Fish oil supplements are a mainstay in many medicine cabinets. With all of the health benefits you can understand why. Fish oils are rich in 2 different Omega-3 fatty acids. Each has their own unique health benefits. Unfortunately the average Texan diet does not contain many examples of natural Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements can bridge the gap and bring with them the health benefits normally found in Omega-3 fatty acids of cold water fish.
Taking a look at the nutrition information on the back of a fish oil supplement you will see it is broken down into two components:
1. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
2. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
Each of these components has different effects in the body. Many individuals purchase supplements that contain more amounts of one component than the other, dependent on their individual need. So you can determine which is best for you, consider the following:
DHA and brain health go hand in hand. Much of DHA’s benefit claims are focused around brain health and mental acuity. Because of this many expecting mothers are advised to add an Omega-3 DHA supplement to their pregnancy regimen. DHA is important to both child development and adult nutrition needs. Additionally, DHA has eye health benefits that make takin0g fish oil quite tempting to patients concerned about their vision. DHA is found in a high concentration in the retina of the eye. A diet with limited amounts of DHA has a greater chance of dry eyes, visual impairment, and other vision issues.
EPA excels in decreasing inflammation. This occurs at the cellular level and can help patients improve various conditions where inflammation is a primary symptom. EPA can assist in cardiovascular function by decreasing inflammation. Some health professionals believe inflammation is the cause for a variety of disease states. The science behind this theory is promising enough that more research will be conducted in the future. The bottom line is the EPA component of fish oil can decrease the inflammation seen in your body which can have a wide variety of health benefits. In one sense, EPA has many of the benefits of DHA because our bodies can convert EPA into DHA.
Fish Oil Safety
Some patients are concerned about the safety of fish oil. This is certainly a valid concern. The fish used to obtain fish oil can contain trace amounts of mercury in their body, which is poisonous to humans. Without proper filtration, this mercury would be present in fish oil capsules and could potentially cause harm to patients. Safety is paramount to patients when they choose which fish oil supplement to purchase.
Patients should look for a high-quality fish oil supplement that is both pure and fresh. Make certain you are purchasing a product that is filtered and free of toxins. The purity of your fish oil supplement could be the difference in a beneficial or hazardous supplement. A rancid supplement could provide no benefit at all and prove unhealthy to those that take it.
Patients with additional safety concerns can always feel free to ask one of our pharmacists or health and wellness professionals to recommend a high-quality, filtered fish oil with proper amounts of DHA and EPA for daily use.
Together DHA and EPA make quite a team! The health benefits of decreased inflammation and cardiovascular health make it a great addition to anyone’s daily regimen. Drop by Dougherty’s and ask one of our pharmacists or other health care professionals which Omega-3 fish oil is right for you.