We continue to hear about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, but with so many items on the market, like kosher fish oil supplements, there may be confusion as to what is the best choice to maximize health benefits. This article will examine omega-3s and explain the difference between certain supplements.
Omega-3 fatty acids are part of the unsaturated fatty acids family. The three polysaturated acids that make up the fatty acids are a-linolenic acid, eicosapentaeonic acid and docosahexaenoic acids. Omega-3s are essential acids for the body’s function. These fatty acids are found in high concentrations in the brain. The 60% of the human brain is composed of fats and nearly half of that fat comes from omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids aid in brain development, brain growth and affect cognitive and brain function. In addition to the brain, omega-3 fatty acids have shown to affect the heart and other internal organs.
The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for the brain to operate at optimal capacity. In addition to the brain, omega-3 fatty acids also benefit the heart. For the brain, omega-3 fatty acids improve memory, focus, reduce depression, mood swings, ADD, ADHD, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s disease. For the heart, omega-3 fatty acids have shown to reduce triglycerides and reduce HDL or bad cholesterol levels.
Natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids come from fish, nuts and flaxseed. In addition to natural sources, individuals can take omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 supplements come from the fatty acids found in certain fish. In addition to fish sources, omega-3 supplements can be created from concentrated plant sources. One of the most common sources of non-fish omega-3 fatty acids is flaxseed oil. Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and other vitamins and minerals.
What Is Kosher Fish Oil?
Kosher fish oil comes from oil that is extracted from a fish. According to Jewish law, only fish with fins and scales are considered clean or kosher. The oil that is extracted includes omega-3 fatty acids, specifically docoahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid.
The Benefits of Kosher Fish Oil Supplements
Kosher fish oil supplements contain all the same benefits as listed above under omega-3 fatty acids because this supplement contains omega-3s. Unlike other forms of omega-3 fish oils, kosher fish oil supplements is usually lower in impurities. Kosher fish oil supplements are considered safe for pregnant women.
Compared to eating fish, kosher fish oil supplements provide individuals with a safer, low toxic way to obtain omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 Supplements vs. Kosher Fish Oil Supplements
One major concern regarding omega-3 fatty acids is the toxicity of the fish. Certain fish, especially tuna and salmon, contain high levels of mercury. Individuals are often concerned that these high mercury levels can be passed to the body through supplements.
Kosher fish oil supplements are often considered cleaner and safer than eating large quantities of toxic contaminants found in fish or than taking regular omega-3 fish oil supplements. For vegetarians or vegans, there are non-fish based omega-3 supplements on the market, many which are derived from flaxseed oil.