Omega 3 Oils – Getting the Benefits
Omega 3 oils offer great benefits – if you get the right kind!
Just because a product says it contains natural omega 3 oils, doesn’t necessarily mean the oils are “natural” for you.
Product advertising copy can easily fool people by marketing omega 3 oils that are not natural to humans.
After all, there’s more to natural than just the fact that it comes from nature. Things like rhododendron leaves and motor oil are natural, but it’s unnatural and even dangerous for people to eat them.
And you’d be amazed at all of the “natural” ingredients in your supplements that are “unnatural” to humans.
One example is with omega 3 oils.
You’ve heard that omega 3 oils are good for you. But without proper understanding you can easily fall prey to slick advertising and end up with something that’s unnatural for human consumption.
When you were a child you probably learned not to eat rhododendron leaves and motor oil, but they forgot to tell you about perilla, flax, algae and krill.
Here’s what you need to know, so you can make the best choice of omega 3 oils for you and your family.
Flax Oil contains only ALA – one of the eight omega 3 fatty acids. It has absolutely no DHA, EPA or DPA, the three long-chain fatty acids proven by research to make the most difference.
Research consistently shows that fish oil is far superior and that you can only convert about 2% of ALA from flax into the other fatty acids. Flax oil is traditionally used to make things like furniture polish and linoleum flooring and considered by many to be inedible by humans.
Perilla Oil is another ALA-only product that’s very similar to flax. Perilla has no long-chain fatty acids and is also traditionally used to make paints, varnishes, printing inks, lacquers and linoleum flooring. Interestingly, another use is as an artificial sweetener.
Phytoplankton Algae, marketed as a “renewable” ingredient, because they can grow it in a laboratory, is actually the very bottom of the food chain. Although phytoplankton contains a small amount of fatty acids, you couldn’t possibly consume enough to make any difference.
The only place for you to get the proper balance of fatty acids is from the fish that eat the zooplankton that eat the phytoplankton. This is why it’s called a food chain.
Krill are zooplankton, which some companies sell as fatty acids. Krill are zooplankton that eat phytoplankton and are part of the diet of larger fish – there’s that food chain thing again!
Besides being very low on the food chain and having never been a human food, krill are also known to have high levels of fluoride and cause diarrhea for some people.
Fish with omega 3 oils, specifically the oils from salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies and herring, are all natural and highly beneficial traditional food for humans. These oily fish have already converted the ALA and phytoplankton, which are hard for us to convert, into long-chain fatty acids that are then readily available to us.
And, since we’re naturally at the top of this food chain, it only makes good sense for us to get our long-chain omega 3 fatty acids from traditionally human-food fish and from pure fish oil supplements.