If you’ve been to my clinic in the last few years, there’s no doubt I’ve taken a sample of your blood to check your Omega-3 levels. With close to 400 samples now, I can safely say we have a widespread deficiency of these essential fatty acids in our community. So far only two people have been in range, the rest have all had low levels. But what does this mean to our health, and why are we so deficient?
Two essential Omega-3s are called EPA and DHA. They are essential for humans and we must get them from our diet, the best sources being oily fish that eat algae and animals that eat grass. The problem is fish farms don’t provide algae and animals are mostly fed grain. So we are eating less EPA and DHA than ever… yet we need them more than ever.

Well, one of the most interesting things about omega-3s is their ability to resolve inflammation. While inflammatory processes are important for our survival, we also need to turn those processes off, and this is where Omega-3s step in. They also have many other roles including:


  • Maintaining muscle mass as we age – ultimately enhancing metabolic function *
  • Supporting immune function – reducing the risk for autoimmune disorders and infectious diseases *
  • Improving pregnancy outcomes – including reducing the risk of pre-term birth *
  • Buffering the harmful effects of air pollution exposure – preserving brain volume *
  • Improve reading, behaviour, and executive function in children – hence the importance of maternal omega-3 status during pregnancy and breastfeeding*
  • Promoting neurogenesis – maintaining the micro-structural integrity of the brain in aging *

Adding all these things together, it makes sense that a deficiency is linked to many chronic diseases. In fact:


  • Having low omega-3 levels is among the top six causes of preventable death – right up there with smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity *
  • Having high omega-3 levels may reduce a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease by a whopping 25 percent *
  • Taking omega-3s is associated with an additional five years of lifespan, on par with not smoking *


And to compound the problem taking a standard fish oil supplement doesn’t often fix the problem. The process of making the fish oil seems to compromise something in the final product, and improvements in symptoms and in omega-3 status are often disappointing.

There is a solution though and it lies in understanding how to get your Omega-3 supplement to assimilate properly into your body. There are two things to consider here: polyphenols and the quality of the fish oil. Polyphenols are one of natures little wonders and they work wonders when you combine them with a good quality fish oil. In fact polyphenols are in the algae that the fish eat, but less so in the standard fish oil product. When we think of quality we need to know the fish oil is free of heavy metals and toxins and is not rancid. Fish oil is very delicate and needs to be refrigerated on ship and stored properly to prevent oxidation, and the sad news is many companies skip these steps.

So if you are wondering about your Omega-3 status, a simple finger prick blood test can tell you the amount of EPA and DHA in your body. Or you can assume you are low in these essential nutrients and take steps to improve your levels today!


* Source https://www.foundmyfitness.com/topics/omega-3