You may have read our last post about the new Healthy Skin Formula we have started carrying or if you’ve made a recent visit to our clinic, you may have noticed the three new supplements on the shelves of “Acne Safe Products”.
Here’s the FAQS on the Vitamedica Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil, and all the ways it can benefit your skin, body and mind.
Who should use Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil? VitaMedica’s Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil is indicated for individuals of all ages – from toddlers to seniors – who do not obtain sufficient amounts of Omega‐3 fats from their diet. Because fish oil supplements inhibit the development of the inflammatory prostaglandins, the supplement is particularly beneficial for individuals who have inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and psoriasis.
Who should not use Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil? Fish oil supplements have an excellent safety track record. However, certain individuals should seek the advice of their doctor before beginning a nutritional supplement program particularly diabetics, pregnant or lactating women. If you are having surgery, Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil should be discontinued 2 weeks prior and for 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. Caution: In some individuals with oily skin, supplementing with fish oil can exacerbate the condition. Please refer to the Directions section for more information on precautions and contraindications.
What is the primary benefit for using Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil? The Omega‐3 fatty acids found in Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil play a crucial role in cardiovascular health and brain function, as well as normal growth and development. Thousands of studies published over the past 35 years, have consistently shown that the Omega‐3 Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) found in fish oil are important to health throughout every stage of life. Specifically, DHA plays a critical role in maintaining healthy functioning of the nervous system and the eyes (particularly the retina). EPA may be associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other conditions of mental deterioration; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and other behavioral problems; mental health conditions including aggression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression and schizophrenia; and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
What makes VitaMedica’s Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil product unique? A superior quality product at an excellent value. While a wide variety of fish oil supplements are available today, VitaMedica’s Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil provides one of the highest levels of fish oil per softgel (1 gram). This means that fewer softgels need to be taken on a daily basis in order to obtain the amount recommended by the American Heart Association (1.5‐1.8 grams). Unlike most retail brands, the ratio of VitaMedica’s EPA to DHA is 2:1 (500 mg/250 mg); a proportion that research has confirmed provides all the positive benefits of fish oil. Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil is ultra‐refined and molecularly distilled to eliminate contaminants and ensure no fishy aftertaste. In addition, the enteric coated softgels are ideal for those who experience nausea or reflux from taking fish oil.
What is it important to take a fish oil supplement? Because the two fats in fish oil – EPA and DHA ‐ confer a number of well‐substantiated health benefits. During the past decade, quite a bit of research has been conducted in the area of health especially as it relates to fat consumption. The net result is that while the amount of fat consumed in the diet is important, the quality of fats consumed is even more important. In short, most people get too much of the unhealthy fats such as saturated, trans‐fats and partially‐ hydrogenated fats. What’s more, because of the modern day diet, most American’s do not get an adequate intake of a group of unsaturated fats called Omega‐3 fatty acids. These fats are important because they are associated with health‐promotion. Two Omega‐3 fats that are particularly important for health promotion include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both EPA and DHA are found in deep, cold water fish like salmon and mackerel. Given that the food sources of EPA and DHA are limited, supplementing the diet with a fish oil supplement is prudent. Supplementing with an Omega‐3 fish oil supplement like VitaMedica’s Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil also provides internal lubrication to the various organs of the body including the skin.
How does fish oil differ from flax seed oil? Flax seed oil belongs to a family of unsaturated fats called Omega‐ 3 fatty acids. Flax seed oil is an excellent source of alpha‐linolenic acid. Alpha‐linolenic aid is one of the two essential fatty acids our bodies need and therefore must be obtained through either diet or supplementation. The American diet tends to lack in this essential nutrient because it is not widely available in the food supply (good sources include the oil derived from flax seeds and walnuts). Like flax seed oil, fish oil also belongs to the Omega‐3 family of fatty acids. Certain types of fish oil are high in two unsaturated fats – EPA and DHA. EPA helps to promote the favorable prostaglandins ‐ hormone‐like compounds that play a role in blood pressure, water retention, platelet stickiness, blood clotting and the inflammatory response. The brain is comprised principally of the fatty acid DHA. Numerous studies have pointed to the beneficial effects of supplementing with DHA in the treatment of attention deficit disorders in children and in memory problems with patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Should I supplement with both flax seed oil and fish oil? Yes. The primary purpose for supplementing with flax seed oil is to obtain a sufficient quantity of the Omega‐3 essential fatty acid alpha‐linolenic acid. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) must be obtained through either diet or supplementation. However, because alpha‐linolenic acid is not widely available in the food supply, most Americans are deficient in this nutrient. Another reason for supplementing the diet with flax seed oil is to shift the balance in favor of Omega‐3 vs. Omega‐6 fatty acid consumption. Like the Omega‐3s, the Omega‐6s are a family of polyunsaturated fats. However, most Americans obtain sufficient quantities of the Omega‐6 fats because their seed oils (e.g., corn, soy, safflower) are widely available in the food supply. An imbalance of Omega‐6 to Omega‐3 consumption leads to the development of unfavorable prostaglandins which promote inflammation, platelet stickiness, and water retention.
The primary purpose for supplementing with fish oil is to increase the dietary intake of two conditionally essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Although we can make both of these fatty acids from the essential fatty acid alpha‐linolenic acid, the conversion process inefficient. And, if the diet is high in Omega‐6 fats, which is true for most Americans, the conversion process is even less efficient. Supplementing with EPA and DHA fish oil is important because it promotes the favorable prostaglandins which help to reduce inflammation, platelet stickiness and water retention.
How does cod liver oil differ from fish oil that is high in EPA and DHA? Cod liver oil in liquid and supplement form has been around for many years. While cod liver oil provides a good source of vitamins A and D, it is not a significant source of EPA or DHA. In particular, these two polyunsaturated fats are associated with health promotion particularly cardiovascular and brain health. If you are looking for these health benefits, then you should supplement your diet with a supplement like VitaMedica’s Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil.
I’ve seen EPA only and DHA only formulas. How do these differ from a formula that has both EPA and DHA? The answer is partly related to product benefits and to marketing. EPA plays a role in cardiovascular health whereas DHA plays a role in brain health. Formulas that are EPA specific are generally marketed as cardiovascular supplements and may also include other heart health nutrients like vitamin E and garlic. Formulas that are DHA specific are generally marketed as brain health supplements and may also include other brain nutrients like ginkgo biloba. Since these two fats are often found in nature in combination, it makes sense to supplement with both to ensure both cardiovascular and brain health.
What is the recommended dosing for VitaMedica’s Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil supplement? For overall health and wellness, the recommended dosing is 1‐2 softgels per day, providing 750 – 1,500 mg of Omega‐3 fish oil. For cardiovascular benefit and to reduce inflammation, the recommended dosing is 2‐3 capsules per day, providing 1,500 – 2,250 mg of Omega‐3 fish oil per day.
Does Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil need to be refrigerated? No, but refrigeration may extend the shelf life. Oils derived from polyunsaturated fats need to be handled with great care as they can quickly turn rancid. In particular, these delicate oils are particularly susceptible to light and heat. While liquid formulations are typically sold in opaque containers and require refrigeration, softgel formulations like VitaMedica’s Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil do not require refrigeration. This is because the lightly colored amber softgel helps to protect the oil from light. In addition, natural vitamin E has been added to protect the oil from oxidation. To ensure product freshness, each label of Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil includes a stamped lot number and date code. This ensures that you obtain a product at its peak. While the product does not need to be refrigerated, storing the bottle in a cool, dry place with the cap tightly closed will ensure that the product will remain fresh.
I’ve tried to take fish oil supplements in the past, but I can’t stomach them. Does Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil leave a fishy aftertaste? No. Fish oil supplements have come a long way since the days when moms gave their kids cod liver oil. New manufacturing techniques have also helped to minimize the “fishy” aftertaste that is often associated with fish oil supplements. The fish oil used in VitaMedica’s Super EPA/DHA Fish Oil supplement has been extracted using the most up‐to‐date production methods. The oil has been ultra‐refined and molecularly distilled to remove any fishy aftertaste. Many patients have remarked that VitaMedica’s product does not create any gastrointestinal upset. If you feel that this may be a problem for you, a suggestion is to refrigerate the capsules. The cold capsule further reduces the likelihood of causing any GI upset.
For more info about omega-3 fish oils and EPA/DHA, and how they can benefit you and your skin while working with one of our acne specialist at Skintherapy Skincare and Acne Clinic, check out our recent posts “Fish Oil for Acne”.