The media is full of information on omega-3 fish oils reducing cholesterol, but nothing on how they do the job. One thing that is misleading though is the idea that plant sources of omega-3 fats work as well as fish oils, but this simply is not true.
A Little Preliminary Biochemical Info (Simplified)
Cell walls are a bit like soap bubbles only made from fat. If that were all there was to them they would be way to fluid for the body to stay upright, we’d be more of a puddle than a firm body. Cholesterol is used to give the cell walls more substance.
Trans fats are very bad for the body. One reason is that they don’t have the same structure as healthy fats. When they go into the cell walls they cause more stiffening as they replace the healthy fats. This causes the cell walls to become more stiff and firm. As a result, the body pulls the cholesterol out of the cell to try to maintain the correct cellular structure. The released cholesterol goes into the blood stream causing high serum cholesterol levels.
Taking fish oils gives the body the right building blocks for for cell walls. They will naturally replace the trans fats in the cell walls. As the good fats move in the cell structure is weakened and in need of cholesterol to stiffen the walls. So, cholesterol is moved from the blood stream to the cell walls which results in lowering its content in the blood.
Of course, there are other things that omega-3s do for the body. This is just one of them.
The problem with plant source omega-3s is that they need to go through a lot more steps before they become the usable form DHA and EPA. As a result they are almost all used as fuel before they reach the final step. Fish oils on the other hand only have a very few steps to take for the conversion. Additionally, other fats compete for this chemical reaction which pushes the omega-3s out of the process.
A good combination of fats is essential for good health. Taking fish oils and limiting plant oils in food are enough for most people. There are many good sources of fish oils, the key is purity. In todays toxic environment we need to check to see if toxins have been filtered out of the final product or that the oils come from small fish from deep and relatively unpolluted waters.
I have been looking at different fish oils, and found a decent looking one. I have to be honest and say that I only researched the oils themselves which are of excellent quality. I have no experience with this company, and I don’t know how they handle their customer service, but they are reputable. They offer a free sample if you’d like to try this brand out. There may be an automatic re-billing and shipping of future supplements, so be sure to cancel if there is and you’re not interested. You can get them here. There is a limited quantity available, I’ll try to find another similar offer and replace it when it runs out. Let me know if you can’t get in!