Heart Vitamins logoOmega 3 oils image                 A survivor unlocks the mystery of lowering cholesterol with omega 3 oils


Omega 3 Oils Are Essential
For the Heart and Brain

Omega 3 oils are truly superhero heart health nutrients. Hardly a day goes by without reports of another health benefit. A short list follows:

  • keep cholesterol levels low,

  • reduce high blood pressure

  • stabilize irregular heart beat (arrhythmia)

  • reduce the "stickiness" of blood cells (called platelet aggregation)

  • omega3s can improve insulin sensitivity in persons with type 2 diabetes.

Different types of omega-3 oils.
Key omega-3 fatty acids include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), both found primarily in oily cold-water fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel. Aside from fresh seaweed, a staple of many cultures, plant foods rarely contain EPA or DHA.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
A third omega-3, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is found primarily in  flaxseed oils, dark green leafy vegetables and certain vegetable oils. Although ALA has different effects on the body than EPA and DHA do, the body has enzymes that can convert ALA to EPA. All three are important to human health.

Researchers believe that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is particularly beneficial for protecting against heart and vessel disease, and for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. An excellent source of ALA is flaxseed oil, sold as both a liquid oil and in gel caps.

History of discovery of omega 3 oils.
Scientists made one of the first associations between omega-3s and human health while studying the Inuit (Eskimo) people of Greenland in the 1970s. As a group, the Inuit suffered far less from certain diseases (coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, psoriasis) than their European counterparts. Yet their diet was very high in fat from eating whale, seal, and salmon. Eventually researchers realized that these foods were all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which provided real disease-countering benefits.

What if we don't get enough omega 3 oils?
Researchers have found that without a sufficient supply of polyunsaturated omega-3s, the body will use saturated fat to construct cell membranes. The resulting cell membranes, however, are less elastic, a situation that can have a negative effect on the heart because it makes it harder to return to a resting state.

Omega 3 or Omega 6
Although the body needs both omega-3s and omega-6s to thrive, most people consume far more 6s than 3s.  For this reason, many experts recommend consuming a better balance these two EFAs.

Balancing omega-3 fatty acids with omega-6 fatty acids
Because most people on a typical Western diet consume far more omega-6-rich foods (including cereals, whole-grain bread, baked goods, fried foods, margarine, and others), the ratio is out of balance for almost everyone. Udo Erasmus recommends that the ratio of omega 3s to omega 65 oils should be 

Omega 3 oils reduce high blood pressure
Studies of large groups of people have found that the more omega-3 fatty acids people consume, the lower their overall blood pressure level is. This was the case with the Greenland Eskimos who ate a lot of oily, cold-water fish.

Omega 3's improve immune system health
Omega 3 oils have been shown to improve:

  • rheumatoid arthritis

  • lupus,

  • Raynaud's disease

  • other autoimmune diseases.

Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as fish oils) have been shown to increase survival in people with autoimmune diseases. This is probably because the omega-3s help the arteries--as well as many other parts of the body--stay inflammation free. EPA and DHA are successful at this because they can be converted into natural anti-inflammatory substances  that help decrease inflammation and pain.

Arthritis sufferers benefit from omega 3s
In numerous studies over the years, participants with inflammatory diseases have reported less joint stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and overall fatigue when taking omega 3 oils. Supplement authority Will Brink reports particularly impressive results with flax oil but fish oil should do as well or better.

Rheumatoid arthritis
In 1998 randomized clinical trials reported that omega 3 oils were more successful than a placebo in improving the condition of people with rheumatoid arthritis. The research also showed that getting more omega-3 fatty acids enabled some participants to reduce their use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NASAIDs).

Depression and symptoms of mental health problems.
The human brain is made up of 60% fat and needs omega 3 oils to function properly. Researchers have discovered a link between mood disorders and the presence of low concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in the body. The omega 3s are believed to help keep the brain's entire traffic pattern of thoughts, reactions, and reflexes running smoothly and efficiently.

Omega 3 oils and psychiatric problems
Clinical trials are underway to further investigate whether supplementing the diet with omega 3 essential fatty acids will reduce the severity of such psychiatric problems as mild to moderate depression, dementia, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Interestingly, the oil used to help the child with a degenerative nerve disorder in the popular film Lorenzo's Oil was an omega 3 oil.

Cancer prevention and support.
Preliminary research from the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may help maintain healthy breast tissue and prevent breast cancer. Also, in a recent study, participants who supplemented their diet with fish oils produced fewer quantities of a carcinogen associated with colon cancer than did a placebo group. More research into this exciting use for omega-3s is underway.

Dosage recommendations
Although the FDA has no established recommended daily intake for omega-3s, but a healthy diet containing significant amounts of foods rich in this essential fatty acid is clearly wise. By increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, you will naturally bring the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids back into a healthier, 2-1 or (optimally) 1-1 balance.

Try to reduce your consumption of omega-6-rich foods at the same time that you increase your intake of omega-3-rich foods in the following categories:

Omega 3 oils benefit women and children
Pregnant women and infants need plenty of omega-3s to nourish the developing brain of the fetus and young child. If a pregnant woman gets too few omega-3s, the growing fetus will take all that's available. This could set the stage for depression in the mother. Talk to your obstetrician and pediatrician about specific requirements.

Nutrient Interactions
Whole Health M.D. advises that there are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids through foods. However, if you decide to take omega-3s through supplements (especially those containing fish oils), be sure to check with your doctor first if you are taking a blood-thinner such as warfarin or heparin.

Side Effects of omega 3 oils
There are no known side effects associated with increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids through foods, although fish oil capsules do pose the risk of a "burp" factor. This is a harmless, although not exactly pleasant, fish-y aftertaste that occurs with some brands of fish oil capsules.

Plant sources of omega 3 oils
Flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, and leafy green vegetables are all good sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega 3 oil. A quarter-cup (1 ounce) of walnuts supplies about 2 grams of plant-based omega- 3 fatty acids, slightly more than is found in 3 ounces of salmon

Fish Oil
Cold-water fish, including salmon, sardines, halibut, bluefish, tuna, and mackerel have the highest levels of omega 3 oils. The American Heart Association recommends that people eat tuna or salmon at least twice a week.

Be sure to choose pharmaceutical grade fish oil.
It's important to get your fish oil from a source that has been molecularly distilled to remove dangerous heavy metals and contaminants. I personally reject the idea of consuming a dose of toxic waste materials that an environmental polluter dumps into the ocean

Bernie and I use and recommend the Ultimate Omega Complex by Vital Life Nutritionals. The fish oil comes from fish harvested off the cold clean waters of Northern Norway and processed in a GMP pharmaceutical facility. Borage and flax seed oils are organic and cold pressed. I'm convinced that Ultimate Omega is the best omega 3 oil complex on the market.

There are some good reasons why I use and recommend Vital Life Nutritionals omega 3 oils. Here are a few of them:

  • Vital Life Nutritionals are manufactured by Vitamer Labs, a pharmaceutically registered facility that has been a leader in the manufacturing of natural supplements since the early 1970’s.

  •  These all-natural supplements meet stringent FDA regulations. This is noteworthy as the FDA does not regulate nutritional supplements and there are a lot of shysters in the vitamin business.

  • All Vital Life Nutritional products have received the highest rating in the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) program and the GMP seal is displayed on the label.

  •  All supplements are tested to insure proper dissolution and absorption. You can rest assured that Vital Life Nutritionals won’t end up in your urine.

  • You are guaranteed that what you see on the label is inside the bottle.

Click here to check out omega 3 oils from Vital Life Nutritionals.

Women who eat foods high in oils containing alpha-linolenic acid appear to have a lower risk of dying from heart disease and of sudden cardiac death than women whose diets are low in the substance, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's scientific sessions in New Orleans in November 2004.
The findings were only ‘observational’, meaning they don't necessarily indicate any cause-and-effect relationship, the researchers said.
‘ It looks like eating this type of food might be helpful, but you can't prove it or make mandates,’ said study author Dr Christine Albert, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) belongs to the family of omega-3 fatty acids. Overall, ‘the evidence is very compelling for omega-3 fatty acids conferring a cardio protective effect,’ said Samantha Heller, senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Medical Center in New York City.


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