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What Are Fish Oil Supplements and Why Should We Take Them?

Posted on October 5th, 2013 by | 12 views

by Dr Erika Posenaer

There has been so much buzz about the importance of omega-3 oils. I often get asked, “How do I know which to take,” “How much should I be taking daily?” “What are fish oils even for and why do I need to take them as supplement?”

In an attempt to briefly explain these questions in the paragraphs below, I also wanted expose you to an incredible new testing opportunity that measures specifically what oils YOU are deficient in and the exact proportion of oils YOU need to be taking daily (vegetarians, this goes for non-fish omega-3s as well).

First things first: what are fish oils? Omega 3 fatty acids (aka fish oils) are called essential fatty acids, which means that they are required for optimal health but can ONLY be obtained through the diet or supplementation. The two major EFA families are anti-inflammatory omega-3 and pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats. 

The balance between these two is vital for proper physiological function of EVERY CELL IN THE BODY. Excessive omega-6 intake in the American diet (mostly due to processed foods) and insufficient intake of omega-3 intake (due to GMO foods and farm raised, grain fed fish) throws off this fragile balance causing chronic inflammation and disease. 

Research shows that the most optimal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1, however the average American has a ratio ranging from 1:10 to 1:30 (I want to note that research shows adverse health effects beginning at a ratio of 1:10 and certain mental disorders, like schizophrenia, being associated with ratios as high as 1:70!).

When searching for the proper fish oil, it is important to find one that contains a high amount of omega-3 fats composed mostly of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA’s primary role involves brain support and during embryo, is essential for proper development. EPA has a specific role in heart health. Both DHA and EPA, however, have global anti-inflammatory and disease preventing effects throughout the body.

Now poses the questions, what dose should YOU be taking and exactly what ratio of DHA:EPA do YOU need? The most specific way to find out is through Lipid Labs Omega Testing. This simple finger-prick blood sample is sent in for analysis to give a total omega-3 blood reading, a HUFA score, which measures individual risk of cardiovascular disease, and an omega-3 index, providing you with a breakdown of your DHA:EPA ratio. 

Together, these readings tell us the amount of total omega-3 your individual body requires to balance your omega-3:omega-6 ratio as well as specifically how much of that should be DHA and how much should be EPA. The reading gives you a personally tailored supplement regimen to follow and tracks your progress if and when you decide to follow up. 

Chronic inflammation and chronic disease is so prevalent in our country, and truly a big piece to the puzzle when it comes to PAIN…the number one reason I see most of you in the office and the number one reason people see a doctor in general. 

I can’t stress enough how important and beneficial this one simple blood test is. I think it’s so important that I’m going to offer $30 off the cost of the test through the end of the year. I will honor that discount for any follow ups you choose to do in the future as well. That means that you can take huge control of your individual health and wellbeing for a mere $120. 


Dr. Erika 

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