Move over soy: why you need to get fish oil

admin/ September 30, 2015/ Dr. Danielle/

That’s right – sit down soy, chlorophyll, and bee pollen, it’s time to make room for the new guy in town: fish oil. Actually, all trends aside, fish oil is quickly becoming one of the most researched alternative medicines, and for good reason.

Now, I already know what’s happening as you read this, especially if you are over 40 years of age. You are thinking this: UUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHH. Or, YYYYYYUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!! And that’s because you think that by fish oil, I mean that nasty cod liver oil that your grandmother used to make you choke down when you were a kid. But trust me when I say it’s NOT! The two are not the same whatsoever. And let me tell you why. We use the oil of the liver of a cod fish because it is high in vitamin A. We use the oil of other fish, specifically salmon, mackeral, anchovies, sardines, and herring due to their high content of both EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid).

Now, by definition, both EPA and DHA are a component of omega-3 oils. As humans, we do not make, on our own, this type of oil. Hence, omega-3’s are considered Essential Fatty Acids, leaving it up to our diet as our main source. As you have likely heard, there are two other types of essential fatty acids: omega-6, and omega-9. Eating the standard North American diet ensures that we get alot of both omega-6 and 9. Our diet tends to be low in omega-3. But here’s the thing. In order for omega-3 to be therapeutic, it needs to exist in a specific ratio in which it is present in the body in greater amounts than omega-6. But our diet alone, makes the inverse true. Which means we never want to supplement with both omega 3 and 6, because we’d only be encouraging the wrong ratio. Wow. Did that makes sense? If it didn’t, holla. (Call/email me).

Let’s go over the benefits of fish oil and talk science (eeeeeeekkkkkk!! My favourite). So the following list shows proven benefits of quality fish oil with repeated double-blind trials:

  • decreases triglycerides
  • improves depression
  • decreases ADHD symptoms in children
  • decreases blood pressure
  • increases HDL (the good cholesterol)

The following list are benefits shown in multiple studies, including 2 double-blind and placebo controlled studies:

  • decreases symptoms on Lupus
  • decreases cortisol
  • increases infant birth weight
  • decreases symptoms of Bipolar disorder

And the last list are the results of single double blind trials or multiple cohort studies:

  • decreases anxiety
  • decreases aggression
  • increases cerebral blood flow and oxygenation

The list of benefits is beyond what I’ve laid out, but for the purposes of brevity, I had to be selective.

Now, a couple of things to consider.

  1. if you’re worried about having fishy burps, try taking the oil with meals. Additionally, you can always put the capsules in the freezer as this helps too.
  2. The benefit is dose dependent and the majority of us are taking way too little. Perhaps talking with a Naturopathic doctor will help you find the correct dose for your health concerns.
  3. other sources of omega-3 oils, like flax seed, generally don’t provide therapeutic levels, so sticking with fish oil is your best bet.

In order to figure out how it applies to your health, specifically, imagine we could test for it. Imagine we could actually measure how much omega-3 is floating around your blood, or how much is in your cell membranes?? And just imagine, that based on this info, we could get a heart attack risk measurement?? Well, stop imagining! Because I can do this exact test! And it’s quickly gaining interest amongst family doctors in my area.

If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to kindly like our (Better Health Clinic) Facebook page! There’s always some great info to share and it’s a good place to see what’s new and exciting at the clinic.

Let’s do this. Let’s prioritize our health and ensure we live as happy and healthy as we can. Just when you feel like all the doors have been shut, there’s always a window just waiting to be open. And if you can’t see it…I can.

Bring on Spring, Dr. D