Do I Really Have to Take Fish Oil Pills?
Omega3 fish oil plays a vital role in our diet, not only for building the structure of nerves, supporting brain messengers and building the brain itself, but also for fat loss and muscle maintenance.
Omega3 fish oil consists of long-chain fatty acids EPA (Eicosapentanoic acid) and DHA (docosohexanoic acid).
I believe we should all be supplementing with Omega3’s, for one reason; it’s deficient in our foods. Back in the day, nearly every animal would feed on grass and plant based foods, keeping their Omega3’s nice and high. Now days though, the majority of animal products we purchase have been grain fed (cheaper for farmers) and this un-fortunately has a negative effect on the animals fatty acid profile, the Omega6 increases, and the Omega3’s decrease. So what once was a ratio of 2:1 – 3:1 Omega6 to Omega3, it is now a ratio of 20:1 – 30:1.
So if you are able to purchase grass fed beef, chicken (including eggs), lamb and fish, you’re onto a good thing, but keep in mind one more thing! Because if you place that meat on heat, most of the Omega3’s will die, so you’ll want to eat it raw to savour all those Omega3’s! Do we do that? No.. that’s why we ALL need to supplement.
Although there are thousands of articles, research papers and information out there about how good Omega3’s are, I still don’t believe enough people have decided to jump on the Omega3 supplementation bandwagon to dramatically start improving their health and body composition goals.
Let’s get straight to the point
- Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
- Heart Disease
- And more…
Remembering the structure of fish-oil I mentioned above, research has shown that EPA is a powerful anti-catabolic and therefore prevents excessive muscle protein breakdown. This is pretty impressive because EPA, so far, is the only nutrient that has shown in research to block the molecular pathway that results in excessive muscle breakdown, even when on a calorie restricted diet.
Ok, so now that you all want to start taking Omega3’s, just hold on for a moment longer before you go out and make a random purchase on a product which has Omega3’s in it.
Omega3 fish oil initially is what you should buy and consume. There are products out there which have Omega3, Omega6 and Omega9 combined, these products are pretty useless to the majority of people out there who eat a balanced diet and who will consume enough Omega6 and Omega9 fatty acids anyway.
Omega6 is a fatty acid your body cannot create, however is found in food sources often consumed such as; nuts, eggs, meat and dairy, and Omega9’s are high in foods such as; nuts, olive oil and meat. So the only fat you need in these certain products are Omega3’s, the rest you already have an abundance of and too much of any fat can be harmful to the body.
Moving onto Cod liver Oil (CLO), which contains EPA and DHA but in typically smaller amounts than that of pure fish oil, it also contains naturally-occurring vitamin A & D which is an added bonus and helpful to those who don’t see much sun, such as those of you who work in the office and don’t get outdoors much. So if you decide to take CLO, I would recommend including pure Omega3 fish oil to your diet as well, just because the Omega3 ratio in CLO is significantly lower to that of pure fish oil.
Flaxseeds… A lot of people will turn to flaxseeds/flaxseed oil to obtain their Omega3’s, although flaxseeds contain a fairly high amount of Omega3’s, you need to be aware that the Omega3’s found in flaxseeds, and the Omega3 found in fish oil are different (not bad, just different). For Omega3’s to be used efficiently in the body we need the fats EPA and DHA, flaxseeds don’t contain EPA and DHA but contain the fatty acid ALA which our bodies will attempt to convert to EPA and DHA. This is a very hard process and is usually very inefficient as well, therefore our bodies will only end up getting a small percentage of EPA and DHA from the original flaxseed oil, generally less than 3% EPA and/or 1.5% DHA, so in other words, to obtain the same amount of omega3’s in 1tbs of fish oil, you would need to consume so much flaxseed oil it would make you physically sick.
Is It Safe? Are There Any Side Effects?
Fish oil supplements are pretty much as safe as it gets.
Again, you have to realize that it’s just the oil that’s found in fish. It’s not some crazy fat burner/muscle builder type product or anything like that.
Yes, its benefits are impressive, but it’s almost more of a food than it is a supplement. I mean, do you ask what the side effects are before eating some salmon? I didn’t think so.
So, for the average healthy person, it’s virtually 100% safe as long as you’re not exceeding the optimal daily dosage (more on that in a minute).
Really, the only “side effects” I’ve ever heard of is a “fishy aftertaste” or “fishy burps.” But, as long as you are using a high quality brand (more on that later), you won’t ever have this problem.
When and How Should It Be Taken?
Fish oil supplements should always be taken with a meal, not on an empty stomach.
If you’re taking more than 1 capsule per day (which you would always be doing in order to reach the optimal fish oil intake), you should spread it out throughout the day.
You know, like one capsule in the morning, one in the afternoon, one at night or something like that.
How Much Fish Oil Should I Take Per Day? How Many Capsules?
Like I said, I personally take 5-10 capsules of Omega 3 Fish Oil pills as per suggested by my Paleo nutritionist. But when I was weighing over 250lbs he recommended that I take 12-15 capsules per day. I thought that was a crazy amount myself but I’ve learned through research and asking my doctor that amount was safe according to my body weight. So if you don’t feel comfortable taking more than what the bottle suggest then ask your doctor. Keep in mind everyone doesn’t share the same views and opinions of the actual amount that should be taken according to weight.