From the Desk of Dr. Len
Why Omega 3’s – Fish Oils?
Dr. Len Lopez – Thursday, August 27, 2015
Simply put we eat too many saturated fats in comparison to unsaturated fats, which is what the omega 3’s are. This throws off the balance of saturated to unsaturated fats. One of the big reasons why that’s important is because saturated fats promotes or creates inflammation, whereas fish oils and your unsaturated fats (omega 3’s) reduce inflammation.
Saturated fats (omega 6) aren’t bad for you as some folks have been trying to tell you. It’s our standard American diet, which is loaded with saturated (omega 6) fatty acids that’s the problem. They throw off the balance of those very important essential fatty acids (EFA’s), as they are also referred to. Remember their called ‘ESSENTIAL’ because your body can’t make them – you have to get them from your daily diet!
Inflammation is a major cause of heart disease, as well as, pain, which are huge problems.
With regards to heart disease, the more saturated, omega 6 fats you eat, the easier it is for your arteries to clog. On the other hand, fish oils, mono and unsaturated fats – your omega 3’s, make it harder for your arteries to clog, which is why adding fish oils will help lower your risk of heart disease.
Think of omega 3’s, like adding too much water to your pancake mix, or cement mix (for you guys who don’t bake). It doesn’t allow the pancake or cement to form, much the same way it doesn’t allow a clot to develop. Can you see why that balance of omega 6 to omega 3 fats are important!
With regards to pain – it doesn’t matter if it is arthritic joint pain, back pain, neck pain, achy muscles – pain is pain! What triggers pain is inflammation! If you reduce the inflammation – you reduce the pain – it’s that simple! This is basically what aspirin and ibuprofen do – they chemically interfere with the production of those inflammatory molecules. It’s not a bad option, but I’d rather not deal with the potential side-effects of gastric bleeding, liver and kidney damage, etc. So to help with your aches and pain supplement with a good fish oil to help balance out the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3’s.
Your body is its own little pharmacy. It can make all those little chemicals messengers and intermediaries that drugs do. The difference is that you’re not putting a chemical in your body.
Depending on your current level of health and diet – 2 gel caps may be all you need, but it might take 4-6 caps to make a difference. If you don’t want to swallow more vitamins, make sure you eat more nuts and seeds, cook with olive or coconut oil, and try and eat some fish a couple times a week. Remember Cod Liver Oil, that yucky tasting stuff our parents used to give us (you need to be around 45 or older to remember this one), it was loaded with omega 3’s and Vitamin D. It was truly the first form of fish oils we used to take.
FYI – Calling All Those Who Exercise – What do you think a good intense workout produces? INFLAMMATION! As well as, free radicals, but that’s another topic. Also, What Does Your Body Need To Make Hormones and Neurotransmitters? That’s right – essential fatty acids (EFA’s)! Don’t leave home without them!