Bottom Line Summary
“Essential Fatty Acids” (EFAs) include omega-3, omega-6 and related oils such as omega-7 and omega-9.
The nutritionally essential Omega-3’s are: DHA and EPA. See diagram for more detail. Be careful not to confuse DHA for DHEA, which is a completely separate sterol hormone.
“Fish Oils” and Omega-3 products are derived from the livers of cold-water fish and critters known to have high o3 (including salmon, anchovy, krill). contain only a certain percentage is EPA and DHA. A good brand will specify on the label the exact amounts of EPA and DHA on the label, as you can see below for the ResQ 1250 product
Intolerance of several fish oils warrants evaluation of the GI tract.
The nutritionally essential Omega-6 is GLA (gamma linolenic acid), which may also may be low, and can compete with Omega-3 for absorption and internal processes.
Balance of healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 is the goal.
Omega-3 oils are also called “fish oils,” since fish are the most abundant source. However, all animals, including humans, will make their own when properly fed and healthy.
Omega-6 oils are also essential but currently abundant in most diets, since they come from corn, wheat, and other commodity plants. More on the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 below.
Cows, fish and other animals were good sources of omega-3 oils when their food was green and not polluted, 100 years ago. Now most animals, including cows, chickens and farmed fish are fed corn (even organic), which is high in omega-6, not omega-3 oils. This imbalance has serious health consequences that harm the brain, heart, hormone and immune system, joints, and detoxification processes. If the planet was able just to feed its population the proper amount and balance of omega-3 and omega- oils there would be more peace. People just can’t feel good in their brains, bodies, and physical/emotional/spiritual relationships without sufficient omega-3 oils. (If you wish to see how EFAs work, click here .).
The typical diet now has 10 times more omega-6 than omega-3 compared to 100 years ago. Since these oils compete for the enzymes in our cells, the little omega-3s that we have are pushed off the bus by the omega-6s.
The ideal source of omega-3 oils is to make them within our bodies from plant-based foods. However, due to our world-wide deficiencies of several certain critical nutrients, (such as minerals) and toxicities, only 5% of the population can accomplish this. These are the people that are successful vegans or vegetarians. The rest of us need to supplement with omega-3 oils or optimal health cannot be achieved by any other means.
The most cost-effective safe source of omega-3 oils at present come from fish that has been distilled to remove toxins such as PCBs, lead and mercury. For those who do not eat fish, there are alternatives, but taking an equivalent amount of these omega-3 supplements could cost 10 times more, $200 per month vs approximately $20 per month for the best cost-effective brands.
Dosing of omega-3’s must be individualized, just as with any remedy. Blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol need to measured on a regular basis in order to verify and monitor the response to medications. Supplement levels can vary dramatically between individuals, and even within the same individual over time.
To understand how we test for EFA’s, click here .
Specific brands of o3 and o6 have concentrated the oils to make them easier to take.
Big Pharma has seen the writing on the wall regarding the need for omega-3 oils and have fabricated their own patented forms by altering the oils. These products include Lovaza and Vascepa.
If you prefer to order through Wellevate, the recommended products are below. They are a bit more expensive, but the convenience in maintaining your program may be worth it to you. The smaller sized basic omega-3 below has a code of L01619. Each pill has 300 mg of EPA + DHA, so you will need 5 of these to provide 1500 mg.
Click on the image to the right for product numbers and additional details.