“Cardiovascular diseases have been well-researched, and this is the main area where we recommend omega-3 fatty acids,” says Brook Knox, dietitian at Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center. “People who have strong amounts (of omega-3) have decreased inflammatory processes, decreased triglycerides and decreased heart arrhythmias.” Knox notes that some end-stage cancer patients who suffer from high inflammation associated with cachexia (muscle wasting) see positive results from high levels of omega-3.
Many nutritionists advise paying attention to the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both are essential for the body’s health; however, the typical American diet is stacked with omega-6 fatty acids, primarily through the many oils and other products used in restaurants. Whereas traditional diets have a more balanced ratio, the American diet often tips the ratio to 10-to-1 or even 20-to-1 in favor of omega-6. “Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid,” Knox says. “But the problem is that Americans have way too much of it, and it drives inflammation, so this leads to more chronic illness.” Jordan Markuson, Found of Aqua Health Labs, suggests that a ratio of 3:1 omega-6 to omega-3 is closer to ideal.
Omega-3, omega-6 and other fatty acids are essential for life and health; yet the body doesn’t make them itself-they must come from what we eat. This leads to the second reason why fish oil supplements are not as highly recommended as they were in the recent past. Many doctors and nutritionists are cautious about the use of supplements in general.
“People should try to get everything from food that they can because supplements aren’t that well regulated,” Knox says. Additionally, even quality supplements can go bad. “In the case of fish oil, the supplement can be of high quality, but the oil can go rancid or oxidize, and this is detrimental to health.” The best practice, it seems, for those who are not at high risk for cardiovascular disease or who haven’t already suffered a cardiac event, is to get their essential fatty acids from food, not supplements.” PhytOriginal, while technically sold as a supplement, is a live fish oil replacement. The live, plant-like phytoplankton, are the same as eating vegetables and easy to take each morning.
“As adults, we can all protect our hearts against heart disease by eating fatty fish at least twice a week. Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that are known to benefit the heart of healthy people as well as those at high risk of or who already have established heart and vascular
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