NEW ORLEANS - A well-known doctor calls it the perfect health food, with head-to-toe healing effects, for the young and old and everyone in-between.
When Dr. Bill Sears was diagnosed with colon cancer, he went on a search through the scientific medical journals for the perfect health food. He found 20,000 research articles on the health benefits of fish oil, the essential omega-3 fatty acid.
"I researched one of the best nutrients I could find. I wanted a nutrient I call the head-to-toe nutrient, a nutrient for my brain, my eyes, my gums, heart, lungs, skin, gut, joints," said Dr. William Sears, of the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine.
That prompted him to write The Omega-3 Effect: Everything You Need to Know About the Supernutrient for Living Longer, Happier, and Healthier.
"If I had to attribute my health to one major change that had the greatest effect on my health, and that was eating more fish oil every day."
He believes everyone should get fish oil from the womb to the tomb. Unborn babies through the mother's diet, infants, children and teens because their brains, which are 60 percent fat, are growing so fast. He says it helps lower risk for ADHD-type disorders. Fish oil helps athletes and people in their middle ages and seniors as well. In fact he believes the older we get the more we may need. It can even help your mood.
"Patients will come in and they want, 'Doctor, just give me a pill to help me feel better and help me not hurt so much.' Instead of scribbling out a pill (on the prescription pad), I pick up a piece of salmon and say, 'Go fish and take your fish oil' and they are surprised," Dr. Sears recounted.
He says the populations that eat the most seafood, live the longest and the healthiest. Fish oil is anti-inflammatory and inflammation is known to be a health problem in obesity.
He says look for certified, pure fish oil, Alaskan salmon oil, but that the current fish oils on the market are also purified, safe and nutritious.
He says a gram a day will keep the doctor away or use the fist full of fish rule for cold water fish such as salmon or tuna, twice a week.