Published: October 1st, 2023 | by admin
Omega-3s and their Sources
EPA and DHA are found in variable amounts in fish, with the highest amounts being found in fatty, cold-water fish such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, lake trout, and salmon. Fish ranges from less than 0.5 g of total omega-3 per 100 g serving (cod, haddock, halibut), to 1-1.5 g (e.g. salmon); 1.5-2 g (herring, lake trout) and 2-3.3 g (sardines and mackerel) per 100 g serving of the fish.7 Depending on the source of the fish used, fish oils vary in the amount of EPA and DHA they provide. For instance, tuna oil typically contains 5% EPA and 25% DHA, salmon oil provides 6% EPA and 9% DHA, and the highest natural source of EPA and DHA would come from a blend of sardines, anchovies and mackerel which can yield 18% EPA and 12% DHA.
Concentrated Fish Oil
One of the newest fish oil concentrates to be marketed in Canada is a concentrated fish oil that is produced using sardines, anchovies, and mackerel as the starting material, and the EPA and DHA are concentrated to a level of 30% EPA and 20% DHA for a total of 50% omega-3s. Concentrated fish oils are definitely the future for helping to prevent and treat disease.
Quality of Omega-3 Supplements
Omega-3s have substantial research to prove their efficacy, however, having a quality oil supplement is also important to ensure the highest purity and potency of omega-3s. Some consumers are concerned about contamination by heavy metals and other environmental contaminants like dioxins and PCBs, especially from fish that can accumulate many of these toxins during their life span. This is one of the advantages that choosing a supplement can provide over consuming fish because many fish oil supplements have been purified to remove any contaminants and heavy metals, and have been tested to meet industry standards/levels for these toxins.
Have you had your Omega-3s Today?
With all the substantiated research in the area of omega-3s for health, it is essential that we are filling our plates with fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, as well as consuming flaxseeds, and other nuts and seeds which are vegetarian options of omega-3s. For those who find it difficult to consume omega-3 rich foods, or require dosages that are higher than what traditional foods offer, high quality, omega-3 rich concentrated supplements are a convenient way to ensure we are receiving the omega-3s that our bodies crave.
- Burr G, Burr M. “A new deficiency disease produced by a rigid exclusion of fat from the diet.” Journal of Biological Chemistry 1930;82(2):345-367.
- Das UN, Horrobin DF, et al. “Clinical Significance of essential fatty acids”. Nutrition 1998; 4:337.
- Shils. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 1999 Williams and Wilkins Pp. 81-88.
- Letter to the Editor “Deficiency of Essential Fatty Acids and Atherosclerosis, Etcetera” The Lancet, April 7, 1956, pp 381-383.
- Spins/Scans Data, September 2001-August 2002.
- Das UN. Essential fatty acids in health and disease. J Assoc Physicians India 1999; 47:906-911.
- Enig MG. Know Your Fats: the complete primer for understanding the nutrition of fats, oils and cholesterol. Silver Spring, MD:Bethesda Press 2000; 23, 38-45, 85-86, 113-144, 256.
- Bang HO, Dyerberg J, Hijoorne N. The composition of food consumed by Greenland Eskimos. Acta Medica Scandinavica, 1976; 200 pp.69-73.
- Bang HO, Dyerberg J. Nielsen AB. Plasma lipid and lipoprotein pattern in Greenlandic West-Coast Eskimos. The Lancet, 1971;1,(7710), pp. 1143-5.
- Dyerberg J, and Bang HO. “Lipid metabolism, atherogenesis, and haemostasis in Eskimos: the role of the prostaglandin 3 family.” Haemostasis 1979;8:227-233.
- Dyerberg J. “Coronary heart disease in Greenland Inuit: A paradox. Implications for Western Diet Patterns.” Arctic Med Research 1989;48:47-54.
- Dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E after myocardial infarction: results of the GISSI-Prevenzione trial. Lancet. 1999;354:9177, pp. 447-55.Research
- Hu F, Bronner L, Willett W, Stampfer M, Rexrode K, Albert C, Hunter D, Manson J. Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women. JAMA 2002;287(14):1815-1821.
- American Heart Association. “New Guidelines focus on fish, fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids” November 18, 2002. www.americanheart.org.
- Hibbein J. “Fish consumption and major depression.” Lancet 1998;351:1213.
- Kalmijn S, L Launer, A Ott, J Witteman, A Hofman, and M Breteler. “Dietary fat intake and the risk of incident dementia in the Rotterdam Study.” Ann Neruol 1997;42:776-782.
- Nemets B, Z Stahl Z, and R Belmaker R. “Addition of Omega-3 Fatty Acid to Maintenance Medication Treatment for Recurrent Unipolar Depressive Disorder.” Am J Psychiatry 2002;159:477-479.
- Anderson GL. “Docosahexaenoic acid is the preferred dietary n-3 fatty acid for the development of the brain and retina.” Pediatric Research 1990;27(1):89-97.
- Burgess J, L Steven, W Zhang, and L Peck. “Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.” Am J Clin Nutr Supplement 2000;71:327S-30S. Cheruku S, H Montgomery-Downs, S Farkas, E Thoman, and C Lammi-Keefe. “Higher maternal plasma docosahexaenoic acid during pregnancy is associated with more mature neonatal sleep-state patterning.” Am J Clin Nut 2002;76(3):608-613.
- De Vriese S. “Essential fatty acids and pregnancy.” Inform 2002;12:1075-1080.
- Innis SM. “Essential Fatty Acids in growth and Development.” Prog Lipid Res 1991;30:39-103.
- Ha TKK and MEJ Lean. “Recommendations for the nutritional management of patients with diabetes mellitus.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1998;52:467-481.
- Simopoulos AP. “Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases.”J Am Coll Nutr. 2002;21(6):495-505.