Fish oil

Have you joined the many New Zealanders taking fish oil?

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You may have heard friends talking about the many fish oil benefits - how it supports their mobility, their brain health and is good for their skin. People swear by it for supporting heart health too. Perhaps you haven’t tried it for yourself and you’re wondering how a few capsules a day can be of any use? The answer lies in magic fats that are naturally found in fish oil, called omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are classified as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). According to scientific studies, they have a myriad of health benefits for supporting joint, heart and brain health in adults and for healthy brain and eyesight development in babies and children. It’s quite incredible what these special fats do.  

Why are our bodies low in Omega-3?
You may be wondering, if they’re so good, how did we become low in them in the first place. The answer is that our standard Kiwi diet tends to be low in fish.  While we should be eating two or three fish meals a week, most of us eat less.  Also, some of New Zealand’s most commonly eaten fish, such as hoki, is relatively low in omega-3 fats.  Fatty fish like salmon has a much higher content.

Add to this, a relatively high consumption of Omega-6 fats (which reduce Omega-3 fats in the body) and our levels get lower still.  Omega-6 fats are found in vegetable oils and therefore used in cooking or as a common ingredient in processed foods like snack foods, bars and biscuits. 

How do I know if I have a deficiency?
Symptoms of omega-3 deficiency might include dry, flaky, cracked skin, dull hair, joint stiffness, brittle nails, or sadness and mood swings.  Although you may not see or feel the need for it, cardiovascular health also depends on it too. In essence, if you suspect your omega-3 could be low, you may need to eat more fatty fish or take fish oil capsules, such as Blackmores Fish Oil 1000.  

Fish oil for pregnancy
Pregnant women are recommended fish oil capsules to support the baby’s brain and eyesight development and healthy breastfeeding.  Sadly, fresh fish can be contaminated due to ocean pollution and New Zealand Food Safety advises limited consumption of certain fish during pregnancy.  Fish oil supplements, from a reputable source and taken at the recommended dose, are a recommended choice in pregnancy because they are tested for impurities and heavy metals.  Blackmores Pregnancy & Breast-feeding Gold Formula contains fish oil that is quality tested and meets the recommended dose based on scientific studies.

About Blackmores fish oil products
All Blackmores fish oil products are tested for impurities to rigorous standards and none contain artificial additives or surfactants.  They are made odourless using natural vanilla-lemon flavouring.  Blackmores fish oil is sustainably caught in the wild and is predominantly from anchovies because small fish pose less risk of contaminants. 

How much fish oil should I take?
If you’re considering a fish oil supplement, you’ll need to work out the right dose for your health needs.  There is quite a range, from regular strength through to triple strength.  Look specifically at the levels of EPA and DHA.  Remember, these are the special fats. If you just want support for general wellbeing, a few capsules of regular fish oil a day may be enough.  If you want more, you’ll probably need a higher dose i.e. support for over worked, tired and stiff joints, cardiovascular health or healthy blood pressure and cholesterol in ageing.  It depends how much fatty fish you consume in your diet too.  

Fish oil benefits in children and teens:
Young children: to support developing brains and early learning
School aged children: to support academic performance 
Parents of unsettled children or grumpy teenagers: report their charges often seem calmer, happier and more capable of school work

You’ll find children’s fish oil in Blackmores Superkids Omega Brain Chewables and a teenager’s dose in Blackmores Teen Multi, with unique formulas for girls and guys. The transition for teenagers between childhood and adult hood can be tough for many but it is possible to help them reach their full potential

Fish oil doses for adults:
Blackmores Odourless Fish Oil Mini Caps: Regular strength fish oil but in a half size, easy-to-swallow capsule
Omega Daily: Providing a healthy person’s daily fish oil needs in just one capsule
Omega Triple: A high strength option for those with health needs.

Check with your health professional if you or your child is on medication.  Always read the label and take as directed.  If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.