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Fish Oil vs. Omega-3

Updated: 8 hours ago

Fish Oil vs. Omega-3

Fish oil supplements are said to be a cure for everything from heart disease to depression. But the truth about fish oil is darker than the industry wants you to believe.

Omega-3s, specifically DHA and EPA, are very good for you. I definitely recommend Omega-3s as one of those Supplements That Everyone Should Take. There’s even research by the NIH that suggests omega-3 levels are a good predictor of overall health and all-cause mortality. 

In fact, we are currently facing a pandemic of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, which contributes to an increased risk of heart disease, depression, neuropsychiatric disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and macular degeneration (a prevalent age-related eye disease). 

Omega-3 fatty acids are proven to reduce inflammation, enable the immune system to carry out its tasks, and help the brain, heart, and eyes function properly. However, conventional fish oils are not a solution. They go through a manufacturing process called trans-esterification, resulting in rancid fish oil lacking EPA and DHA.

According to a lawsuit filed against The Bountiful Company and Nature's Bounty: “Defendants manufacture, label, and sell a Product which they claim to be 1400mg of Fish Oil containing 647mg of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and 253 mg. of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)—the essential omega-3 fatty acids that naturally occur in fish… Contrary to what is represented on the label, however, this Product is not fish oil, nor does it contain a single milligram of EPA or DHA.”

Risks of Fish Oil Consumption

  • Increased Cancer Risk: Research indicates that fish oil can rapidly deplete vitamin E levels in the body, a vital antioxidant. This deficiency has led to alarming outcomes in animal studies, including a 100% cancer mortality rate.

  • Immunosuppression: Various studies have shown that fish oils suppress the immune system, increasing susceptibility to infections and diseases.

  • Oxidative Stress and Cellular Damage: The unstable fatty acids in fish oil (PUFA) are prone to oxidation, forming harmful compounds in your body. These compounds damage DNA, proteins, and cell membranes, contributing to accelerated aging and disease.

  • Neurological Harm: The breakdown products of oxidized fish oil have been implicated in causing brain swelling, impaired mitochondrial function, and the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

There have been many studies that show the health risks associated with fish oil. Despite these findings, the fish oil industry (valued at $1.9 billion in 2019, which is likely to rise to $2.8 billion by 2027) continues to market these supplements, supporting their claims with biased research and misleading advertising. If you’re interested in studying this topic further, read The Great Fish Oil Experiment by Ray Peat.

If you’ve been taking fish oils, here’s what you can do to counteract the negative effects:

  • Boost your antioxidant intake. This will help counteract the oxidative stress induced by rancid fish oils. Vitamin E is best in this scenario.

  • Eat more saturated fat. Saturated fat from grass-fed meat, dairy, and coconut oil can help mitigate the inflammatory effects of the bad fatty acids in fish oil.

As with most health recommendations, if mainstream media is pushing it on you, it’s best to be skeptical.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – With Low Totox Values

When purchasing omega-3 fatty acid supplements, ensure they are of high quality, meaning the omega-3 fatty acids are pure and have not oxidized significantly (low “TOTOX” value - Total Oxidation Value, describing the total oxidative load to which a fat or oil has been exposed).

While many governments recommend eating fatty fish twice per week, this is often insufficient. Ideally, individuals should aim to consume wild-caught fatty fish such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, and anchovies at least four times per week and additionally supplement with omega-3 fatty acids, with at least 1000 mg of pure omega-3 (DHA + EPA) per day.

To get all the benefits from DHA and EPA Omega-3s, I recommend the following options:

1. Krill oil: Many good ones come from Norway. Krill oil is more bioavailable and doesn’t give you fishy burps (which is actually a sign of rancid fish oil). Look for krill oil with the right ratios of Omega-3, which are 60-85% EPA and DHA.

2. BodyBio Fish Oil: You can get a 15% discount via my link or use promo code SMILA at checkout.

It is pure, non-oxidized, with a high EPA ratio of 3:1. Processed using Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE), a method that utilizes carbon dioxide to extract delicate polyunsaturated oil from fish while keeping temperatures low, SFE prevents the degradation of fish oil by heat and oxygen, ensuring the highest quality and concentration with 420 mg of EPA/DHA in each 500 mg soft-gel. I recommend taking 2 soft-gels per day.

Sending Optimal Health & Ultimate Wellness,

Julia Smila, FDN Practitioner & Pranic Healer

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