Can Omega 3 Save Us?

The October issue of The Cockermouth Post is available now at

Here’s my piece on Omega 3 (page 24).

Last month I considered the detrimental effects of eating excess omega 6 (mainly from vegetable oil). Omega 3 is another essential fatty acid (essential means we have to get it from our food). Actually omega 3 is shorthand for a whole set of important chemicals with a double bond 3 places from the end. Plants make omega 3 mother fat so we can get this from vegetables and flaxseed (most other seeds are high in omega 6).

Plants do not convert the mother fat into the rest of the omega 3 family but your body should be able to. Unfortunately the modern diet interferes with the conversion process so we can lack the long-chain omega 3s that we need.

In the modern diet the intake of omega 3 has gone down. We do not store it so regular intake is important. Fish convert and concentrate long-chain fats but some people have concerns about the increasing levels of toxins in fish. Weigh up for yourself whether it’s better to get the goodness from the fish together with the toxins or better to do without either. Taking krill oil supplements is an option. (Personally I’ll keep eating fish in the same way that I carried on eating eggs, beef on the bone etc etc.)

Omega 3 is protective and anti-inflammatory. It will improve your hair, eyes, skin and nails. Your brain is mostly omega 3 fat which is why they say that eating fish makes you smart. Please understand that even quite large amounts of omega 3 will not help if you still have a lot of omega 6 around. It takes a while for the profile of your fat stores to rebalance but it’s worth it.

Top tip: Get some omega 3 and reduce your omega 6 intake.