If you don’t get enough fish oil and other sources of DHA and EPA you WILL DIE early. You will put yourself at a higher risk for many cancers, arthritis, depression, and cardiovascular disease all while struggling with body composition issues. Omega 3 Fish Oil supplementation can decrease your risk for all of these ailments and increase your longevity,  they are that important!

Now to the Facts about fish Oil

Fish oil is the oils from fish (duh) which is rich in two important Omega 3 fatty acids: docosohexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentanoic (EPA). Omega 3 fatty acids, also known as linolenic fatty acids are essential fatty acids along with linoleic fatty acids, also known as Omega 6. These fatty acids are essential because we cannot synthesize them in our bodies and they must be consumed in the diet.

Why is Fish Oil Important to me?

The American diet is oversaturated with Omega 6 sources in the diet. Vegetable oils are used to cook everything, cattle and poultry are fed grain based diets, and most processed foods contain an abundance of omega 6’s. This causes an imbalance between EFA’s in the body, leading to increased inflammation, increased growth, and blood clotting. Increased inflammation in the body can decrease recovery from workouts and lead to arthritis. Increased growth of cells can lead to cancers, and increased blood clotting is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Omega 3 fatty acids have the opposite effect as they bring down inflammation, thin the blood, and control cell growth.

Benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oil

  • Improved Cardiovascular function
  • Improved nervous system function
  • Improved immune system
  • According to this study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Increased fish oil supplementation with aerobic activity improves body composition and CV risk factors.
  • According to this study from the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry fish oil supplementation can increase your thyroid signaling from your liver. This in-turn cranks up your metabolism leading to more fat burning.
  • According to this study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Omega 3 supplementation can help fat burning, improve insulin sensitivity, and fight inflammation.

How to choose a good Fish Oil:

When shopping for a fish oil supplement look for each gram (generally 1 soft gel in pill form) to contain 700 mg out of 1000 mg of DHA and EPA. I recommend 700 as the number to look for, but these products are slightly more expensive. When the levels are below 700 mg they are a less pure product and filled with sup-par fillers. Meeting your recommended quota of fish oil is often much easier with a more pure product or liquid fish oil. Brands I recommend are NOW Nutrition Ultra-Omega 3’s and Carlson’s Fish Oil. These products are among the most pure on the market and use small fish such as sardines, mackerel, and anchovies. These fish are lower in mercury than larger fish such as Tuna.

References

Benardot, Dan, and Dan Benardot. “Energy Nutrients.” Advanced Sports Nutrition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2006. 21. Print.

Borer KT. Exercise Endocrinology. Human Kinetics. Champaign, IL. 2003.

Bowden, Jonny. “Sluggish Metabolism or Thyroid Issues? Reach for the Fish Oil!” Sluggish Metabolism or Thyroid Issues? Reach for the Fish Oil! JonnyBowden.com, 2011. Web. 05 June 2012. <http://jonnybowdenblog.com/thyroid-fish-oil/&gt;.

Hill, A. M., J. D. Buckely, K. J. Murphy, and P. R. Howe. “Combining Fish-oil Supplements with Regular Aerobic Exercise Improves Body Composition and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 85.5 (2007): 1267-274. Print.

Souza, L. L. “Effects of Dietary Fish Oil on Thyroid Hormone Signaling in the Liver.” Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 21.10 (2010): 935-40. Print.

S, Rome, M. Kabir, G. Skurnik, N. Naour, E. Meugnier, and H. Vidal. “Treatment for 2 Mo with N 3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Reduces Adiposity and Some Atherogenic Factors but Does Not Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Women with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Study.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 86.6 (2007): 1670-679. Print.

Copyright 2012 by Eric R Bach.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be duplicated or distributed without written consent from the author.

About Eric Bach Performance

Eric Bach is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Precision Nutrition Level 1 (PN1) with a degree in Kinesiology Concentrated in Human Performance and Emphasizing Sports Performance from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. A former collegiate Strength Coach Eric now resides in Denver, Colorado. Eric coaches clients at Forza Fitness and Performance Center and trains everyone from weekend warriors and post rehabilitation patients to professional athletes. Eric developed his passion for fitness through a competitive sports career which included competitive Olympic lifting, Football, Track and Field, and Powerlifting. Eric is a self proclaimed fitness nerd who enjoys reading, eating, deadlifting, and living a healthy and fullfilling life while helping others dominant their lives in and out of the gym. Eric can be contacted at ericbachperformance.com for all consultations and questions

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