Approximately 10% of the Irish population eat sufficient oily fish to receive their necessary intake of Omega 3, an Irish survey suggested. According to a report in the Irish Times in April 2012, an IPSOS/MRBI survey found 89% of Irish people do not eat enough salmon, fresh tuna, sardines or trout to ensure that they receive the required dose of Omega 3.
Which is more important: Omega 3, 6 or 9?
Omega-6 and 9’s can be found abundantly in many of our common vegetable cooking oils, but not olive oil. Omega 6 and 9 are common ingredients in many of the foods we eat. Irish diets tend to be lacking in Omega 3 so it is more important to supplement with Omega 3 than Omega 6 and 9. This is especially important for those who do not eat much fish.
Fish oil is recommended for a healthy diet because it contains the omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), precursors to eicosanoids that reduce inflammation throughout the body. Cod liver oil is a form of fish oil derived from liver of cod fish. It has high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, and very high levels of vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E. Omega 3 fatty acids are primarily found in oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines and pilchards. We should eat two portions of fish per week, one of them oily. Flaxseed oil which is also known as linseed oil can be up to six times richer than most fish oils in omega 3 and its oil are perhaps the most widely available botanical source of omega 3. You can buy flaxseed in supermarkets and you can add to the likes of porridge and yogurt to boost your omega 3 levels.
Which fish oil to choose?
The best way to get Omega 3 is naturally through your diet. However, for people who do not eat sufficient fish (eg. don’t like fish), I recommend a fish oil supplement called MorEPA® as it contains the highest level of pure omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) of any fish oil supplement on the market. It does not have a fishy aftertaste (has a lemon flavour). PlusEPA® is a potent omega 3 supplement specifically designed to ease symptoms of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Both MorEPA® and PlusEPA® are available in Whelehans. MorEPA® comes in a 60 (two month pack) and costs you only 50 cents per day in Whelehans. Fish oils should never however be considered an alternative to proper medical intervention.
Disclaimer: Fish Oils are not a medicine; it is not intended to treat, cure or prevent a disease
Aisling Murray has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and offers a one to one specialist nutrition service at Whelehans Pharmacy. Plans start from €10 per week. Call Whelehans at 04493 34591 for an appointment