Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to cardiovascular health and preventing heart disease. They are one of the most effective ways to lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol. They also increase good cholesterol or high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which helps remove LDL from the blood. The most common sources of omega-3 are oily fish and dark green leafy vegetables.
Most doctors also recommend omega 3 esters to supplement food sources. They usually contain concentrated fish or flaxseed oil in soft, edible containers designed to dissolve quickly in the body. Omega 3 esters contain pre-measured doses, allowing patients to better monitor their intake. They are also ideal for patients on strict diets, food restrictions make it difficult to meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of omega-3 and other nutrients. Here are some tips for buying and using omega 3 esters.
1. Cod liver oil vs fish oil
Cod livers contain high doses of omega-3 and vitamins A and D. While this may be beneficial, patients usually have to exceed the RDA of vitamins A and D to get enough omega-3. Vitamin D overdose is particularly harmful because it causes excess calcium in the blood, which may lead to heart and kidney failure.
Fish oils, on the other hand, are obtained from the body tissues of fatty fish. They have much lower vitamin A and D content, which lowers the risk of overdose. To benefit from both types, take cod liver oil from late autumn to winter, and fish oils the rest of the year. This works because the body needs sunlight to process vitamin D, and there is less sunlight in the cold seasons.
2. Herbal sources
Omega 3 capsules may also be made from plant sources, most commonly flaxseed. Flaxseed oil is a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the primary form of omega-3. It is also said to have anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, and anti-proliferative effects. Other plant sources include nuts, leafy green vegetables, sesame seeds, chickpeas, and various vegetable oils (soya bean, sunflower, canola).
IMPORTANT: Dietary supplements do not undergo the same strict regulations as pharmaceutical drugs. Some omega 3 capsules may contain additives that not only reduce the effects of omega-3, but can also be harmful to your health. These include sugar, starch, silica, and gluten. To make sure your omega 3 capsules do not contain such chemicals, choose only products that are GMP-compliant. Avoid those that have additives such as artificial colors and flavors.
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Jean Helmet is one of the editors for a series of health sites, We offer a free health book for subscribers to our websites newsletter. We cover everything you need to know on nutrition, as well as omega 3 nutrition, and how to improve your general overall health. Check out our nutrition health book ,