June 24, 2012 // Wellness
Is It For You?
A large portion of my job as a fitness expert is to guide people to the most effective approach for improving their health. Every person is unique, and no two approaches to health are equally effective. For some, there is a need for supplements in addition to their eating habits and exercise plan. Supplements are a great way to ensure proper nutrients are being incorporated into good health habits, especially if time constraints or food choices interfere with nutritional compliance.
An Important Catch.
Fish oils play a vital role in providing important nutrients that are often absent in most diets. Fish is a superfood for the body, providing an ample amount of protein, fats, and nutrients. Consuming fish is important because it is a great source of omega-3 fats. The amount of omega-3 found in fish helps reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is found to be prevalent in the causes of many diseases, including Heart Disease (the leading cause of death in the United States). Inflammation is common, especially to the regular exercising population. Exercise causes damaged muscle tissue that inflames. Controlling inflammation is not only important for muscle growth, but is crucial for optimal bodily functions. Inflammation can directly effect joint integrity, blood pressure, respiratory function, and many other components of physical health. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties, fish oils are becoming increasingly popular in the supplement industry.
How To Choose.
Omega-3 fatty acids have two specific groups known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). EPA and DHA are the most important components of fish oil and are measured as a ratio to determine the effectiveness of the product. EPA is important for circulatory system health and DHA provides support for healthy triglyceride levels. EPA and DHA originate in algae, which is the base of the food chain for fish. Fish consume these algae and thus concentrate high amounts of the beneficial fats. The problem with generic fish oils is that their ratio of EPA to DHA is usually 3 to 1. Why is this important? DHA is the fatty acid responsible for decreasing blood pressure, providing an anti-arrthymic cardiovascular effect, and increasing good cholesterol levels (HDL).
The following EPA:DHA ratios were taken from fish oil supplements sold in three of the top supplement stores in the US:
GNC – 2.5 : 1
Vitamin Shoppe – 2.5 : 1
Bodybuilding.com – 1.2 : 1
As indicated above, the ratio between EPA and DHA fatty acids is not balanced in two of the three major supplement stores. This imbalance will hinder the effectiveness of the fish oil for the consumer, and thus another supplement falls short of its health claim. So which fish oil brand provides a superior amount of DHA along with EPA fatty acids?
With an astounding 2,200 mg of DHA compared to 880 mg of EPA, “Flameout” is by far the best fish oil supplement on the market. Their EPA:DHA ratio is 1:2.5 and the capsules are purified to prevent “fishy burps” from the intake of the supplement. There are only two problems with FlameOut. First, it requires four capsules per serving (not optimal for those whom have trouble swallowing pills). Secondly, there is no store that carries BioTest products. In fact, BioTest was created specifically for athletes and enthusiasts, providing no-nonsense supplements to those who were serious about health and fitness.
Where to find Flameout:
Order it from BioTest Store.
New supplements and supplement companies emerge each day, making it impossible for a professional to keep up with all the latest products. If you find a fish oil supplement and are drawn to it because of price, brand, convenience, or any other reason, please take a moment to read the ingredients list and compare its EPA : DHA ratio before assuming it is optimal for your health.
Supplement: Fish Oil
Specific Population: Anyone*
When: Daily (best before bed)
As always, health varies from person to person. It is your responsibility to determine if any supplement or product will interfere with your medications or health conditions. It is important to differentiate between strategic marketing tactics and actual health benefits.
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