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Beating Heart Disease: Are All Fish Oils the Same?

Mar 6, 2008
Your heart and brain depend on Omega 3 fatty acids to function effectively and the 2 important fatty acids, DHA and EPA, come from fish, particularly salmon. But not all salmon have sufficient quantities of these important nutrients. Why is this so?

The difference depends on whether the salmon is wild from the ocean or farm raised. Wild salmon feed on their natural diet of algae and wild shrimp. As a result, their flesh contains large amounts of these 2 fatty acids. .

Farm raised salmon have no access to their natural diet. They are fed cereal grains and this changes their physiology. Their flesh simply doesn't have the omega 3s that wild salmon does because cereal grains prevent the natural production of omega 3s. In fact wild salmon have 33% more omega 3s than farm raised salmon.

If you are unsure whether your salmon is wild or farm raised, an option is to use fish oil capsules. At least you will have some control over what you eat because it should be clearly shown on the label. Make sure the label clearly states that it is sourced from wild fish and is regularly tested for mercury, heavy metals and pesticides.

One of the easiest, most reliable ways to get the omega 3s you need is to have a daily teaspoon of cod liver oil. DHA is one of the primary ingredients of cod liver oil and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported a study that showed taking cod liver oil dramatically reduced the levels of dangerous triglyceride fats in the blood.

Cod liver oil not only contains large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, but also vitamins A and K and the sunlight vitamin D., essential vitamins that are hard to obtain in sufficient amounts in the modern diet. Vitamin D is particularly important for those who receive little sun exposure or are confined indoors.

In an article written for The Weston A Price Foundation, Krispin Sullivan CN notes that cod liver oil greatly improves heart function to prevent heart disease and to treat it even in advanced stages, after a heart attack and after heart surgery.

Cod liver oil alters the linings of the arteries in such a way as to improve healing after damage. This is attributed to the omega 3 fatty acids, but vitamins A, D and K all have important roles to play in improving mineral absorption, improving muscle function and supporting elasticity of the blood vessels.

Finally, here's good news if you are worried about your weight. Fish oil contains poly-unsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids actually increase your body metabolism and the burning of undesirable body fat. Fish oil has been shown in clinical trials to actually promote weight loss, so it is a great idea to add it to your diet, particularly if you are trying to lose weight.
About the Author
Discover all you need to know about heart health and preventing heart disease in health researcher Graeme Lanham's new book "Heart Disease Solutions".
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