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Stop Taking Fish Oil Omega-3s 🧠
Choosing the Right Omega-3 Source: Concerns and Alternatives (6min Read)
Omega-3s, crucial for brain and heart health, aren't naturally produced by our body.
Main sources: fish (with overfishing concerns) and supplements.
Plant foods provide ALA, a type of Omega-3.
Performance Lab® Omega-3 from algae is sustainable and pure, outperforming traditional fish oil.
Always consult a healthcare provider before starting supplements.
For those emerging from the shadow of trauma or an abusive relationship, the path to healing is a multifaceted journey.
It involves both emotional and physical restoration. I've seen firsthand how the brain's health can be impacted by trauma.
Interestingly, Omega-3 fatty acids, long revered for their cardiovascular benefits, play a critical role in brain health and healing.
These essential fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that the human body cannot produce on its own.
That being said, some people don’t like fish, or worry about the environmental impact of overfishing.
Making dietary supplements containing these omega-3 fats an alternative for those who don't consume enough from food sources like fatty fish.
However, not all omega-3 supplements are made equally, as we will see today (dun dun dun).
Why Should You Care About Omega-3s?
That’s a great question.
Omega-3 supplements have been spotlighted for their numerous health benefits, especially when it comes to heart health and brain function.
According to the American Heart Association, regular consumption of oily fish, such as albacore tuna and lake trout, which are rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can play an important role in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Omega-3 supplements, for instance, have been shown in clinical trials to lower blood pressure, reduce triglyceride levels, and even diminish the chances of a heart attack.
Moreover, the National Institutes of Health has highlighted the benefits of omega-3 in supporting cognitive function and potentially delaying cognitive decline in older adults.
While fish is a primary source of EPA and DHA, plant-based foods like chia seeds, flaxseed oil, and green leafy vegetables offer alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), another main omega-3.
This becomes especially relevant for individuals following vegan diets. The body can convert small amounts of ALA into EPA and DHA, although not as efficiently.
Recent studies have also indicated the potential anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s, which can be beneficial for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
They also play an essential role in cell membranes, contributing to overall health, including eye health and immune system function.
Additionally, omega-3s might have effects on mental health, offering potential benefits for conditions like depression, as we have discussed before!
Omega-3: The Brain's Building Block
Alright, so they’re good for us, and our brain, but why?!
At the core of our brain's neuron cells are cell membranes that maintain their flexibility and permeability due to Omega-3s.
These fatty acids, specifically DHA and EPA, are instrumental in cell-to-cell communication, enabling efficient neurotransmitter signaling, a crucial aspect of cognitive functions like memory, attention, and mood regulation.
Additionally, for someone recovering from trauma or Complex PTSD, the limbic system, especially the amygdala and hippocampus, may become overactive.
Proper Omega-3 levels can support the function and repair of these brain areas, potentially easing trauma-induced symptoms.
Omega-3’s do this by decreasing nervous system inflammation which is why it’s one of the first supplements I suggest all of my clients start taking right away!
Fish Oil vs. Algae-sourced Omega-3
Most of us are familiar with fish oil supplements as a go-to source for Omega-3s.
However, fish oil has its downsides. Some complain of a fishy aftertaste, while others raise concerns over contaminants like heavy metals.
Moreover, environmentalists highlight the eco-destructive consequences of overfishing.
Enter Performance Lab® Omega-3, sourced directly from algae – the primary producers of Omega-3s in aquatic ecosystems.
Not only does this bypass the heavy metal contamination often found in larger fish, but it also offers a more sustainable and eco-friendly solution.
This is the exact brand I suggest to people when they ask me what I recommend, and I take them myself every single day.
What Sets Performance Lab® Omega-3 Apart?
Beyond the obvious environmental and purity advantages, Performance Lab® Omega-3 has a distinct edge:
Optimal DHA:EPA Ratio: It offers a 2:1 DHA to EPA ratio. While both are crucial, DHA plays a more central role in neuronal health and function.
Absorption: It's presented in natural triglyceride form, making it 70% more absorbable than synthetic variants.
Vegan-friendly NutriGels®: No animal products and the world's first carrageenan-free softgel, made only from natural ingredients.
I’ve also met with Performance Lab’s founder, Dave, personally, I spent hours talking with him about his passion for helping people get the right nutrients in their life.
He is on a mission to get people away from store-bought, highly processed, and ineffective supplements, and invests his own time and money into making all of Performance Lab’s supplements the best on earth.
That’s a mission I can get behind.
If you’d like to try their Omega-3’s, you can use the button below!
The journey to healing, especially after trauma or an abusive relationship, is layered.
While therapy and support systems play an undeniable role, so does nutrition.
The brain, after all, requires the right building blocks to repair and function optimally.
That being said, the importance of omega-3s can't be understated.
From cardiovascular health to brain health, and from the flexibility of blood vessels to the maintenance of blood flow, these polyunsaturated fatty acids hold a significant place in dietary recommendations.
And with Performance Lab® Omega-3, you can rest easy knowing you’re saving the fishies, and improving your mental health!
**As with any supplement, it's a good idea to discuss omega-3 supplementation with a healthcare provider, especially when considering higher doses or when there are specific health concerns in play.**
And as always, until next time… Live Heroically!
American Heart Association. (2020). Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Link
Mozaffarian, D., & Wu, J. H. (2011). Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: effects on risk factors, molecular pathways, and clinical events. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 58(20), 2047-2067.
National Institutes of Health. (2019). Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Link
Grosso, G., Pajak, A., Marventano, S., Castellano, S., Galvano, F., Bucolo, C., ... & Caraci, F. (2014). Role of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of depressive disorders: a comprehensive meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. PloS one, 9(5), e96905.
Calder, P. C. (2015). Marine omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: Effects, mechanisms and clinical relevance. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, 1851(4), 469-484.
Simopoulos, A. P. (2016). An increase in the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio increases the risk for obesity. Nutrients, 8(3), 128.
U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Link
Greenberg, J. A., Bell, S. J., & Van Ausdal, W. (2008). Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplementation during pregnancy. Reviews in obstetrics & gynecology, 1(4), 162.