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Omega-3: How to Properly Increase Intake of Omega-3 with Fish Oil to Protect Against Disease
Last review: 08/12/10
You want to increase your overall health and energy level. You want to prevent heart disease, cancer, depression and Alzheimer's. Perhaps you also want to treat rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, ulcerative colitis, Raynaud's disease and a host of other diseases. One of the most important things you can do for all of these is increase your intake of the omega-3 fats found in fish oil and cod liver oil, and reduce your intake of omega-6 fats.

These two types of fat, omega-3 and omega-6, are both essential for human health. However, the typical American consumes far too many omega-6 fats in their diet while consuming very low levels of omega-3. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1. Our ancestors evolved over millions of years on this ratio. Today, though, our ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 averages from 20:1 to 50:1! That spells serious danger for you, and as is now (finally!) being reported throughout even the mainstream health media, lack of omega-3 from fish oil is one of the most serious health issues plaguing contemporary society.

The primary sources of omega-6 are corn, soy, canola, safflower and sunflower oil; these oils are overabundant in the typical diet, which explains our excess omega-6 levels. Avoid or limit these oils. Omega-3, meanwhile, is typically found in flaxseed oil, walnut oil, and fish.

By far, the best type of omega-3 fats are those found in that last category, fish. That's because the omega-3 in fish is high in two fatty acids crucial to human health, DHA and EPA. These two fatty acids are pivotal in preventing heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. The human brain is also highly dependent on DHA - low DHA levels have been linked to depression, schizophrenia, memory loss, and a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's. Researchers are now also linking inadequate intake of these omega-3 fats in pregnant women to premature birth and low birth weight, and to hyperactivity in children.

Sadly, though, eating most fresh fish, whether from the ocean, lakes and streams, or farm-raised, is no longer recommended. Mercury levels in almost all fish have now hit dangerously high levels across the world, and the risk of this mercury to your health now outweighs the fish's omega-3 benefits. However, because fish would otherwise be immensely healthy, I had been searching for a safe source of fish for some time -- and finally discovered one. The Vital Choice Alaskan wild red salmon offered on this site is the one source of salmon or any fish that, via independent lab-testing, I have discovered is safe from mercury and other toxins. In addition to being mercury-free, the Vital Choice Alaskan salmon is loaded with omega-3 with EPA and DHA , is high in antioxidants to help you live longer, and tastes absolutely delicious.

Routine consumption of fish oil is another highly recommended method of increasing your omega-3 intake and improving your health, and is also the most convenient for today's busy lifestyles. Fish oil contains high levels of the best omega-3 fats - those with the EPA and DHA fatty acids - and, as it is in pure form, does not pose the mercury risk of fresh fish.

Why These Fish Oil and Cod Liver Oil are the Best Available

While I am well-known as a minimalist when it comes to supplements, fish oil (in the warm months) and cod liver oil (in the cool months) are "supplements" that I cannot urge you strongly enough to add to your daily diet if you want to prevent disease and increase both the length and quality of your life.

But as with most foods in general, the type (i.e., brand) of fish oil/cod liver oil you choose makes all the difference when it comes to aiding your health. Simply put, there are many inferior brands of fish oil and cod liver oil on the market that, at best, you'll be throwing your money away on because they have little real benefit, and at worse, can actually cause you harm over time. Purity and potency mean everything when choosing fish oil, and there is a wide variance in those factors with brands out.

I have researched brands and types of fish oil and cod liver oil extensively, and can with absolute confidence recommend both the Living Fuel Omega 3 & E fish oil capsules with full-spectrum vitamin E and the Carlson's brand of fish oil and cod liver oil. Both are rigorously tested for potentcy and purity, and because these exceptional brands may be difficult to find in health food stores, I now offer both the Omega 3 & E and Carlson's here in the "Recommended Products" section.

How do you choose between the Omega 3 & E and the Carlson's? You will notice that the Omega 3 & E costs more, but in addition to high-quality fish oil, it also provides you the full-spectrum vitamin E (containing tocotrienols and tocopherols) that most people should be taking if they take fish oil. For more information on why you should take full-spectrum vitamin E, I encourage you to read: "If You’re Taking Fish Oil, Fat-Soluble Antioxidants are Crucial." With the Living Fuel Omega 3 & E, in other words, you are getting both the highest-quality fish oil and highest-quality vitamin E in one.

If you opt for the Carlson's brand, I strongly recommend you read the article highlighted directly above and consider adding a full-spectrum vitamin E to your daily diet with the fish oil as well. While you won't typically find this full-spectrum vitamin E on the vitamin shelves of most grocery stores or corner drugstores, a good health food store or vitamin shop should carry it and be able to recommend a quality brand.

To conclude, one of my highest recommendations to my patients, and to you, is to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of omega-3 with EPA and DHA fatty acids in your diet to prevent disease and prolong your life. Supplement daily with a high-quality fish oil/cod liver (see Omega 3 & E and Carlson's for dosage information) and try to eat plenty of toxin-free fish like the Vital Choice salmon.

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