Monday, February 21, 2011

Omega-3 Fats - The Most Important Supplement

Omega 3 is the Fountain of Youth Vitamin! I tell my patients, "If you are going to take one supplement, this is the one to take!" It is the beautiful skin, hair and nails vitamin, and that is only the beginning - your skin, hair and nails tell a lot about your state of your health. Omega-3 fats (EPA/DHA) are anti-inflammatory, so they reduce pain and promote health and healing all over the body. Omega-3s have proven helpful in the treatment of a wide variety of illnesses to include: Cardiovascular Disease, High Cholesterol, Hypertension, Cancer Crohn’s Disease, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Kidney disorders, Depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis, Obesity and Insulin Resistance (Diabetes).  Since our brains are composed mainly of fat, the better the fats we consume, the better the brain and nervous system works.  So Omega-3s are great for learning, behavior, mood, and focusing.  Ideally, we should be getting these essential fats through our diets, but in America, our consumption of Omega-3 (poly-unsaturated fats) has decreased, while our consumption of unhealthy, saturated, trans, and hydrogenated fats has increased. Omega-3 fats reduce inflammation, while other fats actually promote inflammation, pain and disease. The best way to add Omega-3 to the diet is through fish oil supplementation. (Liquid or capsule form.)  Be very careful of where you get your fish oil - you want to make sure that your supplement has been purified. (Remember the toxins, such as mercury, that can be found in fish!)   A brand that I highly recommend to my patients is Nordic Naturals. They offer a potent lemon flavored liquid fish oil, naturally lemon flavored capsules and tiny, strawberry flavored gel capsules for children.  Compared to fish oil, flax seed oil is an inferior source of Omega 3 fats, but it is the next best option for vegetarians. The carries a full line of Nordic Natural Products.  Improve the health and vitality of yourself and your family, by starting on Omega-3s today! 
Caution: Although fish oil is great for cardiovascular health, patients already taking cardiovascular medication, especially blood thinners, like Coumadin, should consult with their physician before starting on fish oils. (Since fish oils act similarly to blood thinning medication.)