Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fish Oils: One size does NOT fit all

Essential Fatty Acids are something that I prescribe regularly in my practice - and I know I am not alone. The benefits of fish oils are undeniable! I would even venture to say that they could very well be one of the most prescribed supplements by Naturopathic Doctors.

I recently signed up for a 'webinar' to brush up on my knowledge and see if there was anything I was missing - maybe I was wasn't prescribing them at the optimal dose - I was giving most everyone the same amount! This didn't sit right with me, as it is something that I never do! As ND's, we aim to treat the root cause of illness. I have many examples of patients who come to see me with the same 'illness', but are prescribed completely different protocols. Why would fish oils be any different?

Well, it's true. They aren't.
Fish oils can be used for a variety of conditions, from Cardiovascular Disease to Depression. It is also very helpful for general inflammation and is great in pregnancy for the developing fetus.
They are not a one-size-fits-all supplement. They are indeed to be prescribed at different doses.
For example, it is important to get a DHA heavy supplement in pregnancy, an EPA heavy one in Cardiovascular disease.

Here's something else I learned: liquid fish oils are generally to be avoided as they oxidize too quickly. Stick with the gelatin capsules. But be careful - don't refrigerate them as gelatin doesn't do well in the cold! They are best stored at room temperature in a cool dark place.

Well consider me schooled.

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

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