Anne Dunev, PhD (Los Angeles Certified Nutritionist and Naturopathic Practitioner)
In our office we recommend fish oil supplements for many of our patients. When I had a practice in Ketchum, Idaho, I could barely keep fish oil caps on the shelf. Because of the dryness at that altitude, dry skin is a big factor. Dry skin equals discomfort and early wrinkles. Once a woman started on fish oil supplements, she would come back and buy more for her mother, daughter and friends.
With our current fat-phobia, fish oil supplements are a great way to add a controlled amount of fat into the diet comfortably. You will see on this blog that I am a big proponent of good fats, and I think that many of our current chronic disease conditions would improve drastically if we flipped our eating around to include plenty of healthy fat and jettisoned the breads and sugar.
But if you aren’t ready for such a drastic change, fish oil supplements have wonderful benefits, besides balancing your skin and improving wrinkles.
The brain is the only organ in the body that uses fat (fatty acids), so fish has been called “brain food”. Do eat wild caught fish, rather than farm raised, as often as you can, such as salmon, cod and halibut. If mercury is a concern, limit tuna, and particularly swordfish. Concerns about health risks from mercury in fish are not shared by all. Fish contain a less toxic form of mercury called methyl mercury cysteine. The ocean is rich in selenium and that binds some of the mercury, making it less toxic.
In Japan, the amount of mercury ingested from the high fish consumption greatly exceeds what is recommended as safe. However, Japanese children excel in school and out-perform American children. And there are no health issues apparent in Japanese kids that would indicate the mercury is poisoning them. So, mercury in fish does not seem to a reason to avoid eating fish a few times per week.
Pregnant women and very small children are more vulnerable. Mercury poisoning from methyl mercury chloride is a concern at any age, so avoid silver dental fillings.
The best fish oil supplements undergo molecular distillation to remove mercury, and the benefits of fish oil outweigh the risk of contamination
Fish oil is anti-inflammatory, so helpful for joints, ageing, arthritis and autoimmune disease. Fish oil may lower cholesterol levels. It is helpful for dry eye symptoms and helps you maintain a healthy weight by keeping blood sugar more balanced, and cutting cravings. Fish oil helps depression and mood, and may help normalize blood pressure.
It is hard to find any supplement that offers so many health benefits and can be supplemented at any age. Look for fish oil supplements that do not repeat! There is nothing worse than burping fish oil. Here are my personal favorites:
Tuna Omega Oil by Standard Process®-There is a regular gel cap and Tuna Omega also comes in a chewable gel cap that tastes like orange, so kid-friendly and great for anyone who does not like to swallow pills. Both the flavored and non-flavored capsules are very small, so helpful for anyone who has difficulty swallowing large pills. Also, no burping or after-taste. Standard Process is the gold standard of nutritional supplements and makes the best, and most tested, in the world.
Metagenics DHA-EPA , with higher potency DHA. Break this capsule open and the fish oil is not “fishy” but fresh smelling. Larger capsule due to higher concentration.
Both of these supplements are available at our office. Call 818-729-9149 to order.
I also like Nordic Naturals, available at your local health food store or online at Amazon.com or at NordicNaturals.com This company specializes in fish oil and offers a variety of fish oils for various needs. They offer both concentrated for higher potency and regular concentration. The lemon flavor is a good choice if you are concerned about burping and there are chewables for kids.
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