I know I’ve covered this subject before, but I have to stress that this supplement is one of the few that can be labeled as a supersupplement. Uncontrolled inflammation in the body is responsible for many conditions from chronic tendonitis to Crohn’s disease to heart disease to cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids are very good anti-inflammatories. I try not to recommend adding supplements to anyone’s diet unless absolutely necessary. However, because our modern western diet is very deficient on them, adding Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Fish oil is one of the best and accessible sources out there. In my opinion, if you can get over its taste (which I have not problem with), it is the way to go. Find a good purified source. Many of them come in flavored formulations. I like the ones that give you about 1500mgs and close to 500mgs of DHA and 500 mgs of EPA per serving. I supplement with Nordic Naturals’ Artic Cod Liver Oil. You can find it at Whole Foods and smaller Nature’s Foods stores. There are many good ones in the market. If you can’t tolerate the taste, you can get fish oils in soft gel form. The cost per serving is going to be a little bit higher, though.
Dietarily, fish oils are abundant in cold oceanic fish like cod, mackerel, salmon and sardines. Vegans tend to have trouble obtaining these important oils unless they supplement. DHA and EPA have been shown to lower inflammatory cytokines associated with neurodegenerative (like Alzheimer’s), autoimmune diseases (like Lupus) and some cancers.
Flax Seed Oil
A natural source of an essential fatty acid alpha linolenic acid (ALA), flax seed oil is less expensive than fish oils. ALA is also found to a lesser extent, in soy, tofu, walnuts, walnut oil, canola oil and pumpkin seed and pumpkin seed oil. The following conditions have reportedly been helped by adding ALA into our diets: heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, arthritis, asthma, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and menstrual pain. If you decide to supplement with flaxseed oil, take 1 – 2 tablespoons each day. Flax seed oil has a short shelf life. Make sure you notice the expiration date before you buy it.
If you supplement with oils, you should supplement with antioxidants. Vitamins A, C, and E, the mineral selenium and CoQ10 are among the best ones in the market. Some experts recommend adding the contents of two or three vitamin E softgels into the oil bottle. You also need to remember to store these oils away from light and contact with air. Also, keep them refrigerated to avoid rancidity.