One hundred years ago, it was said that good The mother always sends her children to bed at night with a spoonful of cod liver oil. Then, an announcement of the late nineteenth century promotes the benefits of Scott's emulsion of pure Norwegian cod liver oil:
"It restores the energies of signaling, increases the powers of resistance against diseases; cures consumption, scrofula, general weakness and all anemic and waste diseases (especially in children), it keeps coughs and colds, and thus allows the constitution to maintain the health strength. "[i]
While today we do not hear much about cod liver oil (although it is still available), we have been bombarded with advertising about our need for Omega-3 fatty acids-The ones that are found particularly in fish oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for health and a variety of bodily functions that include: controlling blood clotting, building cell membranes in the brain, and a variety of other potential benefits.[ii] Of the omega-3, the two that concern us the most are: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).[iii]
DHA and EPA are two primary fatty acids found in "fatty" fish, krill, squid, green mussels and seaweed. Other non-marine sources of DHA and EPA include: flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil and walnut oil. But the body can only convert a limited amount of those oils to DHA and EPA.[iv]
Health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids
Prevention against heart attack and stroke:
Although once thought to help in the prevention of heart disease and stroke, numerous studies have produced little evidence of this. However, DHA and EPA do offer some results that can improve the health of our heart. Reducing blood pressure, thinning blood and lowering triglycerides are three of those benefits.[v]
But to date, there is no evidence that taking fish oil supplements reduces the possibility of a heart attack or stroke. In fact, it may be more beneficial to eat two or more servings of fish per week than to take a fish oil supplement when it comes to living for a healthy heart.[vi]
Prevention and relief of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases:
It is known that increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids reduces some forms of inflammation.[vii]
Prevention and treatment of cancer:
Some evidence links DHA and EPA with reducing the risk of colon, rectum and breast cancer. However, higher amounts of these omega-3 fatty acids have possibly been associated with an increase in prostate cancer. But the jury is still deliberating on this. The good news is that fish oil can help prevent weight loss during chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients.[viii]
Prevention of eye diseases:
It has been shown that a higher intake of DHA and EPA significantly reduces the risk of ocular disease related to age and age-related macular degeneration.[ix]
Relief of psychiatric, mental and depression disorders:
For reasons yet to be discovered, fish oil seems to offer some relief to people with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety.[x]
Due to the need for DHA for the normal development of the brain and the retina in babies, pregnant mothers and babies can benefit from fish oil.[xi]
Prevention of Alzheimer's disease:
A study has shown that daily consumption of a fish oil supplement significantly reduced the severity of acne among men and women 18 to 33 years of age.[xiii]
Sources and doses of fish oil
Fish oil is available in three basic forms: soft gelatin capsule, liquid or "in the fin". In addition, enteric-coated soft capsules are designed to pass through the undigested stomach to alleviate the taste of the fish. The main concerns when choosing a good omega-3 supplement are: the concentrations of DHA and EPA, the quality of the product, the cost and, possibly, the size of the soft capsule.[xiv]
The concentrations of DHA and EPA vary widely among the different brands available. There is no official dose recommended by the FDA, but in general, between 300 and 500 mg of combined DHA and EPA taken daily should be sufficient.[xv]
In terms of product quality, Consumer Labs has done this work for us, so I would recommend that you check out his review of 30 different brands.
Whether in the form of soft gel or liquid from a bottle, the cost can also vary from a penny to 24 cents per serving, depending on the source and other factors. Softgels come in a variety of sizes from half an inch to more than an inch, so if you have trouble swallowing large pills, this may be an important factor for you.[xvi]
If you prefer to consume your DHA and EPA "on the fin", you can do so by eating only two 3 oz. Servings. of "fatty" fish per week. Those "fatty" fish include:
|Anchovies Fish carp Fish Catfish Halibut Herring Lake trout Salmon Pompano Scratched sea bass White tuna (white tuna) White fish|
Be aware of where your fish comes from. For example, farmed salmon may contain higher amounts of PCBs than wild salmon. In addition, albacore tuna and freshwater fish may contain enough mercury to not eat more than six ounces per week.[xvii]
Finally, what nineteenth-century mothers did not know is that cod liver oil and other fish liver oils contain high amounts of vitamins A and D. These vitamins can be toxic, so you'll want to know how many of those vitamins are getting.
Announcement of Scott's Emulsion around 1884[i]
By: Joe Barton
Joe is the founder of Barton Publishing, Inc., a leading natural health company that specializes in the publication of cutting-edge reports that show people how to heal and treat themselves using safe, natural and proven remedies. He is also a contributing writer who helps thousands of people suffering from acid reflux, diabetes, high blood pressure, gout and other 20 diseases and diseases enjoy healthier lives.
[i] Diane Wendt, Chemical Heritage Foundation, "Man with a fish in the back: science, romance and disgust in the sale of cod liver oil" http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/media/magazine/articles/28-1-the-man-with-a-fish-on-his-back.aspx?page=2.
[i] Nutrivize, "Synthetic VS. Natural vitamins: We have no idea what is better ", 2012, http://nutrivize.com/blog/general-health/synthetic-vs-natural-vitamins-we-have-no-idea-whats-better/.
[ii]Dr. Frank Sacks, Harvard School of Public Health, "Ask the Expert: Omega-3 Fatty Acids" http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3/.
[iii] Consumer Lab.Com, "Product Review: Review of fish oil supplements and omega-3 fatty acids (including krill, kelp, squid and green-lipped mussel oil), 2014, https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/fish_oil_supplements_review/omega3/.
[iv] Consumer Lab.Com.
[v] Consumer Lab.Com.
[vi] Consumer Lab.Com.
[vii] Consumer Lab.Com.
[viii] Consumer Lab.Com.
[ix] Consumer Lab.Com.
[x] Consumer Lab.Com.
[xi] Consumer Lab.Com.
[xii] Consumer Lab.Com.
[xiii] Consumer Lab.Com.
[xiv] Consumer Lab.Com.
[xv] Consumer Lab.Com.
[xvi] Consumer Lab.Com.
[xvii] Consumer Lab.Com.
[xviii] Diane Wendt, Chemical Heritage Foundation, "Man with a fish in the back: science, romance and disgust in the sale of cod liver oil" http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/media/magazine/articles/28-1-the-man-with-a-fish-on-his-back.aspx?page=2.
Health benefits of omega-3s and fish oil, Source: http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/fish-oil-review/
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