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Book Review - Should I take fish oil?

By Denise Elliot

This book is an easy to read explanation of omega 3, while also explaining about omega 6 - all detail that would be fantastic to teach at school level. So if you don’t understand the differences, have a read, so you can take advantage of the huge benefits for your health and those that you love.

The book covers a number of medical conditions that fish oil can help - including a number of brain disorders – Alzheimer’s to Bi-Polar, depression, arthritis, asthma, pregnancy, heart disease, gastro-intestinal concerns etc. The list is substantial because omega 3 is an excellent natural anti-inflammatory as the book explains.
The book provides a clear explanation of the conditions before clarifying how omega 3 can help.

I thought the best part about this book was how it was clearly written that omega 3 can be seen as a complementary therapy with pharmaceutical medications. I have always been frustrated with the words alternative medicine - because natural health choices are not an alternative they are extremely complementary. The word alternative I believe creates some ‘fear factor’ because it becomes either ‘this or that’. So it was indeed pleasing to read that omega 3 can help all those arthritic joints, the low moods, the ADHD with our children, heart disease and basically anything with an ‘itis’ on the end (itis means inflammation of – i.e. tonsillitis,
arthritis etc).

From pages 3 to 6 it explains very well about what is referred to as essential fatty acids - essential means it must be provided by diet because we cannot make it, being alpha linolenic acid (omega 3) and linoleic acid (omega 6). 

However, note that fish oil has the huge advantage of already providing pre-formed EPA and DHA. In a nutritionally compromised person, or sometimes just a busy person we are highly likely to not make the conversion from ALA to EPA/DHA we so wish for. So many health concerns are screaming out for the natural anti-inflammatory action of omega 3. 

I really like that the book strongly emphasizes and explains clearly the importance of the ratio between omega 6 and omega 3, and that it needs to dramatically sway towards the omega 3 side. Omega 3 always goes down an anti-inflammatory pathway, whereas omega 6 has the capacity to go down the arachidonic acid inflammatory pathway - hence encourage disease processes. All great information to understand for your own health because many disease processes start with inflammation.

Throughout the book it mentions many extremely positive studies on fish oil - none of the studies are referenced, however reputable websites are listed where you can look up any medical information or studies which are all free to access. There is much research about omega 3 and they all make amazing reading - and easier to absorb if you have high levels of omega 3, because your brain might be functioning better, not might, highly likely is - quoted from this wee gem of a book - “A diet high in omega 3 can help improve and retain learning abilities and brain speed”. Don’t we all need that - from birth to the end!