One of the most important things you can do for your health is daily consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (optimal dosing 2-4 grams per day of EPA and DHA).
Did you know that omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) provide cardiovascular protection by at least seven different mechanisms and prevent cancer by at least seven different mechanisms? Two of these mechanisms are the same so there are at least thirteen different ways that fish oils protect you from heart disease and cancer!
Cardiovascular Protection: (1) anti-arrhythmic; (2) anti-thrombotic; (3) anti-atherosclerotic; (4) anti-inflammatory; (5) improves endothelial function; (6) lowers blood pressure; (7) lowers triglyceride concentrations (2-4 grams per day). (Din JN, et al. Omega 3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease – fishing for a natural treatment, BMJ 2004; 328:30-35.)
Cancer Prevention: (1) reduces inflammation; (2) reduces angiogenesis; (3) decreases oncogenes; (4) induce differentiation; (5) suppress NFKB; (6) suppress bcl-2 (apoptosis blocker); (7) reduces cachexia. (J. Nutr. 132:3508S-3512S, November 2002)
I recommend only a pharmaceutical grade fish oil that is guaranteed pure, potent and effective. In order to assure this a company must submit their manufacturing processes to NNFA, GMP certification and meet rigorous standards. They must also third-party test their product to insure that the final product (what you are consuming) is free of lead, PCB, dioxin, and mercury. My favorite fish oil product is from Metagenics and is the EPA-DHA Extra Strength with enteric coating. This prevents the fish “after-taste”.
Just a quick work about the fish “after-taste”. You may try freezing your fish oils, in addition to using enteric coated ones, prior to taking them to reduce this from happening. However, in some cases the fishy after-taste is due to a problem with digestive function, most often a deficiency in pancreatic enzymes.
Our fishing industry is close to ruins with mercury and heavy metal contamination. It is impossible to get the dosage of fish oils required for optimal health without supplementation. If you take an inferior fish oil product you also run the risk of contaminating yourself with heavy metals, most notably mercury.
EPA and DHA is important for developing brains as well so every pregnant and nursing mother should be taking daily pure fish oil supplements.