Question: “What’s the deal with Fish Oil, and why should I take it?”
Answer: This is a complex question, but let’s keep it simple…
First off let’s look at Omega 3’s and 6’s.
Omega 3’s are polyunsaturated fatty acids with a double bond at the third Carbon Atom from the end of the chain.
Omega 6’s are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids that have in common a final Carbon Carbon Double Bond in the sixth position from the methyl end.
Exactly what you were thinking right? Ok, back to keeping things simple, let’s call Omega 3’s “Good Fat” and Omega 6’s “Bad Fat” (I know they’re not bad, just misunderstood).
Within your body we have good cells. They flow through the body and if they find a bad cell, they are programmed to attack and destroy them to prevent them from multiplying. When the bad cells are not destroyed, they multiply. This is a sign that a person has become “sick”. Another name for this is “cancerous”. One of the best ways to keep the body healthy is to maintain the proper ratio of Omega 3’s to Omega 6’s in the body. This helps the good cells keep fighting the bad ones. The ratio we strive for is 1 Omega 3 for every 2 Omega 6’s in the body or “1 to2”. Below is a timeline that shows the ratio between 3’s and 6’s through time and how the Average American Diet has de-evolved.
- Early Hunter Gather Man- 1 to 1
- Optimum Ratio- 1 to 2
- 1935 Average American Diet- 8.5 to 1
- 1985 Average American Diet- 10.2 to 1
- 2003 Average American Diet- 12 to 1 (This is where we become “sick”/ “cancerous”)
- 2008 Average American Diet- 20 to 1
- 2014 Average American Diet- 25 to 1
- 2021 Average American Diet- ???
We’re screwed right? Not yet. Cultures that have a diet high in Cold Water Fish are significantly closer to the 1 to 2 ratio. The reason is Cold Water Fish are high in Omega 3’s. This type of healthy fish somehow seems to be missing from most American Drive Thru windows. So, we supplement by taking Fish Oil.
The next question people ask is, “How much fish oil do I need to take?”
There are thousands of different brands on the market, and each has very different prices. Some are amazingly cheap, some not so much. Why the price variations? It usually depends on the quality of the DHA and EPA (docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid). If you look at the back of the bottle, you’ll see the DHA and the EPA. Add those numbers together and you want to make sure it’s as close to 1,000mg per serving as possible. The human body typically doesn’t need more than 3,000mg (or 3 grams) in a 24-hour period. Make sure that you don’t take that all at once, and that it’s spread out within a 24-hour period.
HOWEVER IF YOU ARE IN THE MILITARY AND PREPARING TO DEPLOY TO ANY TYPE OF COMBAT ENVIRONMENT, YOU MUST STOP TAKING FISH OIL 30 BEFORE DEPLOYING.
One of the side effects of Fish Oil is that it thins the blood. Thin blood and the possibility to not stop massive bleeding do not go well together.
Here is a list of some of the other benefits of taking fish oil…
- Increased Protein Synthesis
- Decreased Protein Breakdown
- Enhanced Immune Function
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity
- Improved Nutrient Delivery to Cells
- Increased Metabolic Rate
- Reduced Inflammation
- Reduced Triglyceride Levels
- Improved Brain Health