Essential Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)
Why take Doctor’s Optimum Complete Essential Fatty Acids?
Doctor’s Optimum Complete EFA’s supplies a unique blend of the highest quality omega-3 (EPA, DHA), flaxseed, (ALA), and borage oils, (GLA), providing the proper blend of EFA’s for anti-inflammation. It also has mixed d-alpha tocopherols to keep the product from oxidizing and is gluten and dairy free.
What are essential fatty acids and why do you need them?
An essential fatty acid (EFA) is a fat that humans must consume because the body cannot synthesize them and they are required for greater health. Originally discovered in 1923, they were thought to be a vitamin and were designated vitamin F. In 1929, they were identified as fats.
The essential fatty acids for humans are the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and linoleic acid, an omega-6.Other conditionally required essential fatty acids, (meaning they become conditional under certain conditions or disease,) are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
In today’s food system, the majority of the fat we consume is omega 6. This creates an imbalance which is pro-inflammatory. Fatty acid imbalances are common in societies that consume processed foods with artificial ingredients, hydrogenated fats and grains. The proper ratio is 1:1 omega-6 to omega-3. The average American’s ratio is estimated to be 20:1 or higher!
According to the current medical literature, the best method to achieve the 1:1 ratio is by taking three grams, or 3000 mg of EFA’s per day. Just taking one type of EFA isn’t enough because it is not a natural combination, and, at times, it could actually be harmful for your health.
Not all EFA’s are good for you
The conflicting research which demonstrates that EFA’s are good for you, and at times bad for you, can be confusing. These differences are likely due to the differences in quality of the EFA’s used in the studies. The cheaper the EFA’s or fish oil you purchase, the more potential there is for harmful toxins to be present in the oil. Each oil must go through a process to assure safety and quality. Furthermore, many EFA’s on the market fail to incorporate vitamin E with mixed d-alpha tocopherols for stabilization. This means if you open the bottle, even once, and expose it to air, it becomes oxidized, and thus, loses its anti-inflammatory capabilities.
The majority of high-quality fish oils are a combination of DHA and EPA fats. These are both important for maintaining healthy blood lipids and inhibiting inflammatory and pain chemicals throughout the body, though EPA has demonstrated a stronger response. DHA is important for cell membranes and for optimal functions of brain and eyes. It is used in higher amounts for infants and children and in those with brain injuries.
The FDA has established that increased consumption of EPA and DHA helps protect against heart disease and inflammatory conditions, however, they have also recognized other important parts. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid and Oleic acid, the same fatty acid attributed to the heart protecting effects of olive oil, are found in flaxseed oil. Increased consumption of ALA inhibits production of pro-inflammatory compounds and inhibits platelet aggregation thus reducing the risk of arterial blockage from a thrombus or what most of us know as plaque.
Borage oil is the fourth and final oil and is an excellent source of Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is considered the good omega-6 fatty acid. GLA has benefits from its metabolites, which also have anti-inflammatory properties and inhibit platelet aggregation. Borage also has Oleic acid which supports lower levels of blood glucose and lower insulin levels in type-2 diabetics, as well as healthy levels of blood lipids.
In short, if you don’t have all four types of oils, the d-alpha tocopherol or mixed tocopherol, then you’re are losing out on gaining your health.
Recommended Daily Use:
2 pills twice a day for inflammatory conditions
2 pills once a day for maintenance