Are You Getting Enough Omega-3?

How many times have you been walking down the aisles of your local super market and seen products labeled “fortified with omega-3”? It seems like a lot of products are jumping on the omega-3 bandwagon. Everything from eggs, to breakfast cereals, milk, even sugary fruit juices are now claiming to be fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. Is this a good thing? Well the answer is yes…and no

When you actually look at the label you’ll see that the item has an almost microscopic amount of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is a plant sourced omega-3 fatty acid that is cheap and easy to add to a large number of items. However, ALA needs to be converted into the omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to be useful to us humans, and the conversion is extremely inefficient.  Very little of the ALA actually converts in your body into the usable omega-3 fatty acids. So, if you’re interested in boosting your omega-3s, fortified foods are not the answer.  However, food does play an interesting role in the omega equation when we consider “omega balance.”

A Matter Of Balance

Most of the products that are “fortified with omega-3s” are either corn based, corn fortified, have some “corn additive,” or is from an animal that was fed corn-based feed. In this country most of the beef, chicken, turkey, pork, and even some fish is fed corn-based feed. This presents a problem because corn products have high amounts of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Health professionals tell us that an ideal balance of omega-3 to omega-6 should be no higher than 1:4.  But, because the American food supply is so heavily steeped in products with high amounts omega-6 fats (mostly from corn), the average American’s omega balance can be as out of whack as 1:40 omega-3 to omega-6!  Therefore, if you are eating omega-3 fortified eggs (from chickens that eat corn), omega-3 fortified corn based flake cereal, milk from corn fed cows, and fortified fruit juices that have high fructose corn syrup, you are actually hurting your omega-3/omega-6 ratio. Fried foods are cooked in corn oil, which means that any item that is fried has a much higher level of omega-6 fatty acids; 100grams of corn oil adds almost 50grams of omega-6 fatty acids to the equation.

People attempting to eat a more omega-3 rich diet try to eat fish. That’s a good idea and the American Dietetic Association now suggests you eat at least 8oz of fish a week. If you take a look at the amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in fish you find that an 8oz serving of salmon, cooked in dry heat, would give you about 3 grams (3000mg) of omega-3 fatty acids. In contrast, one serving of chicken nuggets (4 nuggets) contains about 3 ½ grams (3500 mg) of omega-6 and only 500mg omega-3 fatty acids. If you subtract the omega-3 from the omega-6 you’re left with a lot of omega-6. Multiply that by the amount of processed food you might eat during a normal week and you can see how those omega-6s add up!

Here are a few common foods and the levels of omega-6/ omega-3 fatty acids.

  •  Two tablespoons of peanut butter contains close to 4 grams (4000mg) of omega-6 and less than a 100mg of omega-3s.
  • A quarter pound burger contains 1 gram (1000mg) of omega-6 and less than 50mg of omega-3s.
  • One serving of chicken breast (140g) will contain about 1 gram (1000mg) of omega-6 and less than 100mg of omega-3s.

As you can see, if you just eat one peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you are behind in your omega-3 balance for the week. In addition, if you fry your fish it reduces the omega-3 content because the process of cooking destroys much of the omega-3 content of an otherwise omega-3 rich food; oddly, omega-6 fatty acids survive the cooking process.

Because of this, some health professionals believe that most Americans only get about 10% or less of the Omega-3 they need. The effect this can have on us is not easy to discern because deficiency symptoms are vague and are often not diagnosed. This is because other deficiencies and illnesses manifest similar conditions.  However, if you are experiencing joint pain and stiffness due to inflammation, or any other inflammatory condition, there is a good chance you need to add omega-3s to your diet.

What Is The Best Source Of Omega-3s?

Many people try to address their omega-3 deficiency by taking fish oil supplements.  While that is indeed a good idea, it’s not the best idea. There is a significant body of research that shows a considerable advantage in the omega-3 oil extract of the New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) over standardized fish oil. The mussel lipid extract, known commercially as “PCSO-524™,” contains not only the essential Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA found in most ordinary fish oil products, but PCSO-524 also contains a unique array of 30 health promoting fatty acids. This patented extract has shown to be effective in multiple published clinical studies to have a cumulative effect in reducing pain due to inflammation as well as promoting relief from other inflammatory conditions resulting from diets too high in omega-6 fats.

The studies supporting supplemental omega-3 are numerous and well documented and have examined areas such as respiratory, joint and exercise-induced inflammation. However, positive results usually require large doses of standardized fish oil to achieve a therapeutic dose. Unfortunately, it is well known that high doses of fish oil are contraindicated for people who bruise easily, have a bleeding disorder, or take blood-thinning medications. Large doses of fish oil may also increase the risk of bleeding, intestinal gas, bloating, belching and diarrhea.  It seems that the unique array of 30 fatty acids found only in the green-lipped mussel oil extract – PCSO-524 – create a potency and action that far exceeds that of standardized fish oil.  This means you need much less for an effective dose.  This not only makes the omega-3s from green-lipped muscle extract more tolerable, but also more economical.

Omega XL® is one of only two Omega 3 supplements sold in the world that contains the patented stabilized marine oil extract PCSO-524™ derived only from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel, with 30 healthy fatty acids including DHA and EPA. Omega XL is manufactured exclusively by Great HealthWorks Inc., and is the most widely available omega-3 fish oil supplement containing the potent PCSO-524™ marine oil extract.

Omega XL®, with PCSO-524™, is marketed exclusively by Great HealthWorks, a company dedicated to your good health.  Over Half a Billion Omega XL gel caps have been sold to satisfied customers who enthusiastically confirm the incredible inflammation fighting and long term joint pain managing effect they experienced with this unique, all-natural, supplement. Great Health Works cares about you.  Their friendly representatives call you, not once, but twice in the weeks after you receive your order to check in and make sure you are satisfied, happy and using Omega XL correctly.  They even offer Auto-Ship, the company’s program that automatically insures you never run out of Omega XL month after month.  Expensive, dangerous, habit-forming drugs are no the answer to your joint pain.  Omega XL is.