Fish Oil has quickly become one the most popularly used nutrition supplements on the market. There now exists a robust body of scientific evidence supporting the various health benefits of including fish oil in the diet of both active and sedentary individuals. Regular, long term supplementation has been linked to lower rates of depression, improved cholesterol profiles, decreased insulin resistance, and reduction in stress, dietary, or exercise induced inflammation. The active ingredients that make fish oil so potent are the Omega-3 fatty acids, Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). These long chain polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) cannot be produced by the body naturally and are involved in a wide range of cellular functions.
Omega-3s accomplish their health benefits by being converted into single molecules known as eicosanoids. When the body enters a state of stress, fatty acids are converted into eicosanoids to mediate issues and help cells fight back. Many PUFAs can be converted into eicosanoids, but those derived from Omega-3s appear to have the dramatic anti-inflammatory effects we desire.
Since the body is not picky on exactly which PUFAs are converted into eicosanoids, it’s important that diet provides an optimal balance of Omega-3s to other sources. The majority of PUFAs ingested in the Western diet are Omega-6 fatty acids. Vegetable sourced oils are typically high in Omega-6, which is why in an agricultural system designed for processed, cheap food, these begin to vastly out weight ingestion of Omega-3s. Baked goods, nuts, seeds, red meat, chicken, dairy products, and majority of processed foods are high in Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3s on the other hand are difficult to source outside in comparable doses outside of various fish species.
It is estimated that the food economies in the United States and Europe yield a 15:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. <1, 2> No scientific consensus exists for what an optimal ratio could be but many agree this is likely far from ideal. What is documented are the many pro-inflammatory effects eicosanoids derived from Omega-6 can have, including heightened blood pressure, shortness of breath, and proarrhythmia. <3> Omega-3 derived eicosanoids can have the exact opposite effects of these Omega-6 counterparts, either through active anti-inflammatory properties, or by simply replacing and preventing their negative side effects.
Dosing and Sources
The American Heart Association currently recommends anywhere from 1g-4g of EPA and DHA supplementation per day, depending on the individuals triglyceride profile and heart condition. <4> Achieving this amount through normal diet and whole foods can be difficult and costly, but it is possible through regular ingestion of fish. For many, this may not be an option, leaving Fish Oil supplementation a convenient and effective response to a systematic problem.
Not all Omega-3 supplements are created equal. A majority of the options available in the marketplace are divided between two forms: triglyceride and ethyl ester. Laboratories will utilize a process known as transesterification, replacing the glycerol in a fatty acid with ethanol. This has the benefit of concentrating the oil and yield high doses of EPA and DHA in a smaller package. However, when compared against the triglyceride form, omega-3 ethyl ester is 27% less bioavailable. <5> Long term study of supplementation with equal Omega-3 dosing showed the group using triglyceride form had a 26% greater increase in bodily Omega-3 index against the ethyl ester group <6>.
Xendurance’s Omega+D3provides superior bioavailability by utilizing EPA and DHA in their triglyceride form. Each dose contains the 1g daily recommendation to help keep your dietary fats in balance along with the added benefit of 4,000 IUs of Vitamin D3. Help improve heart, brain, and joint health with by adding these essential vitamins and fatty acids to your daily routine. Visit our product page for more information.
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Sanders, TA. “Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in Europe.” Am J Clin Nutr.2000. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10617968
Simopoulos, AP. “The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.” Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2008. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408140
Patterson, E. et al. “Health Implications of High Dietary Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids.” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.2012. http://doi.org/10.1155/2012/539426
4.Kris-Etherton, PM et al. “Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease.” Circulation.2002. https://doi.org/10.1161/01.CIR.0000038493.65177.94
Dyerberg, J. et al. “Bioavailability of marine n-3 fatty acid formulations.” Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids.2010. https://www.plefa.com/article/S0952-3278(10)00117-1/fulltext
Neubronner, J. et al. “Enhanced increase of omega-3 index in response to long-term n-3 fatty acid supplementation from triacylglycerides versus ethyl esters.” Eur J Clin Nutr.2011 https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2010.239