Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fats, one of four basic types of fat that the body derives from food. (Cholesterol, saturated fat, and monounsaturated fat are the others.) All polyunsaturated fats, including the omega-3, are increasingly recognized as important to human health. Eating too many foods rich in saturated fats has been associated with the development of degenerative diseases, including heart disease and even cancer. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, however, are actually good for you. Omega-3 (found prima-rily in cold-water fish) fall into this category, along with omega-6, another type of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in grains, most plant-based oils, poultry, and eggs. Fish oil is probably the most important dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids are one type of essential fatty acids, special fats that the body needs as much as it needs vitamins.
Vitazan Professional use fish oil only derived from wild fish: sardines, anchovies and mackerel. A wild fish source is important as farm-raised fish, including salmon, contains much lower levels of the beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. Sardines, anchovies and mackerel are among the highest in omega-3 fatty acids. These small varieties of fish are cleaner and less toxic due to their short lifespan and low position in the food chain. Our fish oils meet the standards set by Health Canada.
Much of the research into the potential therapeutic benefits of omega-3 fatty acids began when studies of the Inuit (Eskimo) people found that although their diets contain an enormous amount of fat from fish, seals, and whales, they seldom suffer heart attacks or develop rheumatoid arthritis. This is presumed because these sources of fat are very high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, protect against the abnormal clotting associated with heart attacks, and possibly inhibit cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids differ structurally from omega-6 fatty acids. Evidence from studies show that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the chances of getting atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, and other heart and inflammatory diseases as well as help with brain function. A study suggests that fish oil can be very helpful for bipolar disease, more commonly known as manic-depressive disorder. More research is needed, but this appears to be a potential breakthrough for this devastating illness, whose conventional treatments cause many side effects.
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can lower serum triglycerides. Like cholesterol, triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood that tends to damage the arteries, leading to heart disease. Reducing triglyceride levels should help prevent heart disease to some extent. Fish oil also appears to modestly raise the levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Additionally, it may help the heart by “thinning” the blood and by reducing levels of homocysteine in the blood. Blood clots play a major role in heart attacks, and homocysteine is an amino acid that can raise the risk of heart disease. A further benefit shown from the consumption of fish oil is in the production of eicosanoid compounds. These are compounds, which regulate the communication between cells. The species of eicosanoid produced from omega-3 fatty acids, as opposed to omega-6 fatty acids, seem to better regulate immunological responses, such as the body tissue’s response to injury or disease. There may be other benefits, too: A 1992 study in the journal Lancet, for suggests that omega-3 fatty acids prolong pregnancy by a few days and improve birth weights. Fish oil appears to be safe. The most common complaint is fishy burps. Fish oil should not be combined with powerful blood-thinning medications, such as Coumadin (warfarin) or heparin, except on advice of a health professional.
Adult dosage: take 1 softgel twice daily with meals or as directed by your health professional.
|Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EPA + DHA)||1414 mg|
|Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA; 20:5 N-3)||660 mg|
|Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA; 22:6 N-3)||330 mg|