Fish oils are a natural anti-inflammatory and should be your first choice if you are concerned about heart attacks, strokes, arthritic joint pain or other inflammatory problems according to recent studies. In fact, fish oils should be your first line of defense when it comes to helping with menopause, night sweats, PMS, depression or any other hormone or chemical imbalance.

  • Are you taking enough?
  • Are you taking a therapeutic dosage?
  • Could you be taking too much?

Yes, too much of a good thing is not always good for you, The over-consumption of fish oils, the omega-3 fats, will promote free radical damage, which causes your body to age faster and leave your immune system in jeopardy.

This is why testing for the levels of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fats are important for your overall health, especially if you are struggling with heart disease, arthritic joint pain, fibromyalgia, etc.

Let me first say that fish oils don’t have any magical properties, the simple reason they are so valuable to your health is that most people are consuming too much of the saturated fats, the omega-6 fatty acids, in comparison to the essential omega-3 fats.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are your natural anti-inflammatory. The reduce inflammation, which is the real cause behind cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes), arthritis, joint pain, fibromyalgia and so much more. It is inflammation that triggers pain – if you reduce inflammation you reduce your pain!
  • Omega-6 fatty acids produce inflammation. So the more saturated fats you consume the more inflammation your body produces. Inflammation is an important function of the body, but your body needs the ability to control or balance that inflammation.

Increasing your level of omega-3 fats commonly found in fish oils will help keep your arteries from clotting which is what you want to do if you want to prevent a heart attack or stroke. You probably also want to add some magnesium if you are concerned about heart disease or chronic fatigue.

    FYI…50% of the people who have heart attacks and die had good cholesterol levels, so cholesterol is not the best indicator for overall heart health. Also, statin drug commonly used to lower cholesterol cause an increase level of saturated fats.

Measuring the ratio of omega-3 fats (the EPA and DHA levels) to the level of omega-6 fats has shown to be a better indicator of true cardiovascular health. The reason you don’t hear this message is because drug companies would rather sell you an expensive, patented drug instead of telling you to eat more fish, nuts and seeds and cook with olive oil.

As I said there is no real magic in fish oils…the health benefits come from restoring balance to those important ratios. A 100 years ago the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats (omega-3 to omega-6) was about 4 to 1. Today the ratio is closer to 20 to 1. Supplementing with fish oils helps bring that ratio back in line, which is where the real benefits come from.

Saturated fats aren’t the real problem, but you don’t want to overdo your consumption of fish oils because that could suppress your immune system. The more fish oils you take the more antioxidants you may need otherwise you could be suppressing your immune function. Again this is why testing is a good idea and will help you determine if you are taking enough or not.blood spot testing, vitamin d, epa and dha fatty acids, omega 3 fats

    FYI…a cup of water to a thirsty person may not satisfy the person…he may need 3 cups. The same applies to a persons level of health…how depleted are they? How much do they need to make a difference? Some of the people I consult with may not notice the difference until we measure and determine that we are not supporting the body with enough of those specific nutrients to make a noticeable difference.

Most mainstream doctors will only measure cholesterol, unless they are up-to-date with the latest information, which is what I try to bring to all my readers. So if your doctor doesn’t offer that test or even know about it – you can do what is called a bloodspot test.

The test is basically taking a few drops of blood from a finger prick that is done in the convenience of your home and sent to the lab.

The lab does all the analysis.

There is No blood draw or time out of the day to go to a lab to have your blood drawn.

Bloodspot tests have become one of the latest ways to test overall health. I use them to measure hormones (progesterone, estrogen, testosterone), adrenal status (cortisol, dhea), thyroid (T-3, T-4, TSH), heart health (CRP, triglyceride, cholesterol) , blood sugar (HA1C, insulin, insulin growth factor and best of all vitamin D.

Some of the old standard tests that were discovered 50 and 60 years ago are valuable, but there have been newer tests and methods to better measure how well the body is functioning. How long before your doctor is recommending those test…only time will tell, but if he is not staying current with all the latest information and is waiting until it is taught in medical school, it could be a long wait.

If you are not getting the results you are looking for or are looking for a more natural approach to your problems you may need a Second Opinion to review your options and direction for your health care.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Len Lopez is a nutrition and fitness expert and author of "To Burn or Not to Burn – Fat is the Question," and “Five STEPS a Day.” He is also the creator for The Work Horse Fitness Trainer. His background gives him the expertise to offer Second Opinions to those who want to become both healthy and fit. Follow his blog at