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Dr Weil, the famous integrative medicine physician takes omega3 fish oil supplements in the morning and evening.
After seeing positive and life saving health benefits in his own life and in the lives of his patients, Dr. William Sears, a well-known pediatrician and author claims he has "Become more passionate about the health-promoting properties of omega 3 EPA/DHA than about any other nutrient."
Other reputable doctors who strongly attest to the health benefits of omega3's include Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Julian Whitaker.studies show that increased consumption of omega3 faty acids in fish and fish oil supplements "reduces the rates of all-cause mortality, cardiac and sudden death, and possibly stroke." Fish and fish oil has proven to have one of the best, most easily absorbed form of the omega3 fatty acids EPA and DHA
According to Dr. Sears and others, disease starts with stiff and hard cells in the body, flexible cells are healthy cells. If the cell membrane is overloaded with saturated fat molecules packed tightly together, and a shortage of unsaturated fat molecules loosely packed together, it becomes much stiffer and less fluid, making it more difficult for nutrients to get through and toxins to get out. Less fluidity also reduces the neurotransmitters ability to communicate effectively with other cells.
The picture below is a very basic image of a poly-unsaturated fat molecule on the left, which are the omegas, and a saturated fat molecule on the right. The kinks where the arrows are pointing on the poly-unsaturated molecule are the double bonds connecting carbon atoms. This is a key feature in omega3 fat molecules that makes them a healthier fat for cell linings than the saturated fat. It allows them to bend easily to help make the cell more smooth and flexible.It also allows for more space and fluidity in the cells.
Below are three basic diagrams of the omega fatty acids. The number in their names correlates with the carbon atom the double bonds start at. The top one is an Omega9 fatty acid, as you can see by the one arrow it has just one double bond between the 9th and 10th carbon atom. The bottom left is an omega6 fatty acid with five double bonds starting at the 6th carbon atom. The bottom right is an omega3 fatty acid, with six double bonds starting at the 3rd carbon atom. Since it has the most double bonds, it is the most fluid of the three.
The omega9 fatty acids and saturated fats can be made by your body from other food in your diet, unlike the "essential" acids, omega6 and omega3's which need to come directly from your diet.
Omega6's are far more abundant in the American diet than the omega3 fatty acids. Food manufacturers have been using the cheaper vegetable oils in their products for decades, which are much higher in the omega6's than omega3's.
Since the O3's and O6's use the same enzymes to be digested in the cells, being overloaded in one will cause a decline in the other. Therefore staying away from manufactured junk food is a good way to start maintaining a healthy balance of Omega6's and omega3's.
The fact that the food sources for omega 3's is limited compared to sources of the omega 6's also makes a person more likely to have an omega3 fatty acid deficiency. The foods where O3's are found in abundance over O6's are seafood, especially fatty fish like salmon and sardines. Plant sources are flax seed, green leafy vegetables and cauliflower.
O3's are also found in many other foods including nuts, seeds and whole grains but at a much lower ratio, many times with well over 100% more O6's than O3's, causing the body to eliminate the unmetabolized Omega3's for lack of enzymes being used up by the omega6's.
Nutrition experts vary in their opinions of how overloaded the average American is in omega6 fatty acids in their diet. It ranges from 10 to 50 times more omega6's than omega3's. They do agree the best ratio of omega6 to omega3 fatty acids is between 2-1 and 5-1 with omega6 on the higher end.
The membrane or lining of all the cells in your body consist of about 40% fats. Research has found that the majority of the fats in cell membranes are phospholipids, as in the picture on the left, which are made up mostly of unsaturated fats such as in Omega3's and O6's.
The body will use whatever polyunsaturated fats (PUFAS) are available for the cells. While omega6 PUFAS are a necessary component, they tend to be so plentiful in the average diet and body that the enzymes desaturase 5 and 6 will synthesize Omega6s rather than the omega3 fatty acids.
This abundance of the O6 fatty acids over omega3 fatty acids can cause inflammation which damages cells and contributes to virtually all diseases including artherosclerosis, stroke, alzheimers, diabetes and autoimmune disorders .
For this reason it is important to make sure your diet includes good sources of Omega3 fatty acids. Omega3's help decrease inflammation in the body and makes the cells more flexible and fluid for healthy transport of nutrients and toxins into and out of the cells.
Dr Jorn Dyerberg, an award winning physician and pioneer of omega-3 health benefit research, went with a group of researchers to Greenland to study the dietary habits of indigenous people. Their findings found a correlation between low rates of heart disease and consumption of seafood with high levels of omega-3 fats. This convinced him that seafood was the best food to prevent all undesirable health problems. (Because of the amount of DHA/EPA fatty acids it contains.)
Farmed fish is inferior in quality to fish raised in their natural wild habitat for many reasons.The diet farmed fish are fed include grains, giving them higher level of the omega6 fatty acids than they would have if they ate strictly what their natural diet consists of which includes other small fish and plankton. Farmed fish also don't get as much exercise since they are in a confined and crowded area, which also makes them more vulnerable to diseases.
Some of the best wild-caught fish comes from the clean waters of Alaska, especially Sockeye salmon which has some of the highest levels of omega3 fatty acids.