Blog

Just how Essential are Essential Fatty Acids?

By: Dr. Seth Hosmer, DC

Protecting Your Heart and Mind: What You Need to Know about Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Have you been wanting to jumpstart your health, but unsure where to begin? Are you providing yourself with the proper building blocks to prevent age-related diseases? Have you been made aware of the critical role that Omega-3 fatty acids have in conditions like heart disease and dementia?

The goal of this article is to help you understand the critical role that Essential Fatty Acids – especially Omega-3 Fatty Acids – play in helping your body stay healthy.

The term “essential” has a special meaning in the world of nutrition, being reserved for those nutrients that our body cannot make on its own, and we need them in order to survive. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are considered essential- they must be sourced through our diet, via food sources or supplementation.

What food can I eat to maximize my omega-3 intake?
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) are found primarily in fatty fish, and supplements are generally derived from salmon and herring, while vegan sources are derived from algae.

I get a lot of healthy fat in my diet, I don’t need to worry about that.
Most Americans do not meet the minimum standard, making fish oil supplementation that much more important. Much of the fat in our diets consists of Omega-6 fatty acids (pro-inflammatory), and is lacking in Omega-3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory).

Inadequate EFA intake is associated with:

  • Chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • Cardiovascular disease

Most of us have felt the impact of declining health, either through our own experience or by witnessing age-related decay in our friends and family. If you are interested in preserving your health as you age, one of the most important steps you can take is to measure and optimize your circulating EFA.

Step 1- Get Tested!

For a limited time, Omega-3 blood testing is available for only $89 (regularly $119). We offer an in-office test, through BrainSpan, which is a quick and reliable way to see if your health is on track.

Step 2- EFA Supplementation

Buy a high-quality, tested supplement that provides 2,000 – 2,500 milligrams per day of EFA.

    We have done an exhaustive review of commonly available products, and found that these products yield the best bang for your buck:

  • OmegaGenics® 2400 (5 oz. lemon liquid) — $44.25
  • OmegaGenics® 1000 (60 gel capsules) — $23.95
  • Nordic Naturals ProOmega 1000 (60 gel capsules) — $27.95
  • For Kids: Nordic Naturals ProOmega Junior (90 gel capsules) — $29.95

When it comes to EFA supplementation, we find that most people do one of two things:
1. Nothing, because they assume that their diet and current supplement level are probably OK

2. Supplement, but with a poor quality supplement or take the supplement irregularly.

Remember how the term essential has a special meaning in nutrition? It is worth repeating that EFA are essential because they are required in order to SURVIVE- by preventing life-altering diseases and optimizing your health. We are writing this article because we believe in the importance of maintaining your health through evidence-based and cutting edge research. This research supports these measures as the best available criteria for maintaining optimal levels of EFAs in your body:  Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio and Omega 3 index.

Both of these measures are included in the in-office test we offer through BrainSpain. Ask for details!