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Friday 22 November, 2019 0 Comments

It’s no great secret that fish oil is good for us.

Whether it was drilled into you as child or something you discovered later in life, the powerful benefits of rich omega-3 acids are hard to argue with.

However, choosing the right supplement to get started still requires a bit of deep dive into the saturated world of fish oil. Let’s get started!

What are omega-3 fatty acids?

We use the term ‘essential’ fatty acids when we describe fatty acids that cannot be synthesised by our bodies, and therefore we need to consume regularly.

EPA and DHA are two types of omega-3 fatty acids that cannot be made in the body, and for that reason they must be consumed from dietary sources (such as salmon) or an omega-3 rich supplement, like fish oil! There are also algae sources for shellfish allergies, and vegans.

Topping up our intake of these valuable acids can have a positive impact on the health of our bodies, as well as the health of our brains.

 
Why do I need a fish oil support?

Because of how vital it is, Omega-3 is one of the most researched nutrients on the planet.

It has been found that we need a diet rich in healthy omega-3 fats to support almost all bodily functions, but specifically our:

And while we need both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, the problem for many of us is that the ratio the two fats is out of balance. A 1:1 ratio is optimal, but in our modern day lifestyles, it's much more common for there to be significantly more omega-6s than 3s.

When we don’t have the right balance of these essential fatty acids, we can get systemic inflammation, chronic illness, hormonal imbalances, infertility and low mood.

Why is our omega 3:6 ratio unbalanced in the modern world?

Most significantly, this is a result of modern diets, which contain high volumes of processed food. This usually means we are over-consuming far more vegetable oils, which are high in omega-6 fatty acids. In addition to this, conventionally raised meat and caged eggs increase our consumption of omega-6 foods.

Where can you find omega-3 in nature?

Foods that are rich in omega-3 include small oily fish such as salmon, anchovies, sardines and mackerel. You could eat these foods—and we highly encourage it—but molecularly distilled and purified, fish oil can have high concentrations of DHA and EPA, at levels that would be difficult to obtain from eating fish.

You would have to eat roughly 75g of fresh wild salmon everyday to get the daily serving available in BePure Three.


Why aren’t we getting enough omega-3 from nature?

Unfortunately our oceans are not as clean as they used to be and the risk for mercury contamination is high when eating a lot of fish for concentrated Omega 3 benefits. Getting your omega-3s from a quality, filtered source is possibly a safer option.

 
Okay, I need a fish oil – But how do you find a quality fish oil?

With so many options on the market, choosing a genuine quality fish oil is no walk in the park. In fact, ‘fish oil’ can refer to any oil that comes from a marine source – it doesn’t include the breakdown of the omega-3s (EPA and DHA), and doesn’t necessarily require manufacturers to specify the amount. 
 
To help navigate your way through the fish oils out there, we have put together a checklist.
 
Know Your Fish Oil Checklist:

1. Quantity & Ratio of EPA and DHA 

Check if it has been tested to determine the quality and the quantity of these essential fatty acids—the higher, the better.

EPA and DHA play an essential role in reducing inflammation and are the building blocks for hormones that control immune function, cell growth and normal metabolism.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
EPA is fantastic for a number of reasons. Its main function is to produce chemicals called eicosanoids, which help to reduce systemic inflammation throughout the body, supporting healthy joint mobility. It also has been shown to support good cardiovascular and brain blood circulation, immunity, and can even help to reduce signs of depression.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
DHA makes up about 8% of your brain weight, and is essential for healthy brain development and function. DHA is also important in supporting brain, eye, joint and heart health.

 

2. Tested for Purity

Many fish oils contain high levels of heavy metals, other oils and other toxins which can be more damaging for your health! This information should be on the brand’s website.


Heavy metals

Not all fish oils on the market are made equal. It is not uncommon for manufacturers to provide products that have high levels of heavy metals, such as mercury and arsenic, while the international standards are less than 0.1 part per million.

Mercury is a known toxic, bio-accumulative substance which can negatively affect your brain, nervous system, kidneys and an unborn baby’s brain and health.

Always check to see where a product is made and which fish it uses. Larger fish from the Atlantic will have a higher level of mercury or heavy metals than small fish from the south pacific.

Check for supporting vitamins in the formulation—such as Vitamin E and iron—to prevent oxidation.

Lastly, check the label of any products to see if they mention strict low temperature, oxygen-free processing—essential to prevent oxidation (rancidity) in our fish oil. Brands that follow this process will include it on the bottle.


Oxidation after bottling

Some brands of fish oil are processed at high heats - we know this, because BePure was offered this form of processing when developing our fish oil product—which causes oxidisation of ingredients, leading to increased inflammation in the body and risk of disease.

BePure has strict low temperature, oxygen-free processing—essential to prevent oxidation (rancidity) in our fish oil.  Brands that follow this process will include details of molecular distillation on the bottle.

We know that we can test for oxidation at the time of bottling the product, but in some cases the fish oil could go rancid by the time it reaches the consumer. It’s for this reason we’ve included Vitamin E into our BePure Three formulation.

Natural vitamin E is a great antioxidant for preserving freshness as well as being essential for your health.  BePure Three Fish Oil contains 60 I.U. of Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) per serving to stop oxidation in the capsule.

Apart from vitamin E, BePure Three has a natural coating protecting it from light and therefore oxidation once it leaves the factory. I have, as an extra precaution, added a small amount of Iron to the capsule to protect the oil from light. This is why the capsules are orange.


3. Sustainably Sourced

Sustainably sourced fish oil is better for the environment, and better for you too!

If it is sustainably sourced, they will have certification.

BePure Three is made in New Zealand from sardine frames and anchovies caught wild and sustainably in the South Pacific. This is important to ensure the low level of toxic metals in BePure Three.

 
What about omega fatty acids from plant seeds?

Omega-3 from plant seed oil is a type called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and is found mostly in flaxseeds and kiwifruit seeds.

The problem is ALA needs to be converted by the body to use-able forms of Omega 3—EPA and DHA (as found in fish oils, which have already been converted by the host fish).

Some people have difficulty converting ALA to EPA and DHA and therefore will benefit more from taking a high quality, concentrated, pure fish oil. Some research suggests that only 9% of Omega 3’s from flax seeds are converted to EPA and DHA.

We know that taking quality nutritional support to help with specific nutrient deficiencies is key to experiencing health, energy and wellness. But, as you can see from this study and the precautions we take at BePure to ensure quality and safety, there is a lot to consider when choosing a brand of fish oil.

So, to recap. Here are three key points to look for when purchasing a fish oil supplement to nourish your body and mind:

1. Quantity & Ratio of EPA and DHA

Check if it has been tested to determine the quality and the quantity of these essential fatty acids—the higher, the better.

2. Tested for Purity

Many fish oils contain high levels of heavy metals, other oils and other toxins which can be more damaging for your health! This information should be on the brand’s website.

3. Sustainably Sourced

Sustainably sourced fish oil is better for the environment, and better for you too! If it is sustainably sourced, they will have certification.

 
We believe in transparency, safety and quality above all else.

There is little point in taking a fish oil product if it doesn’t contain what it says it does, is rancid or has dangerous levels of heavy metals present.

We hope this article will help you navigate the market when choosing a fish oil product.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not designed to diagnose, treat or cure. We are all unique, for your individual health concerns it is important to discuss these with a BePure Holistic Health Consultant or relevant health professional.





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