Fish oil is the common term for omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is an Essential Fatty Acid because our bodies need it, but cannot produce it. EFAs are needed for numerous body functions such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with many health benefits including protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. Other studies are identifying potential benefits for other conditions including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Food sources for omega-3 are fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel and sardines. Walnuts, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are also fairly high in omega-3. Since these foods are not frequently eaten in most American’s diet, supplementation is the best way to insure you are getting enough.
Omega-6 is another EFA, but since food sources are vegetable oils and processed seed oils commonly used in processed foods, we get more than enough. Omega-6 needs to be balanced with omega-3, and the typical American diet has as high as a 15:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Excessive levels of omega-6 may increase the probability of a number of diseases and interfere with the health benefits of omega-3.
Omega-7 is now available through supplementation. It is a non-essential fatty acid, meaning our body can produce it, but is produced in small amounts. You can supplement it by eating sea buckthorn berries grown in the Himalayan mountains, or lots of macadamia nuts. The research is not yet conclusive as to whether we need more omega-7 than our bodies can produce, but early indications are that it can help lower high cholesterol levels and lower blood sugar levels and improve sensitivity to insulin.
Our best selling fish oil products (Metagenics, Nordic Naturals and Twin Labs) are all either pharmaceutical grade products and/or GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified.