What Does Fish Oil Do?

by Ello
(Glasgow, Scotland)

In terms of infertility, pregnancy and preconception health, what does fish do for me? There seems to be a lot of information about fish, fish oil and omega 3's and it's confusing!

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What Does Fish Oil Do?
by: Amelia Hirota

Hi Ello,
Many people wonder what does fish oil do? I agree the news on fish, fish oil and omega 3's is incredibly confusing. Many countries that have a high consumption of seafood tend to have less fertility issues, pregnancy health problems and post partum depression.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential in our diet to maintain balance out the pro clotting and pro inflammatory effects of omega 6 fatty acids. The only omega 3 fatty acids that our bodies use directly are EPA and DHA.

Omega 6 fatty acids are found in many foods like meats and vegetable oils. Omega 3 fatty acids are primarily found in fish. There is an Omega 3 fatty acid in some non-seafood products like flax, hemp and algae. However, this fatty acid is ALA which has to be converted to EPA and DHA to be used in the body. This is not an efficient process.

So, while it's important to make sure that you're getting sufficient quantities of EPA and DHA, it's also imperative to watch out for mercury in fish. Larger fish that eat other fish tend to have higher levels of mercury. That's why good quality fish oils are tested for mercury and heavy metals. Also, these producers generally use small fish like anchovies and sardines to extract their oil.

I hope that I've answered your question.

Sending baby dust your way,
Amelia Hirota
Licensed and Board Certified Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist

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