For a long time now we have been advised to eat fish at least two times a week because we need omega 3 fatty acids, and since the body can’t make it, we need to eat it.
Cold water fish like salmon is a good source of omega 3 fat, but it does not seem to be a good idea to eat much of it anymore, and this is why.
Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) is a toxic chemical found to contaminate the food supply, and it is a health hazard.
34,591 Swedish women were followed for 12 years to assess the association between dietary PCB exposure from fish consumption and stroke risk (Bergkvist C, et al. 2014).
Dietary exposure to PCBs from fish was associated with an increased risk for stroke, especially hemorrhagic stroke.
Eating fish used to be considered healthy, but the benefits from the omega 3 fatty acids which we need, is canceled out by the contaminants in the fish.
We do need omega 3 fatty acids, so what do we do?
You can grind up 2 tablespoons of flax seeds and eat that twice a day, or you can take high quality omega 3 fish oil capsules.
There is however a difference between these 2 sources of omega 3 fat.
The fat in the flax seeds has to be converted by enzymes to EPA and DHA, which are the active ingredients of omega 3 fatty acids, but not everybody does this with the same efficiency.
The omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil, however, already comes as EPA and DHA, so we know exactly how much we are getting.
A quality manufacturing process removes toxins from the fish oil.
It is also easier to take a couple of capsules a day.
Use a product that has high amount of both EPA and DHA, because we need both.
Bergkvist C1, Kippler M, Larsson SC, Berglund M, Glynn A, Wolk A, Åkesson A. Dietary exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls is associated with increased risk of stroke in women. J Intern Med. 2014 Sep;276(3):248-59. doi: 10.1111/joim.12194. Epub 2014 Mar 17.
Better Fish Oil
Most fish oils on the market are ethyl esters because that’s cheaper to produce. Fish oil in a triglyceride form is also better absorbed than ethyl esters (Beckerman B. et al. 1990). Most people that eat a western diet can benefit from increasing the intake of Omega 3 fatty acid since their diet usually contains too much Omega 6 from vegetable oils and saturated fat from dairy and other animal sources.