"Omega 3 provides anti-inflammatory molecules that defend us against allergy, autoimmune disease & chronic diseases..."
David Katz - M.D.
The mighty Omega 3
Omega 3. What a gift from nature. It nourishes the whole of your body for the whole of your life. Without it, we just don’t work quite as well. So what exactly is Omega 3, and why do we need it?
In science-speak, it’s an essential polyunsaturated long chain fatty acid. It’s called essential because we can’t make it on our own. We can turn sunlight into Vitamin D, for example, but the only way to get Omega 3 is to eat it.
Where does it come from?
The most important types of Omega 3 are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These are found almost exclusively in fish and seafood – particularly in oily fish like sardines and mackerel. Yum to some; yuck to others.
ALA is the other main type of Omega 3 – you get it from things like vegetable oils, flaxseed and nuts. Fish take ALA from their food and turn it into EPA and DHA in their bodies. They’re jolly good at this, but we humans can only convert it in small amounts. So, if you can eat fish, this is the best way to get your Omega 3.
There are many, many health benefits of Omega 3, proven by thousands of medical trials around the world.
Enough Omega 3 is hard to get
When was the last time you sat down to a nice plate of sardines? And how often do your kids eat oily fish? In places like Japan and Iceland, where oily fish is a staple (a bit like bread for us), people are much less prone to illnesses like heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Folks are also becoming more and more worried about the levels of mercury and heavy metals in fish, especially tuna. And salmon is intensively farmed, so it’s very hard to find (and afford) wild salmon.
Omega 6 – the bad guy
Too much Omega 6 really isn’t good for us. It stops Omega 3 from working and is a major cause of illness and inflammation. The trouble is, we’re really rather fond of things like biscuits, crisps and chips. And these are all made with vegetable oils and high in Omega 6. 150 years ago, the ratio of Omega 3 to 6 in our diets was 1:1 – now it’s closer to 1:15 and as high as 1:25 in the US. So we need to give ourselves more Omega 3 to balance out the Omega 6 in our diets.
Why is Omega 3 so amazing?
There are many, many health benefits of Omega 3. This isn’t just us saying this – it’s been proven by thousands of medical trials around the world. It’s good for our hearts, brains and eyes. It helps keeps our joints and skin healthy. And there are hundreds of promising trials that are charting the positive effects of Omega 3 on Alzheimer’s, ADHD, depression, and children’s learning and behaviour.
Six great reasons to take Omega 3 fish oil
1 For brilliant brains
Did you know around 60% of your brain is fat? A large chunk of which is Omega 3. It's called ‘brain food’ for good reason. It’s essential for healthy brains, especially young developing ones. It helps slow age-related memory loss and counters depression. And it’s used to help autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
2 For bouncing babies
Pour goodness into those little growing bodies. Omega 3 has critical nutrients for babies’ developing brains, eyes and nervous systems. It also helps keep mothers’ brains healthy and moods stable. Happy mum equals happy child. As a bonus, it can also help reduce allergies and asthma in children.
3 For happy hearts
Keep your ticker pumping like a champion. We called our fish oil Lion Heart for a reason. Omega 3 lowers blood pressure and triglycerides. It reduces the risk of ‘furry’ arteries (atherosclerosis) by reducing inflammation and thinning the blood to help it flow smoothly. It's the number one supplement for healthy, strong hearts.
4 For jaunty joints
Stay nimble and on your toes. High dose Omega 3 helps with arthritis (rheumatoid and osteoarthritis) by reducing inflammation and keeping joints lubricated. Arthritis.org recommends 2,700mg a day. It's also great for fitness fanatics, helping reduce the risk of injury during intense exercise and can soothe those pesky achy knees.
5 For bright eyes
Look out. Dry eyes can be a sign that you need a bit more Omega 3 in your life. DHA forms a big part of the eye tissue and can keep tear ducts working well. It can also help prevent age-related macular degeneration – so you see the world better for longer. We tend to take our eyes for granted - let's not.
6 For fabulous skin, darling
Keep your skin supple, plump and glowing. Dry skin and bumpy backs of arms are often a sign you need to up your Omega 3. It helps skin stay hydrated and elastic. It helps protect against sun damage and boosts cell membrane repair. It can even have a dramatic effect on eczema, acne and psoriasis by reducing inflammation.