The questions were about fish oil in general and the omega-3 supplement known as Calamarine in particular. For starters Calamarine is a brand of fish oil that is derived from Calamari. Is it special? In my opinion it is one of the many products that provide what you are about to read.
First, why take a fish oil supplement?
This is a complex scientific issue, but I will be brief and give you enough to get the general idea. And since I encourage readers to due their own due diligence rather that take anybody’s word as gospel, I will give you links that will provide more details and will probably persuade you to go looking for a bottle of fish oil capsules if you are not already taking them.
Fish oil is taken for the Omega-3 fatty acids it contains. Keep in mind we are talking about oil from fatty fish. It is the following fatty acids we care about, but in particular the first two:
- (EPA) eicosapentaenoic acid
- (DHA) docosahexaenoic acid
- (DPA) (docospentaenoic acid)
- (ETA) (eicosatetraenoic acid).
While that stuff looks like alphabet soup, you just need to remember to look for the first two sets of initials on the label of your fish oil. Each will be followed by its milligram content in a serving (usually one or two capsules so pay attention to the serving size).
The typical daily amount of fish oil is in the vicinity of 1,000 to 3,000 mg of DHA and EPA; that is the total of both. A smaller person will take toward the low end and a larger person toward the high end. For the fish oil I use right now it is six capsules daily to get the max. I take them spaced throughout the day rather than at one time.
Can you overdose on fish oil?
I can’t imagine it happening. I’ve taken many times the max, and have known and heard about others doing the same when they first start taking fish oil to try to fix an ailment fish oil is said to benefit.
I would start gradually because some people need to get their system dialed-in. You should not be able to taste the fish oil going down, and it should not give you fish burps. Usually that’s a sign that it is old or very cheap. So don’t go cheap. And generally I would avoid grocery, discount, and drug store inventories that might sit on the shelves a long time.
I feel comfortable telling you to get your fish oil from a specialty mail order source like iherb.com (HAY 816 is $5 discount code) where you can see which is the best selling (fastest turn over) brand, which will save you time sorting through the many choices and make sure you are getting fresh product. You could go to GNC or Vitamin World or other mall stores, but expect to pay more. Up to you.
Obviously you want a fish oil that gives you the most total DHA and EPA at the lowest price. Other things are important too, such as the source of the Omega-3 fatty acids. You can get Omega-3 from many sources of oil, it’s just that oil from seems a better choice compared to other sources like black seed, hemp, flax, etc.
Why we need Omega-3 from fish oil?
Even super-conservative medical organizations are behind fish oil. For instance according to WebMD (and others) Fish Oil:
Is Effective for:
- High triglycerides.
Is Likely Effective for:
- Heart disease.
Possibly Effective for:
- High blood pressure.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Menstrual pain
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
- Weak bones (osteoporosis).
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
- Kidney problems.
- Bipolar disorder.
- Weight loss.
- Endometrial cancer
- Age-related eye disease (age-related macular degeneration, AMD).
- Reducing the risk of blood vessel re-blockage after heart bypass surgery or “balloon” catheterization (balloon angioplasty).
- Recurrent miscarriage in pregnant women with antiphospholipid syndrome.
- High blood pressure and kidney problems after heart transplant.
- Damage to the kidneys and high blood pressure caused by taking a drug called cyclosporine.
- Movement disorder in children (dyspraxia).
- Developmental coordination disorder.
- Preventing blockage of grafts used in kidney dialysis.
- High cholesterol.
- Coronary artery bypass surgery.
- Cancer-related weight loss.
The positive comments and claims about fish oil Omega-3 fatty acids are almost unbelievable. Many of the claims are backed by studies and research. Maybe it’s not all perfect research, but the claims are so-wide reaching, and fish oil has become so cheap it seems almost silly to not use it if you have any problems listed as possibly improved with fish oil, or if you just want to use it as a preventive. If you are subject to any of the above and want to know more, go to this page on WebMD.
And one thing for sure: If your diet even remotely resembles the standard American diet (SAD) you need to continue reading.
It is not a fish oil deficiency that drives sales
That’s correct. Fish oil is the source of Omega-3 fatty acids in which many of us are deficient in our diets. At the same time we have an over-abundance of Omega-6 fatty acids. So what’s the condensed version of that?
The bottom line is the 3s are good for us, the 6s are bad for us. A common estimate is that the standard American diet is 20 to 30 times too high in the Omega-6 known as Linoleic Acid that is thought to contribute to many aging problems and common diseases.
Have you ever noticed that a woman that looks unhealthy will have children that look the same — pasty skin, circles and bags around their eyes, and rather dull and listless appearing. Next time you see them in the grocery store look into their cart. Breast milk contains much DHA and EPA, but not if the mother’s diet is SAD. Baby formula may or may not contain added DHA and EPA. Children raised deficient in Omega-3 such as on the standard American diet can exhibit slower comprehension, allergies, asthma, and who knows what else? Think about it. We are what we eat.
The similarly spelled Linolenic Acid is an Omega-3 about which the University of Maryland Medical Center says, “.. is found in flaxseed oil, and in canola, soy, perilla, and walnut oils.” There are a some people that are reportedly unable to process this oil. You should read more about it if you cook with the just noted oils.
So what good are Omega-3s?
For starters here’s an odd thing: Saturated fat (the Devil, right?) found naturally in food is thought to cause certain diseases only if the person’s Omega-3 intake is out of whack compared to Omega-6.
Recall that we are talking about Essential Fatty Acids. That means we have to have them, but can’t necessarily make them ourselves so we need to get them from our diets.
We need to reduce Omega-6s from processed food, baked goods, packaged anything, and find ways to get more Omega-3s into ourselves. To that end I suggest you read this article from Harvard’s Dr. Frank Sacks. It is not that difficult and you can start by making the correct choices with your cooking oils and oils you consume in things like salad dressing and condiments.
While we can get our Omega-3 intake higher with better food and supplements, that alone will not be sufficient unless you cut back on Omega-6s.
This is very likely the most comprehensive FAQ sheet I’ve seen about fish oil, and if you want an education you ought to take a look.
Meantime, if you are typical and have high Omega-6 and low Omega-3 intake, and you will spend a couple bucks and try a fish oil regimen for a month, you might be pleasantly surprised that you begin to look and feel better. Women especially. Don’t ask me why, maybe because they are smarter and can feel when something is good for them so they keep doing it and will ideally cut back on the bad diet choices, too.
Last but not least. Along with my fish oil I also take Astaxanthin. This is another cheap supplement that works from the inside out and you should read my articles linked down below if your skin’s appearance is important to you. Got that? Your skin’s appearance?
Remember to have an annual physical. Thomas Amshay articles are not meant to take the place of your doctor or health care team. Talk to them before starting any exercise program, diet, or supplement.