Benefits and Risk of Omega-3 Fish Oil. Presented By: Daniel Knausz Advisor: Dr. Bill Grimes April 18, 2008. Background on Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
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Fish Oil is extracted from the flesh of fish. It is primarily composed of two fatty acids known as Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and also contains smaller portions of Alpa-Linolenic Acid (ALA).
EPA and DHA acids are considered normal constituents of some human tissues, including brain cells, retina, adrenals, and sex organs; all the most active tissues in the body.
EPA and DHA are precursors to eicosanoids and provide an anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body
These fatty acids are used in the formation and fluidity of cell membranes, which help with maintenance of blood pressure and heart rate, nervous system function, and in hemostatic regulation, consisting of blood clotting and thromboxane production.
. EPA is a long chain fatty acid. It is the single vital nutrient that controls communication between nerve cells and the brain.
DHA is another long chain fatty acid. It is known as the building block of the brain cells since it is the most important component that makes up the brain
EPA and DHA fatty acids are more commonly found in cold water fish such as salmon and tuna.
This is one of the main reasons why people agree that these fish are good for our overall health
Omega-3 fatty acids can be purchased at any retail store and do not require a prescription or a medical practitioner referral. It is not expensive, usually ranging from $7 to $12 and usually come in capsules that contain 1000mg.
It can be taken up to three times daily and is usually more effective after a meal. The gel or capsule is usually enteric coated which protects the substances inside the capsule until it reaches the small intestine where it is readily absorbed.
Although, excess amounts of fish oil is harmful to the body, Fish oil supplements do not contain any form of mercury, according to the manufactures of the drug.
There is currently one omega-3 medication that does require a prescription. This medication is generally used for those who have high triglyceride levels and its action is to significantly lower these unwanted levels
The medication is called Lovaza (Omega-3 acid ethyl ester), previous known as Omnicor, and is made up of a unique blend of EPA and DHA. These two substances are the main contributors to the lowering of triglyceride levels.
This medication is naturally derived and is also FDA approved. Lovaza does not have any drug abuse or withdrawal effects.
Lovaza capsules come in a 1G dose. The daily recommended dose is 4G per day. It can be taken as a single dose of 4 capsules or can be taken at two separate occasions that include 2G per dose. It is recommended that this product be taken with meals
Heart problems, cholesterol, arthritis, and diabetes are some of the major conditions in which fish oil provides some form of benefit or improved health.
Fish oil supplements seem to have an anti-arrhythmic effect on the heart as well as prevent cardiac arrest. In doing this, fish oil can help lower the mortality rate of those individuals having heart complications
Fish oil can benefit the heart because the EPA and DHA that make up the supplement helps to prevent plaque deposits and blood clots inside arteries.
Fish oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, especially the Eicosapentaenoic acids (EPA). They can improve overall function in joints as well as limit the amount of other anti-inflammatory drugs that a patient must consume with conditions such as arthritis or other inflammatory disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Fish oil has also been shown to have a number of beneficial benefits on the brain
It has been shown that 60% of the brain is made up of a structural fat, which has a high number of DHA in it, and the brain requires a regular intake of good fats such as the ones from omega-3 fatty acids.
Low intake of omega-3 fatty acids can lead to conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia, depression, aggression, Alzheimer’s Disease, or other dementia.
The fatty acids that make up fish oil have proven to be effective in autistic patients with those individuals taking the supplement improving in language and learning skills in at least 8 different testing areas.
Possible benefits to autistic patients showed decreases in hyperactivity in their behavior
. There will be many patients who encounter their medical professionals to decide if this supplement is right for them
Fish Oil will be one of the main supplements that will be debated in a number of medical studies.
Providers should educate their patients about the overall benefits that can come from this alternative supplement as well as assess their risk
. Many people do not realize that the fatty acids that are found in fish oil are essential to our overall health. As healthcare providers, it is up to us to inform our patients about the valuable source of energy and nutrients that this supplement can offer.
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