by Carolyn Pierini, CLS (ASCP), CNC
In high enough concentrations, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils are powerful inflammation-balancing agents. The key phrase here is “in high enough concentrations.” Without the dosing guidance from a knowledgeable healthcare provider, most people do not take enough EPA and DHA to experience the full spectrum of beneficial effects.
Surprisingly, in the face of America’s continued consumption of refined carbohydrates and high omega-6 vegetable oils (the dangerous-duo), an adequate intake of omega-3s could keep diet-induced inflammatory imbalances in check. Fish oils also play a role in maintaining healthy cell membranes throughout the body.
Extensive studies in well-designed research trials conducted for years show the safety of taking fish oils in high doses. Much of the current research supports about 3-5 grams/day to reduce physical discomfort and inflammatory imbalances.
However, in consuming higher doses of fish oil, there are a few things to consider. With long-term use, high dosing with omega-3 fats may displace GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). Therefore, adding a source of GLA (i.e. blackcurrant seed oil) becomes important for inflammation balance.
Digestion, and in particular gallbladder function, should be considered for those who feel oils “repeat” on them. Taking a formula for gallbladder health such as Gallbladder Support usually helps overcome this obstacle. The importance of consuming the purest quality sources of EPA and DHA when dosing at higher levels goes without saying.
Keeping in mind that fatty acids are vulnerable to peroxidation (rancidity), the body needs sufficient antioxidant levels for protection in areas such as cell membranes. Finally, some people may require extremely high doses, such as 15 grams/day or more of EPA and DHA. Although this dose is considered safe, it is advisable to have the ratio of arachidonic acid (AA)/EPA tested with a healthcare provider. Arachidonic acid is made in the body from the omega-6 linoleic acid and is the raw material from which the body makes a broad range of proinflammatory biochemicals.
It may take a little time, but finding the optimal dose of fish oil can lead to numerous improvements in overall well-being and physical appearance.