Fish Oils- Pros And Cons by Biosyntrx
The evidence for the cardio protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids is convincing, and currently available data indicate that patients with known coronary heart disease should consume at least 1 g daily of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from either oily fish or fish-oil supplements, and that individuals without disease should consume at least 250–500 mg daily.
However, this area of research poses two questions.
(1) Which is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids—fish or fish-oil supplements?
(2) Are recommendations for omega-3 supplementation warranted in view of the rapid depletion of the world fish stocks?
The argument that eating fish is better than taking fish-oil supplements stems from the fact that several important nutrients, such as protein, B vitamins, selenium, and other antioxidants, are missing from the supplements. However, three major prevention trials have clearly indicated that omega-3 fatty acid capsules confer cardiovascular benefits and, therefore, that both are cardio protective.
But what about the sustainability question? There are only so many fish in the sea, so this issue muddies the fish oil supplement waters.
Fisheries around the world are facing great pressures due to increases demand. Questions about sustainability of current, or increased, fish and fish oil production are valid and appropriate, according to the folks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and other ocean conservation organizations.
Farley Mowat, as masterful a conservation raconteur as Edward Abbey, co-authored a recent Canadian Medical Association Journal article on fish sustainability. It was published in March, 2009. He said when interviewed about the article, “Human beings are going to have to find better ways to live. Our rape and pillage of the environment has to end before it becomes our end. The damage we have already done to life in the oceans is a prime example of our idiocy, and a last warning that we had better change our ways.”
Monkey Wrench Gang chatter, or a reasonable warning?
Ellen Troyer, MT MA
Chief Research Officer
Based on the standard American diet (SAD), we highly recommend two or three weekly servings of fish, or reasonable supplementation with fish oil supplements equal to 3,500 mg of EPA/DHA per week for disease prevention. However, these current Institute of Medicine and American Heart Association recommendations for omega-3 intake are based on the amount of omega-3 fats needed to balance our intake of omega-6 fatty acids. If we simply lowered our insane consumption of junk-food-based omega-6 fatty acids (mostly from the center of the supermarket), there should be sustainable amounts of fish-based omega-3 fatty acids available for this and future generations.
It’s important to understand that Omega-6 fatty acids are absolutely essential for good health. However, eleveated cholesterol levels, full-spectrum nutrient deficiencies, trans fats, smoking and alcohol consumption can interfer with optimal metabolism of all fatty acids.
Omega-6 gamma-linoleic-acid (GLA) is required to produce the series one antiinflammatory prostaglandins specific to mucosal tissues, and life saving inflammatory response, including fevers, clotting and swelling.
Adequate Omega-6 GLA intake is vital for those suffering from dry eyes.
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