I recommend this version for my vegetarian clients, however, the amounts of EPA/DHA are lower and you may need to consume a larger quantity.
- Krill oil – Krill are tiny shrimp like animals, basically what fish eat. Great source of Omega’s and antioxidants. There is less research on krill and the cost is a bit higher.
- Omega 3 Fish oil Capsules – When choosing products, I review quality, cost and availability. There is a prescription option, which is over $100 per month if your insurance doesn’t cover it. Even if your insurance does cover it, why is it so expensive? I recommend to compare prices by the quantity of capsules you need to consume to meet 1,000 mg of EPA/DHA. For example if one product is lower in cost and it takes 4 capsules to equal that amount, you are not getting a great deal. I chose a company with high standards for our Conscious Nutrition brand. If you are in a bind and need one that is over the counter, we recommend Nordic Naturals.
- Food!: If you do not feel comfortable implementing supplements, make sure you are getting it in your diet. Supplements are just that, they supplement your diet.
Best plant sources of Omega 3’s:
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Nuts (especially walnuts)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Brussels sprouts
- Dark leafy green vegetables
I personally take my Omega 3 fish oil in the morning and notice my brain works a bit better. Please listen to your body and learn how to support it best through food.
Thanks for the info Heather. I keep forgetting to take it at night, so will add it in my morning “ritual” of good healthy foods. Also, I can easily swallow the liquid, but not that big horse pill I first bought. 😉
Yes! You are brave, the liquid is amazing for you. And taking at night can give you a deeper sense of peace and rest.
So glad you brought that up!
Is the Metagenics ok?
Yes! Check out to see if they have the 720 or 900’s and if they are better valued than the ones I recommend or Nordic:)?
Great newsletter, Heather!
How can you tell if a fish oil supplement has gone rancid? Rancidity is a big issue with fish oil supplements. Some people think that the burping/indigestion after taking a fish oil supp. is a sign of rancidity but I don’t think that’s the case. What do you say, Kung Food Master?
Amazing question Judd.
I have addressed this previously, however want to emphasize again:
Purchase your fishy’s in dark containers, glass preferably. Store in cool, dark areas like your fridge to prevent oxidation. Buy smaller bottles to prevent oxidation and from companies who specialize in fish oil so they have a quicker turnover on their product.
I don’t think it is about just the burp, because that could be your body’s reaction and not just the quality of the fish oil. There should be a clean, less strong fish smell. If you do have an upset stomach or burp, purchase a higher quality brand and definitely store in the fridge or freezer.