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The term fat has long seemed to have a bad rep. When I think of fat in the way that schooling and society has persuaded my thought processes, I strictly think of excess weight.
I think of the extra post-holiday pounds that are my mortal enemy. Or, I think of the areas of my body that I am self-conscious of in a swimsuit. Anyone else?
It seems that in rightfully educating society about the dangers of obesity, we’ve also demonized the entire notion of fat. So, if that very word conjures the notion of “bad,” then you’re not alone.
The thing is, obesity is a real problem in our society. Maintaining a healthy weight is something that thousands of people struggle with. But, fat...that’s just an area where perhaps our thoughts need a bit of retraining.
First and foremost, know that these are important...needed...fats. They are types of fats that come from the foods we consume. Our body can’t make them on its own.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fats that are part of the cell membranes throughout your body.
The hormones that are responsible for controlling blood clotting, inflammation, and the functions within our arteries all begin with Omega-3 fatty acids. Also, these essential fats are also responsible for gene function.
There are three main types: DHA, EPA, and ALA.
DHA is the abbreviation (easier to remember...and say) for Docosahexaenoic acid.
It is needed in every cell within your body, and is the main part of your central nervous system.
It is a part of the very structure of your skin, your eyes, and your brain.
Without DHA, your cells could not effectively communicate. And, this would result in your eyesight or brain function being diminished.
Primary sources of DHA are foods like mackerel, salmon, shellfish, cod liver and other fish oils.
EPA is the abbreviation for Eicosapentaenoic acid. It, along with DHA, is considered the most important of the omega fatty acids. It can actually be converted into DHA.
One way your body uses EPA is in producing molecules responsible for decreasing inflammation, which is at the root of many, if not most, of the diseases plaguing our society today.
Seaweed is a great source of EPA, along with fatty fish (like those containing DHA).
ALA, otherwise known as Alpha-linolenic acid, is considered to be the most commonly found omega-3 fatty acid in the average person’s diet.
It is naturally used as energy in the body, but actually must be converted into DHA or EPA before it is fully useful.
Many plants, nuts, and seeds are good sources of ALA, such as spinach, kale, walnuts, chia, and hemp seeds.
So, we learned that these essential fatty acids are not produced naturally in our bodies. And, we know of some foods where we can obtain them. But, did anyone notice the blaring fact that there isn’t an overly abundant or diverse list of food sources for omega-3s?
Actually, you’ve probably heard of Omega-3 fatty acids primarily in reference to supplements. This is likely because most of us aren’t surviving on a diet of seaweed, fish oil, kale, and mackerel.
Looking for ways to optimize health, many people take omega-3 fish oil supplements. A 2012 study showed that nearly 20 million Americans took such omega-3 supplements in the form of fish oil. And, a more recent study showed Americans spending nearly 1 billion dollars per year on these supplements.
But, like with anything else, all products are not created equally. And, when it comes to omega-3 supplementation, quality can be a concern.
The main component of omega-3 supplements is fish oil. Unfortunately, fish used in the production of these oils are often very high in toxins like PCBs. These are man-made chemical compounds that, though banned nearly 40 years ago, still wreak havoc in our environment today as they don’t easily break down.
When taking an omega-3 supplement that isn’t of the highest quality, you may actually be increasing the amount of toxins that you are introducing into your body.
If you’re a seafood lover, you probably know that fresh fish/seafood does not tend to have a fishy smell to it. Seafood that has an unpleasant odor has likely started to oxidize.
These omega-3 fatty acids that we’ve been discussing here...when they are exposed to heat, light, or oxygen, oxidation begins to occur. In other words, they start to go bad.
Have you ever taken an omega-3 fish oil supplement that 1- causes you to burp a fishy smell/taste throughout the day, or 2- already has a fishy smell to it?
Sorry to tell you, but at that point, the supplement you are ingesting has gone through an abundant amount of oxidation. Yes, rancid fish oil capsules are a real thing.
As we stated earlier, not all products are the same...or measure up their toted standards. With omega-3 supplements, one study found that as little as 9% of many over-the-counter fish oils actually lived up to the amounts of EPA and DHA that they claim to contain.
Um, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t our need for those very omega-3 fatty acids the reason that we take these supplements in the first place? Of course! And, that is why a high quality product is imperative.
Now we know what Omega-3 fatty acids are, and we see the need for a high quality supplement.
But, what benefit is there to this particular supplement over the age of 40?
It is no secret that as we age, a healthy diet becomes increasingly important. The primary reasons being that as we get older, our nutrient intake decreases and our bodies do not absorb nutrients as well.
Because of this, with age comes a greater risk for malnourishment, disease, and death.
As we age, our cells change. Our tissues change. Our organs change. These inevitable changes affect how our body functions. In fact, the older we get, our bodies actually lose the ability to function as they did in our younger years.
In fact, after the age of 40, your risk of the following diseases and complications greatly intensifies:
This is where omega-3 supplementation comes into play. Healthy levels of omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in the following ways:
Now, take a moment to compare, or take my word for it…
Those two lists...they each mention the same conditions or groups of ailments and diseases.
Yes, all of those common health risks that compound after the age of 40 can be helped with Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.
This is why it is one of THE most important supplements to take over age 40.
Even greater, some studies show that omega-3s may actually even slow the effects of aging entirely.
Omega-3 supplementation has shown a slowing of oxidative stress within the body.
When oxidation occurs in our bodies, free radicals are made. And, while this happens within a natural process in our body, it also is responsible for cell damage over time.
This is why as we age we get wrinkles, grey hair, lose visual acuity, and are at a higher risk for disease.
Adequate levels of omega-3 in the body combat these negative effects of oxidative stress.
As we age, our skin gets more dry and begins to lose its elasticity (it sags).
This can happen from the long-term effects of sun exposure and damage, and due to the fact that we lose the layer of tissue between our skin and muscles with age.
Omega-3 controls the body’s response to UV rays, and works within layers of our skin to hold in moisture. This results in hydrated, younger-looking skin.
Chronic inflammation is a very real problem in our society for people of all ages. However, the longer we live, the risks compound for a body affected by it.
Not only is chronic inflammation a risk factor for many diseases, it can age you prematurely.
But, the anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil and omega-3 supplementation have been shown to actually increase lifespan.
The DNA within our white blood cells shorten over time due to aging. However, recent studies show that Omega-3 supplementation may actually slow this process.
In those individuals who regularly took Omega-3 supplements, these segments of DNA in their white blood cells were preserved.
As you can see, Omega-3 fatty acids are a necessity as we age. With Inflamega, Lifeboost has combined the anti-inflammatory, disease-fighting, anti-aging powers of Omega-3 fatty acids with another hidden omega that it seems no one else is talking about.
Inflamega doubles the strength of the purest Omega-3 in combination with this hidden omega to deliver the most complete fish oil on earth!
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.