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What Is Fish Oil?

Written by OmegaXL on May 12, 2014

“Fish oil” is the common name for the polyunsaturated Omega-3 fats found in the tissue of cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, etc. Omega-3s are known as “essential fatty acids” (EFAs). These polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential because the body needs them, however cannot synthesize them in adequate quantities. Omega-3s must come from an outside source, preferably your diet. The omega-3 EFAs found in fish areeicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and (docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  The third omega-3 in the group is Alpha- linolenic acid (ALA).  ALA comes from plant sources such as certain seeds and nuts such as flaxseed, sunflower, soybean, etc.
The human body can only utilize DHA and EPA.  It cannot use ALA; it has to be converted by the body into DHA and EPA for it to be of any benefit.  Plant sources, such as flax oil, chia seeds, soybeans, etc. contain only ALA and absolutely no DHA or EPA. The most recent studies done by the U.S. National Institutes of Health show that almost none of the ALA from these plant sources converts to DHA and EPA, the only forms the body can use.  So, if you think you’re getting your omega 3s from flax or flaxseed oil, chia seeds and soybeans you’re not. Scientists from the National Institutes of Health concluded that ALA from plants is simply not a viable alternative to the EPA and DHA found in fish, and should not be considered as a substitute for fish and fish oils in the diet.  The only recommended source of dietary omega-3s comes from either cold-water fish or fish oil supplements.
EPA and DHA, have been shown in multiple published studies to be extremely powerful antioxidant compounds that are particularly effective in relieving inflammation and pain associated with inflammatory joint and mobility issues and other inflammatory conditions.
Despite the growing amount of evidence that the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish can boast tremendous health benefits, concern over waterborne contaminates such as mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) has made the standard American diet practically devoid of fish, especially wild caught cold-water fish such as salmon.
Compounding the paucity of fish in the diet, the highly processed nature of the American food supply renders it high in omega-6 fatty acids. The fact that people are not eating enough fish and the high level of dietary omega-6 fats combine to decrease the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid to an unfavorable level.  Since omega-6 fats incite the inflammatory response, and omega-3s combat inflammation, this skewed ratio is thought to increase inflammation in the body and the painful inflammatory conditions that go with it.
These concerns have, according to consumer labs, made fish oil the number ONE supplement sold in the US!
Big bulky, difficult to swallow, fish oil capsules contain only small amounts of usable essential DHA and EPA.  To get enough of these essential fats many people consume numerous large fish oil capsules several times a day. Such large dosages can add undue fat calories to your diet, cause fish burps, indigestion, diarrhea, and other side effects as well as potentially interfere with other medications.   Because OmegaXL’s small, easy-to-swallow, gel caps are up to 22 times more powerful in fighting inflammation and pain than regular fish oil you need to take fewer to get enough usable DHA and EPA.  If you are looking for a quality and effective fish oil supplement you are looking for OmegaXL. Click here to try OmegaXL today and receive a second bottle FREE with your first purchase.