Inflammation occurs as our body’s natural protective response to fend off any outside aggressors and to begin the process of healing. Its effect on our tissues usually involves pain, heat and redness. However, there are some cases that this outward effect is not visible.
Inflammation is a double-edges sword; its effect can be helpful or harmful depending on the circumstances. When an inflammation is in chronic state, devastating consequences are likely to happen like arthritis, heart disease or stroke. It usually happens when the cause of inflammation is continually reintroduced or if the acute inflammatory response is not able to eliminate it. This situation is very likely to happen nowadays because of our exposure to implausible amounts of toxins.
Some of these toxins can be avoided like poor food choices, smoking, and prolonged sun exposure. While some things arise from things from things we don’t have control like genetics, accidents and pollution. Inasmuch as there are factors you can’t help being exposed to unnecessary and harmful factors detrimental to your good health, you can also take food supplements effective in strengthening your body against the sometimes lethal effect of inflammation. The most effective food supplement according to recent studies happens to be fish oil.
The prevalence of destructive or chronic inflammation among Western countries makes it imperative for many specialists to deal with preventive measures. The reason behind this is that the Western population is more exposed to stress, obesity and poor health in general. Many pharmacological anti-inflammatory drugs offer reduction of inflammation, however, long-term medication have potentially lethal side effects.
So what is your safest option if you have inflammation? Research on alternative medicines revealed that certain dietary supplements can help reduce levels of pro-inflammatory factors, with significantly lower side effects. One of these dietary supplements is the essential fatty acids or EFAs.
Essential fatty acids are necessary for various aspects of normal physiology like: mediating immune response, regulating bodily secretions and their viscosity, dilating and constricting blood vessels, regulating collateral circulation, directing endocrine hormones to their target cells, regulating smooth muscles and autonomic reflexes, being primary constituents of cell membranes, regulating the rate of cell division, maintaining the fluidity and rigidity of cellular membranes, regulating the flow of substances into and out from cells, transporting oxygen from red blood cells to the tissues, maintaining proper kidney function and fluid balance, keeping saturated fats mobile in the bloodstream, preventing blood clots, mediating the release of inflammatory eicosanoids that may trigger allergic conditions, and regulating nerve transmission and communication. (Source: Fish Oil: The Natural Anti-inflammatory by Joseph C. Maroon and Jeffrey Bost, 2006, page 39).
For this reason, it is very important for over-all health to have a regular intake of foods rich in omega-6 or omega-3 EFAs. The omega-3 pathway, activated by trauma, injury, or chemical stimulus, is the process of converting the omega-3 EFAs found in the cell membranes to various eicosanoids. If the omega-3 EFA components of the cell membranes become dominant, an anti-inflammatory state can result, with preventive health benefits.
Fish oil is the best source of the omega-3 essential fatty acids. But why fish oil, you might ask? The needed nutrients can also be found in green plants; algae (phytoplankton); leaves and seeds of the perilla plants; and linseed oil but fish oil is considered the most important dietary source of omega-3 EFAs because it contains concentrated amounts of the ALA derivatives with APA and DHA.
The two mentioned nutrients can almost exclusively found in seafood. Fish contains high amount of EPA and DHA because they are at the top of food chain based on algae, a single-marine organism that manufactures huge amount of EPA and DHA.