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Fish Oil Pregnancy to Menopause and Beyond

by Vicki Zerbee on 2011/05/25

pregnant
flickr credit: davhor

Fish Oil Benefits

Can fish oil be a benefit to you before and during pregnancy, before and during menopause, and throughout your life after?  When I hear nutritionists, doctors, fitness experts and pretty much anyone talking about diet and nutrition give their recommendations for basic supplements, fish oil is right up there with a multi-vitamin.  If you don’t want to swallow 30 pills a day, will you get rewards in terms of better health when you take your daily vitamin and add a fish oil supplement?

And does your fish oil pregnancy brand or menopause fish oil brand make a difference?  We will get to that later but first let’s have a look at the benefits of taking omega-3 fatty acid fish oil vitamins every day.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Research

You are probably most familiar with how Omega-3 fatty acids support heart health.  We’ve known about the association of fish oil and a healthier heart for a long time now.  The National Institute of Health reports very specific evidence, from multiple studies, and that evidence supports consumption of recommended amounts of key Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA in the form of dietary fish or fish oil supplements.  They help maintain healthy levels of triglycerides, and helps support a normal heartbeat.

There is also supportive research showing that consumption of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.  And if you don’t want to eat all that fish, it’s even easier to take a fish oil supplement.  There are pharmaceutical grade, high quality, pure fish oil brands that don’t have the fishy taste or odor.

Scientific studies also tell us that omega-3 fatty acids contribute to brain health, joint function and mobility.  Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to healthy eyes, and help you maintain beautiful skin – plus we have learned that fish oil for hair and healthy nails are beneficial.  All of these are important during pregnancy, both for mom and for baby.  There are fish oil supplements made exclusively for children now for all kinds of benefits such as behavior, improved learning, eye and brain health.

Inflammation

Did you know that inflammation is the root cause of many illnesses and disease?  The University of Maryland Medical Center website states, “Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.”

What science and research has shown us is that it is important for your to balance your omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your daily diet.  The problem is that most people get anywhere from 10 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3, and it is the omega-3′s that help reduce inflammation, while most omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation.  Enough reason to increase fish oil in your nutrition?

fishy_fish_oil

Eat Fish Often or Vitamin Fish Oil Added to Your Meal?

When you target a supplement to help you improve a health challenge, or for nutrition insurance, it’s very important that you take it every day.  You wouldn’t skip a few days of food and expect to feel healthy and energized.  Just the same you can’t skip supplements and think they will still work for you to provide the benefits you seek.  The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish rich in Omega-3s every week for those without cardio-vascular disease.  Those numbers go up when you already have a reason to take the supplements.

Eating fish every week is a problem for a lot of people in this country because many of us don’t like the taste or the after-taste.  Even for those of us who have access to fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, there’s growing concerns about unsafe levels of contaminants like mercury and lead in those fish.

The good news is that it has become easier to find high quality fish oil supplements that have pure (non-contaminated) ingredients, pharmaceutical grade quality, and with no fishy taste or odor so we don’t mind taking them every day.

Why it’s such a good idea to take fish oil supplements, but not just any fish oil supplement.

Here’s where we get technical so hopefully you have had your fish oil today and your brain can process!

The two features that are most important are purity and potency.  Let’s talk about purity first.  Omega-3 fatty acid-rich smaller fish, which naturally contain low levels of environmental toxins help produce a fish oil supplement that will be pure and safe for you – you don’t need toxins that can cause other problems.

A triple, molecular distillation process will insures you’re getting only the best, highest quality fish oil – because you want the results:  the benefits it can give you.  This is a process that begins with certified pharmaceutical grade fish oil.  Then, that fish oil is placed in a vacuum and boiled at a lower temperature than is found in other processes.

The fish oils are distilled or allowed to vaporize, which concentrates the beneficial Omega-3s and helps remove impurities such as lead, mercury, or PCBs, and results in less oxidation and fewer trans fats, which means a purer, healthier fish oil.

Because the time the fish oil is heated is reduced to less than half of the industry standard, the potential for thermo-degradation is also reduced.  Less oxidative breakdown means low odors and after taste.  Also beneficial to producing a pure source of fish oil supplement is to use a unique cold filtration system to eliminate the saturated fats.

In regard to potency, you want a supplement that offers a full spectrum of seven super-concentrated Omega-3 fatty acids, but higher levels of the two most beneficial forms, DHA and EPA.  This is not something that you find across all brands.

So, if you are serious about staying healthy, but don’t always eat the recommended two servings of fish a week, you can definitely benefit from a high quality fish oil supplement.  It’s up to you to do your homework and find the brand that will deliver the best results to your better health!

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