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How to offset an omega-3 deficiency


Published: 07/28/2015

by David Ferrer

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A global omega-3 summit in Belgium a few years ago determined that there is a global omega-3 deficiency. Participants heard that the lack of omega-3 in the daily diet is as serious to the physical and mental health of our species as carbon dioxide emissions are to our planet's environmental health.

A Harvard study furthered that the omega-3 deficiency is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, causing up to 100,000 deaths a year.

Omega-3s are a type of nutrient called essential fatty acids, or EFAs. They are considered “essential” because they are required for good health, but cannot be produced by the body. Another EFA is omega-6, and when these two are consumed in a balanced ratio, they work together to keep the body healthy.

The modern Western diet has upset the naturally balanced consumption of EFAs by encouraging foods with too much omega-6 fat. It is found primarily in refined vegetable oils like soy, canola, and corn; processed foods; and meats from animals raised on soy and corn instead of grass. In addition, we consume too little omega-3, found primarily in wild-caught, cold-water, fatty fish. Instead of a diet with balanced amounts of omega-6 and omega-3, the typical diet has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio ranging from 10:1 to as high as 20:1.

Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

The first step toward correcting this deficiency is to increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and decrease consumption of omega-6. But a change in diet is only part of the solution, say authorities in this field. Supplementation with omega-3s is also essential.

“As the leading supplier of omega-3 fish oils worldwide, the Nordic Naturals line is committed to correcting the global deficiency by supplying pure, fresh, safe, and effective omega-3 supplements,” says BC-based registered holistic nutritionist Sarah J. Cuff, RHN.

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