Q. Dear Terry, “My doctor recommended taking omega-3s for my heart. I’ve tried fish oils in the past and they were awful. What is your opinion on how much and what type of omega-3s to take?” – Marco G., Durham, NC
A. Dear Marco, Fish are a source of omega-3 fatty acids, often abbreviated as omega-3s. Omega-3s are essential, meaning we cannot produce them ourselves. We need to consume these important nutrients on a regular basis because they are an integral part of our cell membranes. Cold water fish have the highest, naturally occurring levels of omega-3s because of the environment they live in.
Omega-3s are important for anti-inflammatory support, antidepressant effects, immune support, cancer prevention, heart disease prevention, and more. Since the Standard American Diet (S.A.D) is generally deficient in omega-3s, it can be necessary to incorporate more omega-3s into our daily life.
Fish oil is a carrier for omega-3s, but it is not how you naturally find omega-3s in fish. In fact, many fish oils have issues with rancidity, which can create more harm than benefit.
I prefer omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, naturally bound to phospholipids and bioactive peptides, as this is much closer to nature and how people were meant to absorb and use these nutrients. This is the way you’d get your omega-3s by eating fish – which means a big difference in stability and ability to transport omega-3s to where they are needed most. I would take 214 mg of a salmon-based omega-3 phospholipid peptide complex in a capsule or 292 mg in a tablet, once or twice per day.
As you can see, you only need a small amount compared to the handfuls of fish oil capsules or a spoonful of fishy-tasting oil.
Terry . . . Naturally