Why Fish Oil Is Good For You and Helps Your Brain


why is fish oil good for you and what
are the omega fatty acids anyway? That’s what I’m going to talk about today stay
tuned I’m dr. Tracey Marks a psychiatrist and I
talk about mental health education and self-improvement. If that’s up your alley
subscribe. Fsh oil is one of the largest sources of omega-3 fatty acids and the
terms are not synonymous. Fish oil contains omega fatty acids. Omega fatty
acids are called essential fatty acids because the only way to get them in your
body is by eating them. Your body does not make them. So once you eat them
though your body processes them into inflammatory and anti-inflammatory
agents. Omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks for anti-inflammatory
agents which is why they’re so important they help fight inflammation in your
body. Now you may say I”‘m not inflamed, I’m not swollen anywhere.” But first of
all inflammation is not the same as swelling. It’s more broad than that and
second if you live in this world and especially eat a Western diet, somewhere
in your body you are inflamed at a cellular level. Inflammation causes a lot
of illnesses. Too much inflammation in your body causes aches and pains and
auto-immune disorders. Too much inflammation in your blood vessels leads
to hardening of the arteries. That’s why Omega-3 fatty acids are considered heart healthy. Too much inflammation in your brain can
lead to anxiety and mood disorders such as depression and we’ve even seen a link
between inflammation and ADHD. Now inflammation isn’t all bad. If you’re hit
with a foreign substance like a viral infection or an open wound your
inflammatory process comes to the rescue to fight off the infection. However we
need a balance of inflammatory agents and anti-inflammatory agents. Since we
get inflammation from omega-6 fatty acids and anti inflammation from omega-3,
we need to have a good balance between omega sixes and threes. But this isn’t
the case we take in way more omega-6 because it’s abundant in our diet. It
comes from things like vegetable oils poultry eggs and animal fats just to
name a few sources. We get plenty of these and therefore have an excess
amount of inflammatory chemicals in the body. Sources of omega-3 are things like
fatty fish, flax seed, certain algae and grass-fed meats. And how much of these
things are you getting in your diet on a daily basis? The actual omega-3 fatty
acids are ALA, DHA and EPA. EPA is associated more with the body and DHA is
in the brain. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least
two servings of fatty fish each week what are some fatty fish that are high
in omega-3s? Some examples are salmon mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and
albacore tuna. I don’t know about you but the only thing I eat on that list is
salmon maybe a little tuna I don’t even know what mackerel looks like and I
doubt that my Sam’s frozen package of trout is lake trout. What if you don’t
want to eat all that fish if you don’t want to eat the fish and/or you already
have heart disease, joint problems, gut problems, mental problems including
cognitive decline, you need to supplement. The general
recommendation for omega-3 supplementation is a 1000 milligrams
in a combination of EPA and DHA and this is with a person with no problems. The
dose that’s used in the studies that showed benefit for the inflammatory
problems that I mentioned earlier are 2 to 3 grams.
You should only take more than 3 grams though under a doctor’s
supervision because doses higher than 3 grams can lead to increased bleeding
problems in some people. If you’re a vegetarian and don’t want a fish product
there are algae sources of omega-3 and then there’s flaxseed. The omega-3 in
flaxseed is ALA, which has to be broken down into EPA and DHA. So you’d have
to consume a lot of flaxseed to get the equivalent of a 1000 milligrams of
the DHA and EPA. You want to make sure you get a good source that uses fish
that are low in mercury and I’ll have a link in the notes to a brand that I
think is very good source of fish oil with minimal fish burps. The fishy odor
comes from oxidation of the oil. it doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just smells
fishy. Another thing about getting a good
source of oil is how much fish oil the pills actually deliver. Usually it takes
two pills to make a 1000 milligrams of EPA and DHA. Some of the cheaper
brands will say a 1000 milligrams on the front of the bottle, but when you
turn around and look at the ingredient list, it’ll say 300 milligrams of EPA, 400
milligrams of DHA and then 300 milligrams of other. So then you’ve got
to take three pills to get your thousand milligrams of EPA and DHA. So in the end
what seem like a lower cost pill may actually be more because you have to buy
more. Here’s what one pill looks like. They’re pretty big. Nordic Naturals and
some other brands have liquid versions that may be easier to take. You could get
3 grams either by taking 6 of these or taking one tablespoon of
the liquid. If you’re fine swallowing oil, then this is a good choice. You can also
put it in your food to help you get it down. One tip though, if you get the
liquid put it in the refrigerator to slow down the oxidation process because
it’s that oxidation that gives it that fish taste. One last thing if you’re a
trivia person have you wondered why EPA and DHA are called omega-3 fatty acids?
Here’s why: it has to do with the naming convention for organic compounds that
contain carbon. The head of the molecule is the alpha end and the tail is the
omega end. This is what DHA looks like and here’s the head and here’s the tail.
The Omega 3″s have their double bond carbon three places from the tail or the
omega end. The bond are the electrons that make the two carbon atoms stick to
each other. As you can see with the omega-6, is the first double bond is in
the sixth position from the tail. Isn’t that enlightening? Don’t you feel better
now? I hope this video helps you understand why you need to make sure
you’re getting enough omega-3 fatty acids.
Why? Because omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and reduce disease. Thanks
for watching. Please subscribe for more weekly videos.

30 thoughts on “Why Fish Oil Is Good For You and Helps Your Brain

  1. This is exactly what I want to study more deeply! Where could I begin investigating more about the chemistry of foods and supplements in relation to brain health? Thank you

  2. I have depression. 80% improved from 200mg sertraline/Zoloft per day.
    Tried lots of extras,the only one that worked was omega 3 oil supplements.Even starting at a low dose(EPA 260mg. DHA 120mg)I noticed improvement in 7 or 8 days.
    In raising my dosage I felt better and better ending with NOW brand 1000mg EPA 500mg DHA per day.
    Recently heard that EPA is the relevant ingredient for depression and a dose of 1.8-4mg of EPA per day was recommended.
    I now take 1.5mg EPA per day with no DHA and I feel a stronger anti depressant effect.
    I recommend.

  3. Hello Dr, I take a baby aspirin every other day. Would you recommend taking the fish oil the day I don’t take the baby aspirin? Thank you!

  4. I took fish oil and it actually increased my anxiety. It made me have a really bad panic attack and shortness of breath. Terrible but it seemed to help with another symptom that was bothering me but unfortunately the panic took over.

  5. I take hemp omega 369. It helped with my anxiety. I was starting to go into paranoia. I live where there is alot of violence and craziness, also the fireworks from the 4th didnt help. I was on edge all the time. Anyway this helped sooo much.

  6. Is it safe to take omega 3 with bipolar disorder? My psychiatrist doesnt want to diagnose me with bipolar disorder but she does want me to keep it on the back burner because of what antidepressants did to me. I also heard that you should take 1000mg of epa and lower dha for depression? Thats why i was wanting to try it, because of depression…

  7. Thank you again for the great information. I've started taking flax seed and cod liver oil after watching this video for the first time. Also started reading about chronic inflammation. Could you do a video about the connection of chronic inflammation with mental disorders? Is the inflammation causing the disorders or the disease is causing the inflammation? Is it possible to get out of the cycle with anti inflammatory diet and lifestyle? Which medications have anti inflammatory agents? I started using lamictal for bipolar 2 last week. Thank you.

  8. Is it possible to not to have the fish oil smell? I tried taking fish oil pills and I kept burping the fish scent from the pills and it made me nauseous and I had to stop. Thank you !

  9. Thank you for this, Dr Marks! I'd completely forgotten about including these in my diet, and I think these would really help me! Also, what a thoughtful thing you did by pointing out the cost factor with the milligrams in each pill and the things to look for in that! You rock! Thanks again!

  10. Thanks for the video.
    I would like to offer a suggestion. In this video the background music was loud and distracting. Perhaps you could tone it down a bit in future videos. A little bit goes a long way.

  11. Wow All these years i thought the EPA got to be higher than the DHA .. then if it’s for the brain it’s gotta be higher in DHA

    Btw: Thankyou mrs Tracey for these wonderful informative videos! 😊

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