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Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Monday, October 12, 2015

Product Review: Life&Food Omega-3 Supreme

I want to thank the people at Life&Food for sending me a bottle of their Omega-3 Supreme fish oil capsules to review! I was especially interested in reviewing this because many experts say that fish oil can help with the symptoms of ADHD, autism, depression, and anxiety. In fact, fish oil is known to boost the brain's functioning in general!

I have been taking fish oil for a while, hoping to reap all of the benefits that I've read about. The kind I usually use is the store brand from a large, popular store. I've been taking that kind mostly because that is the kind that my aunt and uncle have in their house. But I was interested in trying a new brand and seeing if there were differences.

The first thing I looked at was the bottle.
The yellow arrow was put there by me, and isn't part of the bottle. I put it there to point out those two numbers: 644/336.What this refers to is that there are 644 mg of EPA, and 336 mg of DHA. I knew both EPA and DHA were good, but I wasn't really sure exactly what they were. I did some Googling to find out that they are both types of Omega-3s,  and that they each do different things for your body. DHA is extremely helpful for the developing brain, which is why you will see "DHA" on packages of baby formula. It helps the development of a baby's nervous system, learning ability, and eye functioning. Once you're over the age of 5, your brain stops growing so much, so you don't need as much DHA. However, it is still important to be getting some DHA, especially as you age, because it keeps your brain operating at it's best and can fight things like memory loss and cognitive decline.   DHA is also good for your heart and can prevent heart failure.

EPA, on the other hand, is what seems to help with things like depression, anxiety, focus, and also with learning disabilities. (I read on one website that for children with developmental delays, even children under 5, EPA is more helpful than DHA in improving their cognitive functioning.) People with mental health conditions tend to have low levels of EPA in their blood, which is why supplements with lots of EPA is helpful. So, especially for people with ADHD, autism, mental health conditions, learning disabilities, etc, you want to look for a fish oil supplement that has a high ratio of EPA to DHA. In other words, you want most of your Omega-3 to be the EPA kind, with a little DHA thrown in for good measure. So, Omega-3 Supreme fish oil capsules would be a good choice, because the EPA is almost twice the DHA.

Okay. Next I wanted to compare the contents of my usual fish oil supplement to the Omega-3 Supreme supplements. Lets look at the two bottles together.

Compared to the brand of fish oil I had been taking, I noticed that these pills have slightly more calories (14 vs 10) and slightly more fat (1.3 g vs 1 g) but a lot less cholesterol (.6 mg vs 10 mg,)

The next thing I noticed was that these capsules have 1050 mg total of Omega-3 (a major reason why most people take fish pil in the first place) vs my old brand's meager 300 mg. Of that, my old brand's Omega-3 contents are made up of 250 mg DHA and EPA combined, and 50 mg of "other Omega-3 fatty acids." They also don't specify the ratio of EPA to DHA. Life&Food Omega-3 Supreme states clearly that their Omega-3 comes from 644 mg EPA, 336 mg DHA, and 70 mg "other." These numbers alone made me more confident that I was getting "more bang for my buck" with Life&Food Omega-3 Supreme.

The ingredients on the Life&Food Omega-3 Supreme bottle are very specific. It says that their concentrated fish oil comes from MSC-certified sustainable, USA wild-caught Alaskan Pollock. My old brand just vaguely lists "fish oil concentrate," and also notes that it contains fish (anchovy and sardine) and soy. Life&Food Omega-3 Supreme notes that it contains NO soy, and also no GMO's, gluten, egg additives, fillers, binders, artificial ingredients, milk, peanut, shellfish, Stearates, Sulfates, Dioxides, or Laurates. I don't even know what all of those things are, but I'm guessing I don't want them in my fish oil!

Having figured out all of this information, I then opened the bottle. I noticed that the bottle had a slight fishy smell, but not too strong or chemically. I noticed that the pills themselves are smaller than the ones I usually take. Here is a picture of my usual capsule alongside the Omega-3 Supreme capsule.  The small, egg-shaped one is the Omega-3 Supreme.
It is worth noting that the recommended dosage for the Omega-3 Supreme is 2 capsules, whereas the dosage for my old brand is just one. However, many people would rather swallow two small capsules than one large one! (By the way, just so you know... for fish oil to best effect ADHD, autism, mental health, etc, doctors recommend at least 2 grams, and some as many as 10 grams, so you might actually want to take 3 or 4 capsules a day. I take 2 in the morning and 2 at dinner. Bur remember, I am not a doctor, so you should probably do your own research before you start popping fish oil pills!)

When swallowing the Omega-3 Supreme capsules with water, I thought I noticed a slight lemony taste. It went down easily. Afterwards, I didn't experience any "fish burps" or aftertaste.

Now, the big question: Has the Omega-3 Supreme fish oil made a big difference in my ADHD, autism, depression and anxiety symptoms, or in my overall health?

The answer? I don't know yet. I've only been taking them for about a week. Supposedly it takes at least 3 weeks to start noticing changes. So, I will have to post an update eventually!

Do you take fish oil? Has it helped you? Let me know! 


Sources
Adler, Tina. "Alternative ADHD Treatment: Fish Oil." ADDitude Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2015. <http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1684.html>.

"EPA vs DHA - Understand the Difference." Igennus Healthcare Nutrition. IGennus Healthcare Nutrition, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2015. <https://igennus.com/nutrition/omega-3-science/epa-vs-dha/>. 

Renee, Janet. "What Is the Difference Between EPA & DHA Health Benefits?" Healthy Eating. SFGate, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2015. <http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/difference-between-epa-dha-health-benefits-10397.html>.

Sears, Barry. "Anxiety and Omega-3 Fatty Acids." Psychology Today. N.p., 12 Jan. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2015. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-zone/201201/anxiety-and-omega-3-fatty-acids>.

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