On the great debate of supplement vs don’t supplement, which camp do reside in? Do you insist on getting all of your nutrients by diet alone, or do you feel there is a quick fix available in a jar? I think the best choice is somewhere in the middle. Overgeneralizing all supplements as useless or harmful is ignorant at best, because of the vast differences of each individual one. On the flip side, expecting science to trump the complex diet of nature with a simple tablet is way over presumptious. So we should examine the evidence behind the benefits of each one, factor in the convenience – and the cost – to choose which to take.
There is one supplement in which the case is pretty much closed, and that is fish oil. If you aren’t already taking a fish oil supplement you really need to get yourself some and start pounding em down. Fish oil has long been an accepted and utilized health regimen, going back to the fifties or earlier when mom insisted in pouring that awful cod liver oil down our throats. Even then it was recognized for its vit a content, and an array of cardiovascular and other benefits. Today it is available in an assortment of tablets of all sizes, purity and convenience, and there is really no logical reason not to take it.
What are some of the lesser discussed benefits of fish oil? It runs across the full spectrum of healthy metabolism. The omega 3 content – in the form of EPA and DHA exert profound control on the function of prostaglandins, tiny autocrine hormones that regulate most aspects of homeostasis. Without this regulation we would experience pain, difficulty in breathing, inflammation, and even improper function of most of our essential endocrine hormones like DHEA, Testosterone, Growth Hormone, etc. Inflammation itself is a common denominator of nearly ALL of the major diseases, like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease etc. Furthermore, even the aging of our faces is greatly attributed to inflammation. Need I say more?
What are the alternatives? The experts recommend eating salmon, mackerel or other cold water fish at least once a week to get our omega 3s, and this is a good strategy, but you have to be aware of the mercury and other contaminants this way. Taking flax oil, perilla oil and other plant sources is also a good recommendation, they provide all sorts of other benefits, but the form of omega 3 they contain (ALA) must undergo enzymatic conversion first, and are not as direct a remedy. So by all means use them, but they aren’t the whole answer.
I always try to go for the simple easy approach. Get the most bang for your buck if you will. Find yourself a good, pure, (and burpless!) fish oil supplement and you will go a long way to ensuring that boundless youth and vitality that you deserve!