More than 60 percent of the Dutch population does not meet the Health Council's guideline of eating fish once a week. In addition, our own research (blood tests among more than 200 people) shows that about 85 percent are deficient in omega-3. This is worrisome. It poses a major problem for the health of our population. Because the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from fish and seafood are essential for good health. Not for nothing do the fatty acids EPA and DHA have recognized health claims.
- Good for your heart: daily intake of 250 mg of EPA and DHA contributes to normal heart function.
- Good for your brain: Daily intake of 250 mg DHA contributes to normal brain function. For pregnant and breastfeeding women, 200 mg DHA on top of daily intake of 250 mg EPA + DHA contributes to normal brain development of the fetus/infant.
- Good for your vision: daily intake of 250 mg of DHA helps maintain normal vision. For children up to 1 year of age, it is 100 mg of DHA.
- Good for the immune system: daily intake contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system.
- Good for blood pressure and triglyceride levels: daily intake of 2,000 - 5,000 mg EPA + DHA helps maintain normal blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
- Good for muscle function: daily intake contributes to normal muscle function.
Omega-3-rich products such as fish oil, krill oil and algal oil are highly susceptible to oxidation. Consumption of highly oxidized fatty acid products is likely to have negative consequences over time. What should you pay attention to in order to avoid oxidation as much as possible? EPA and DHA are highly unsaturated fatty acids: EPA contains four unsaturated bonds per fatty acid chain and DHA has as many as five. As a result, these fatty acids can easily oxidize under certain conditions. When fish oil oxidizes, it begins to emit a characteristic fishy and, over time, rancid odor. Consumption of highly oxidized fatty acid products is likely to have negative health consequences over time. Fatty acid peroxides play an important role in pathological processes. In animal studies, it appears that oxidized fats can lead to organ damage, inflammation and atherosclerosis. Since omega-3 products are taken precisely for therapeutic purposes, their good quality is very important. TOTOX values provide a measure of the total oxidation of fatty acids and are based on peroxidation and anasidine values. The higher the value, the more oxidation has already taken place. The lower the value, the fresher the product. A TOTOX value of 4 or lower is good. If there is no known TOTOX value of the product then better leave it on the shelves.If you want more information about fish oil plan a free informational consultation at the BeterKliniek.
A large number of studies have now shown a clear inverse correlation between omega-3 intake and depression. Omega-3 fatty acids have a preventive effect, and in cases of depression already present, it will clearly reduce symptoms. The best results are obtained in combination with standard therapy. A study conducted with 77 patients with a duration of 12 weeks did not produce positive results, contrary to what would be expected. The reason could be that the dose of fish oil administered was very high compared to other studies, namely 8 grams per day. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are very unstable and with a large intake of fish oil without additional intake of substances that protect it from oxidation (such as vitamin E), this large amount of fish oil in the body can easily lead to a large amount of free radicals, which in turn can stimulate depression. A similar study with the only significant difference being the dose of fish oil, which was 1, 2 and 4 grams, showed that the group administered 1 gram of fish oil per day performed significantly better than the placebo group. The 2 gram group showed a very small improvement and the 4 gram group showed no improvement compared to the placebo group. Whether a very large amount of fish oil combined with additional antioxidants does bring about an improvement remains to be seen in future studies. The action of fish oil relies on the change that omega-3 fatty acids bring about in nerve cell membranes. These are composed of omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, but due to the enormous abundance of omega-6 fatty acids in the average Western diet and the common deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids, the ratio of these two fatty acids in cell membranes is often severely disturbed. This leads to a functional change in the activity of receptors in the membrane phospholipids. When this balance is restored by taking fish oil supplements, it will have a beneficial effect on the symptoms of depression.
Measuring is knowing. To arrive at a proper dosage, it is best to measure the fatty acid balance.
Characteristics of fatty acid deficiency
Dr. Alexandra Richardson, affiliated with Oxford University, has created a checklist of the characteristics of fatty acid deficiency. This checklist will help you determine whether you may benefit from taking fish oil supplements. Physical signs of fatty acid deficiency: excessive thirst, frequent urination, hard, dry bumps on the skin ("follicular keratosis"), rough or dry skin and brittle hair, head dandruff, soft and brittle nails; Tendency to develop allergies or atopy-such as eczema, asthma, hay fever, etc.; Visual symptoms: poor night vision, sensitivity to intense light, visual disturbances when reading, for example, letters and words moving, floating and clouding over the page; Attention problems: including being easily distracted, difficulty in staying focused for long periods of time, problems with working memory and feelings often described as "fog in the brain"; Emotional sensitivity or lability: especially unfounded anxiety and tension, excessive mood swings, anger attacks due to low frustration tolerance; Sleep problems: especially difficulty falling asleep at night and waking up in the morning. IMPORTANT: All of these characteristics may also have other causes. If you want advice about your personal situation as a result of the above information consult the Better Clinic.