No Fish Tale: Plant Oils are Pure EFAs


Millions have turned to “purified” fish oil in search of the benefits of fish and omega-3s. However, the refinement process used to convert fish into fish oil renders the finished product into something akin to semi-synthetic oil. Now, select plants are emerging as a pure source of essential fatty acids (EFAs).

These days, most people get too much of the wrong kind of fats in their diet, and need more of the right kind. The fats that are good for you are called essential fatty acids (EFAs), so called because your body can’t make them on its own, and must get them from food.

Why are these essential fatty acids so, well, essential?

Simply put, every cell in the body (50+ trillion of them) is surrounded by a protective membrane, which is made up (in part) of phospholipids, which in turn is made from fatty acids. A lack of these essential fatty acids can lead to poor cell health.

Because all our cells require fatty acids, the health benefits associated with essential fatty acids are wide-ranging, from cardiovascular support, joint health, skin appearance and brain function. Research suggests these fatty acids help maintain a non-inflammatory state in the body.

In reality, fish oil is not a source of “essential” fatty acids.

The “essential fatty acids” in fish oil are commonly called omega-3s (EPA and DHA). However EPA and DHA are not actually essential fatty acids. By definition, “essential” nutrients are those the body cannot make and must get from food. Our bodies can and do make EPA and DHA when needed, so long as the foundational nutrition is provided through parent essential oils.

According to Darrel Hestdalen, D.C., DIBAK, FASA, “The need for proper plant-based parent essential oils (PEOs) is now understood for supporting eyesight, reducing muscle strains, cardiovascular health, and maximizing the function of all cells.”

Parent essential oils are LA (linoleic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). These parent oils are the foundational nutrition that our body recognizes and converts to EPA and DHA. These oils are present in plants renowned for their healing qualities, such as borage, flax seed and pumpkin seed.

How fish oil is refined into a semi-synthetic.

Consuming fish has many health benefits, yet concerns about levels of mercury and toxic PCBs abound for many fish species. As a result, millions have turned to “purified” fish oil. However, the refinement process used to convert fish into fish oil renders the finished product into something akin to semi-synthetic oil, making it less likely to be absorbed in the body.

How does this happen? In their natural form, omega-3s in fish oil occur as triglycerides. But to remove harmful mercury from fish oil, a molecular distillation process is used. To undergo molecular distillation, fish oil is first exposed to the solvent ethanol then the oil is heated under high vacuum, which concentrates the omega-3s to ethyl esters (not the natural triglycerides).

While this process removes some contaminants such as mercury, it leaves others behind. Recent testing shows low levels of PCBs were found in almost ALL fish oil supplements.

Fish oil found to have risks.

Flooding the body with derivatives of essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) can even be harmful as scientist Brian Peskin has documented in his groundbreaking research.

A recent, well-publicized study by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed a 43 percent increase for all prostate cancers—and a 71 percent increase in aggressive prostate cancers—associated with high blood levels of EPA and DHA.

Another reason to be concerned about fish oil is its potential to oxidize. Time, air, heat and light can all cause fish oil to degrade and turn rancid. Oxidized oils have a strong “fishy” smell, and if consumed, can contribute to cellular damage.

Healing plants provide pure essential fatty acids.

Unlike fish oil, plant-based oils provide the building blocks to help your body form omega-3s, including EPA and DHA, naturally. For natural essential fatty acids that your body can readily use, turn to healing plants, including borage, flax seed and pumpkin seed.

  • Borage is rich in linoleic acid (LA), is the highest plant source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and is renowned for soothing joints and nourishing the skin.
  • Flax seed is high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and is supportive of healthy cholesterol.
  • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are abundant sources of linoleic and oleic acids, and provide phytosterols for heart health.

Wellspring’s formula of plant oil powders provides a rich source of essential fatty acids, combined with organic coconut, organic turmeric and organic ginger, creating a unique blend to soothe joints and support heart health.*

To read more testimonials on the benefits of plant-based Wellspring, click here.

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