Taking a fish oil supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids has emerged as a potent and necessary weapon for maintaining optimal health by protecting our bodies from an assortment of problems, including many related to cardiovascular health.
The need for omega-3 supplementation has grown due to an imbalance in our Western diets, which are full of high-fat, processed foods containing omega-6 fatty acids, and has perpetuated our current obesity epidemic.
Our bodies require both kinds of fatty acids to thrive. Ratios of 2:1 to 4:1 (omega-6 to omega-3 fats) are necessary to maintain good health. Unfortunately, the average diet contains up to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s.
If you don’t eat fish high in omega-3s like salmon, herring, sardines or tuna at least twice a week, a fish oil supplement may be a smart choice for the health of your body thanks to your gut, according to a new study featured in Cell Metabolism.
First, European scientists monitored the metabolic health of mice while feeding them fish oil or lard for 11 weeks. Based on the problems of the Western diet, the lard “diet” promoted the growth of Bilophila, gut bacteria linked to inflammation.
On the other hand, mice that consumed fish oil increased their production of Akkermansia mucinphila, gut bacteria that improved the metabolism of glucose and reduced extra weight.
“We were surprised that the lard and the fish oil diet, despite having the same energy content and the same amount of dietary fiber – which is the primary energy source for the gut bacteria – resulted in fundamentally different gut microbiota communities and the microbiota had such large effects on health,” says study co-author Dr. Robert Caesar, according to a press release.
Scientists conducted a follow-up round of tests, transplanting fecal samples from mice fed fish oil or lard into antibiotic-treated mice fed a lard diet for three weeks. Mice receiving fecal samples enhanced by fish oil gained less weight and produced lower levels of lipopolysaccharides than those fed lard.
Based on this small mice study, taking fish oil may be a good supplement for your overall gut-health along with a probiotic, ideally a multi-strain product like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic containing 10 strains of beneficial bacteria.