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What's All the Hub-Bub Over Omega 3's???

Patients will commonly ask me whichmulti vitamin I would recommend. I always respond with, "do you take fish oils"? The answer is usually "no". Manypeople have heard about the importance of Omega 3 fats in the diet but don'ttruly understand how vital they are to our existence.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats areconsidered 'essential fatty acids'. Theyare essential to our health but our bodies can't produce them. We must get them from our diet in balanced amounts. The problem is the typical American consumeson average 20:1 Omega 6 (inflammatory fats ~ meat, cheese, butter, other animalfats.) to Omega 3 (anti-inflammatory, healthy fats ~ fish, olive oil, nuts.) This unbalanced consumption is contributingto many of the diseases in our society today.

Why Omega 3's?

By week 3in a developing fetus, the brain and nervous system are beginning todevelop. This vital system will helpcontrol and direct the perfect orchestration of events to bring a baby to fulldevelopment. The brain and nervoussystem will feed on all of the mother's Omega fats in order to develop. If mom is deficient in any way, the fetuswill not receive all of the essential nutrients and development could behindered. With each subsequent child wesee more developmental issues if mom is not aware of the significance of havingsufficient Omega 3 levels.

America is sick!

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture's(USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion compiled their Healthy EatingIndex for 1999-2000, their findings were not so great. Only ten percent of thepopulation had a good diet! The other 90% of the population is deficientnutritionally in some way. It can take 6to 9 months to bring the body's nutritional state up to sufficient levels thatallow one to thrive and not just survive. About of all pregnancies in the U.S. today are unplanned. So, why, then do we wait until we arepregnant to take some form of supplementation?

Fish Oil vs. Flax as Omega 3sources?

Both have great benefitto the body, however, in order for you to recognize the most benefit from flaxseed oil, your body must be fully sufficient in it's nutrients. (Remember only 10% of Americans are). Flax oil requires several conversions in thebody to finally reach the useable, beneficial form of Omega 3 fats. If you are deficient in any conversionnutrient (i.e. calcium, magnesium) flax will not make its way to Omega 3. Current research shows us that you need totake 20 times the amount of flax oil to gain the same benefit from fishoil. So, which would you prefer: 1teaspoon of fish oil or 20 teaspoons of flax oil??

Can't I just eat fish every day?

The answer is simply, no. All the water on our planet has some level oftoxin mostly from the use of fossils fuels. If you eat fish every day, you will become toxic and then you'll havemany other issues to deal with! Therecommendation for fish consumption for pregnant women is twice per month. Why is it okay for everyone else?

Fish oil is not just forpregnancy.

Fish oil has numerousbenefits. The brain feeds on these fatsand every brain function will benefit ~ mental clarity, focus, concentration,calmness, neurological development, and vision. It is also the best anti-inflammatory on the market so thinkjoint/arthritis pain, injuries, and nerve pain. Other benefits include heart health and circulation. It can help if you have high cholesterol(consider the damaging effects of statin drugs), depression, osteoporosis, dermatitis/eczema,allergies, poor immune function, infertility and the list goes on. It is vital to every cell and every cellfunction!

With all the pesticide use andgenetic modification of our foods it is highly recommended that we all takesome form of nutritional supplementation especially ALL women of childbearingyears. My basic daily recommendation foreveryone is 1500 to 3000mg of Omega 3's, 2-4000 IU's of Vitamin D3 (iso form),and a daily multivitamin. Keep in mindthat not all supplements are created equal. Because there is no FDA regulation on supplements, quality can rangefrom extremely poor to excellent (considered pharmaceutical grade). Do not sacrifice quality for price! It is best to purchase supplements through adoctor trained in nutrition or a qualified health care practitioner so thatyour money is well spent.

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