Health Benefits of Fish Oils
Essential Fatty Acids are nutritional cornerstones of human health. Two major families of fats are comprised under this designation, omegas 3 and 6. They are deemed "essential" because we need them for proper health—much like certain vitamins and minerals—but cannot produce them on our own. We must therefore consume these fats through diet or supplementation.
Most people associate omega-3s with cardiovascular health, but their benefits go far beyond the heart. The two main omega-3s—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—promote a healthy immune response that is behind the relief of many chronic conditions but that is too often inhibited by poor nutrition.* Extensive research has documented the health benefits of EPA and DHA, which include not only a healthy heart, but brain and cognitive function, joint mobility, eye health, pregnancy and lactation, healthy skin and hair, and a normally functioning immune response.*
Despite the great health benefits of omegas, individuals around the world suffer from omega–3 deficiency, a little–known problem to most people, but one that is counted as the 8th leading cause of preventable death in the US, among dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors.1 Omega–3 deficiency stems in large part from the growing unavailability of foods rich in these nutrients—principally fish—and because of the increasing popularity of the Western diet worldwide. While most diets prior to the 20th century contained a relative balance of omega–3 and omega–6 rich foods, the typical Western diet today contains far more of the omega–6s. In fact, Americans have the lowest intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids of any developed country—the typical American diet contains 14–25 times more omega–6s than omega–3s!