Navigating the world of supplements can make you feel like a fish out of water. This month the supplement we are focusing on are fish oils.  What may be useful to an adult, may be toxic to a toddler.  So understanding proper dosage is important.  The typical American diet lacks in omega-3s.  These can be obtained by eating cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies and herring.  To fill your needs, you may have to turn towards supplementation. It is vital that supplements are purified and meet quality standards that monitor and remove mercury, lead, and other heavy metals.  We would be happy to help you source high quality fish oils from reputable sources.  A reputable source should be able to provide documentation of third-party lab results that demonstrate purity.

There are two forms of omega-3s – EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).  EPA is beneficial for the neck down and supports heart, immune system, and inflammatory response.  DHA supports eye, brain, and central nervous system development.

For Mom

Omega-3s are essential for mom during pregnancy for the development of baby.  Taking fish oils while pregnant can start your child off on the right foot by providing quality DHA that can help with eye and brain development.  Also, that foggy “mom brain” can be improved with the introduction of omega-3 fats, fish oils.   Mom also uses omega-3s, when producing breast milk.  Mothers are depleted of these essential oils with each subsequent pregnancy if stores are not maintained and replenished.  Studies have shown that higher consumption of omega-3s during pregnancy may reduce the risk of allergies infants, as well. Lastly, increased intake may lower the risk of preeclampsia and improve mood – reduce chances of postpartum depression.

For Dad

We don’t want to forget about the men in our life.  Fish oils are may help improve sperm quality and higher testosterone levels.  Check out this research article from JAMA that studied the affects of fish oil in 1679 young men.  A well-rounded diet that includes antioxidants such as Vitamin A, C, E, and D, zinc, and folate also promoted sperm and semen quality.  All genders will benefit from fish oils for improved immune health, better mental outlook, brain and heart health. 

For Children

Kids need vitamins, minerals, and fats to meet their development needs.  What they can get from food isn’t always enough and adding in certain supplements can help fill the gaps that their growing bodies may need.  The lack of cold-water fish in the western diet further emphasizes the importance of adding a high-quality fish oil for your children.  Fish oils can improve skin, boost the immune system, improve eye and brain development.  All things that are so important.  The addition of fish oils for my oldest son reduced the frequency and severity of his eczema when he was little.  By feeding his body the things he needed we were able to fill the gaps that he was deficient in and reduce symptoms by getting to the root of the problem.

By adding fish oils to your family’s diet, you can easily tip the scales in your favor.  It is important during all seasons to keep your family healthy and thriving.  We are always happy to help you with proper dosing and identifying high-quality sources for your family. Schedule a nutrition consultation on our website and let us know how we can help!

–Melanie Dockter, DC CACCP