capsules of omega 3s

Let’s jump right in to what the web is saying this week about fish oil and the health benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids, foods, and supplements.

Omega 3 Foods Boost Kids’ Brain Power

SanteePatch blogger Sara Vance discusses the brain health benefits of Omega 3 for our kids, just in time for school. Sara, a clinical nutritionist, encourages parents to consider packing tuna in wraps for lunch for kids to get their omega 3, but she advises against exceeding 6 ounces weekly (for kids and women of childbearing years) due to the fact that these cold-water fish often contain high levels of mercury.  Sara goes on to discuss the benefits of chia seeds, which contain similar benefits, and she helps you find a way to incorporate them into your meals.

Swelling Mercury Levels, Heavy Heart?

Kerry Grens of Reuters shared study results of 1600 men from Sweden and Finland.  He noted that high mercury levels are linked with heart health risk, while omega 3 in fish may be of help. Nutrition experts suggest eating no more than one serving of cold-water fish per week. But FDA requirements suggest consuming the amount of omega 3 fatty acids found in twice that amount.

FDA-Approved Fish Oil Questioned

In late July, the FDA approved a prescription-strength pill containing omega-3 fatty acids. Bonnie Minsky, licensed dietitian nutritionist from Nutritional Concepts gives it a thumbs down in her blog. She notes that it contains two sugar alcohols–malitol and sorbitol–which often cause loose stools and diarrhea.  She also points out that the new medication, Vascepa, is an ethyl ester fish oil, which is less effective than fish oil from triglyceride forms.

Inmate Demands Fish Oil Supplement

Corey Kilgannon, New York Times writer, displays the letter that 65-year old inmate Dana Beal wrote, vying for his omega 3 fatty acids while doing his stint in jail.  Beal has been jailed in Nebraska on drug charges and is awaiting trial.  He wrote a letter to the judge, pointing out his unmet health needs.  Among his many other requests, he wrote, “The staff actually discontinued my fish oil with the excuse that it’s not a prescription drug, when the doctor definitely ordered it! It took 2 months of intense negotiating just to get them to accept it from a pharmacy with me paying.”  He also asked for extra servings of vegetables and some oatmeal in exchange for the unhealthy prison grub such as potato chips and cheese. He wasn’t so lucky with the request, as the attending nurse only answered, “If I do it for you, I have to do it for everyone.”

Posted on September 9, 2012