However, where does one find these nutrients? Well, one of the best sources of the omega-3 fatty acid is, conveniently, fish oil.
The omega-3 fatty acids that are contained within fish oil can be broken down into two subnutrients that predominant the omega-3s in fish oil: EPA and DHA.
EPA stands for eicosapentaenoic acid while DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid.
EPA is the building block for the prostaglandins and something known as thromboxane A3.
These are substances like hormones that assist in counteracting inflammatory disorders triggered by other prostaglandins.
EPA predominantly comprises the anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil.
These properties are what fish oil attributes to its ability to fight several diseases.
Part of the way that DHA exerts its effects is by reducing blood triglycerides in humans, therefore reducing the risk of heart problems.
Depression, Alzheimer's, and ADD have all been associated with lower levels of DHA.
The exact reason as to why fish oil provides so many benefits remains unclear.
Most likely the benefits of fish oil are not due to one single effect that it has on the body, but in several, complex ways by correcting a nutrient deficiency that the body has several uses for.
The exact biochemistry that fish oil exerts these effects on would expand beyond the scope of this article.
It should be noted though, that as our bodies were evolving, this fatty acid was readily available - therefore, our bodies evolved to use it.
Unless you get fish oil from natural fish in your diet or from some other source, you are breaking a physiological law of your body and will perform at a lesser wellbeing than you could be at by not getting this essential nutrient in your diet.
Fish oil has been implicated in reducing/treating heart disease, heart attack, Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis, ADD, and depression.
A common problem that many people run into when buying a fish oil product is the quality of their fish oil product.
There are so many different fish oil manufacturers out there claiming different things, it is hard to decide which one to buy.
Many claims say things such as "mercury free," "toxin free," and "pharmaceutical grade.
" It is best to try to pick up a fish oil that does claim these things, although it is important to note that there is no fish that has absolutely no toxins or contaminants in them.
Although, the different (higher quality) types of fish oil can have different/lower amounts of toxins or mercury in them.
In addition, many lower quality fish oils can oxidize, which further makes it even more important to make sure that you are getting a higher quality product.
Taking oxidized fish oils can have the opposite effect of what you want.
If you have ever heard of antioxidants - nutrients that fight oxidation - taking oxidized fish oils would increase oxidation.
A good way to know if you have a lower quality product is if there is a rancid smell or odor about the capsules.
A high quality, refined product should have a greatly reduced odor, "fish burp," and incidence of bad breath.
Nonetheless, due to technology today we can extract the EPA/DHA concentrates through pharmaceutical processes for refined fish oils.
This is nice, but finding one of these refined fish oils can still be tough - that is why it is important to check out the website http://www.
com and click on "consumer reports.
" This website has tested and will tell you the highest quality of fish oil that they have found in their search.
Some tips for taking your fish oil: Make sure you get a high quality, refined product - check ifosprogram.
com to find one.
Do not take your fish oils on an empty stomach.
Take your fish oils at night before bedtime with a snack if possible.
Take your fish oils before a meal.
Freeze liquid fish oil - this will help prevent oxidation.
If you take more than four fish oil pills per day, divide them up throughout the day instead of taking them all at once.