There is so much health information out there these days that it's very easy to become confused. Do we need supplements? Do fish oil capsules have any real benefits? I will try to clear up some of the confusion when it comes to omega 3 supplementation and what to do about it. The short answer is that there are advantages to supplementing our diet with fish oil and only a few cons which can be easily avoided.

Concentrated omega 3 supplements are made from fatty fish and contain the polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA. These two substances are responsible for a wide range of unique health benefits and their deficiencies can actually cause several diseases.

One of the benefits is on the cardiovascular system. Polyunsaturated fatty acids have the ability to balance cholesterol and decrease triglyceride levels. They also decrease levels of homocysteine and decrease blood pressure. What this adds up to is a decreased chance of getting heart disease and cardiovascular disorders, including atherosclerosis and strokes. Concentrated fish oil can also be effective as an adjunct treatment for patients who are already suffering from the disease.

A second benefit is that DHA has a very positive effect on the brain. As a matter of fact, DHA is one of the most important building blocks of the brain. Consuming more DHA has been proven to alleviate depression, improve cognitive functioning and also to help with attention disorders.

The third main benefit is that EPA is highly effective as an anti-inflammatory agent. Taking high levels of EPA has been shown to decrease arthritis pain, rheumatism pain and to decrease levels of C reactive protein. This protein is a marker of inflammation in the body, and high levels of it have been linked to heart attacks as well as to arthritis problems.

As far as the cons go, the major negative these supplements is that many of them have tested positive for heavy metals and/or other contaminants. Since fish oil capsules are made from wild fish, and some of the fish used live in contaminated waters, residues of poisons can end up in the supplements.

The only way to get all the benefits and eliminate the risks is to select a molecularly distilled product with an independent certificate of analysis proving that all contaminants have been removed.

To sum up, there are some very important health benefits to taking omega-3 supplements every day, and I believe that everybody should be taking them, but only if the manufacturer creates a quality product using fish from clean seas and purifying it to achieve a pharmaceutical grade.

Author's Bio: 

Sector rotator. Natural health and biophysics devotee. I enjoy mountaineering, baguazhang, learning interesting things and the music of Piazzolla.

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