It is no secret that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest and well balanced in the World. The reason for this is partly due to the consumption of fish especially rich in beneficial oils such as Omega-3. Not all fats are bad for us; in fact fish oils contain essential fatty acids necessary for human health.
Omega-3 fatty acids play a big part in healthy formation and development of all body systems, but they can’t be produced by the body and have to be taken in as part of our diet. This includes eating fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel and herring or taking fish oil supplements. The two most important Omega-3 fatty acids are EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid).
In recent years a lot of research has been carried out into the beneficial effects of fish oils in certain conditions. Tests have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of heart disease. They help to lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels (cholesterol fats). In fact Omacor is an Omega-3 fish oil supplement available on prescription which is used for patients suffering from cholesterol related conditions. Fish oils are also thought to be effective in the treatment of arthritis, osteoporosis, disorders related to pain and swelling, depression, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and age related eye problems (macular degeneration). The list of conditions is endless and research is ongoing.
Omega-3 fatty acids also appear to help brain and behaviour function in infants and children. Many studies have shown improved memory, concentration and behaviour in children receiving fish oil supplements. Pregnancy supplements containing fish oils are also available from your Pharmacy.
There are many fish oil supplements on the market at the moment. Paradox is a fish oil supplement which contains Omega-3, 6 and 9. This product combines good fatty acids (Omega-3 and 6) with an antioxidant (Omega 9) which work together to benefit the muscles and joints, the heart and blood vessels and also the nervous systems. It is available in oil or capsule form for adults, as well as a liquid squirt for infants and children over 6 months and new chews for ages 5 years and over.
On purchasing a supplement you should consult your pharmacist to ensure that it is suitable for you. Also, it is important to follow the recommended daily dose as fish oil can be harmful in excess.
In short Omega-3 could have benefits for all the family and as the research seems to show that fish really is “food for thought” as the summer holidays draw to an end, it may be worth considering fish oil supplements for the back to school season.
Gordons Chemists is the largest independently owned retail pharmacy chain in Northern Ireland. Established in 1980, Gordons now has 49 pharmacies here and also 9 in Scotland.
Products described are available at most pharmacies and Gordons Chemists does not endorse any individual product. Always consult your pharmacist in relation to your individual symptoms.
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