Don’t you just love acronyms… I was once invited to a meeting where I didn’t have a clue what it was about because the invite was literally peppered with them!
But when it comes to EPA and DHA I’m quite grateful: try pronouncing (or remembering) eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Not so easy, huh…
But they’re so important when it comes to reducing inflammation. Which is why we try to have a daily dose of omega 3, either by eating oily fish like salmon, or by taking a supplement. But we’re very picky about supplements so this is what we do and why.
First a bit about omega 3 fats.
- They are essential to our bodies (hence why they’re called ‘essential fatty acids’) as these fats are needed by every cell – but are especially good for our brain, heart and joints. However, our bodies can’t manufacture omega 3 fats so we have to get them from our food.
- And they are powerful anti-inflammatories. This is in comparison with omega 6 fats, like corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, canola or rapeseed oil and peanut oil, which can cause significant inflammation in our bodies. The key is to keep the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 about 1:1.
So in the fight against chronic inflammation – and I can’t say this strongly enough – omega 3 fatty acids are on the top of the list of things we want to ensure we get enough of.
So how do we get more omega 3?
- Eat oily fish at least once a week – and we go for organic wherever possible.
- And we take a daily supplement. We aim for a high grade fish oil with about 750mg EPA and 500mg DHA per day. We look for oils from the body of the fish as as the liver can contain high amounts of toxins or heavy metals and we aim for an oil that is derived from small, wild fish. Apparently these oils can be really unstable and can easily go rancid (and that won’t help reduce inflammation!) so we look for ones with natural mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), which will help to keep the oil stable, and then store them in the fridge.
What to learn more?
Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD has written a book ‘Natural solutions for Dementia and Alzheimer’s’ (Lifestyles Press ISBN 978-0-9935431-6-6)
Dr Russell L Blaylock MD has written a book ‘Health and Nutrition Secrets that can save your life – Revised edition’ (Health Press ISBN 0-929173-48-1)