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What is seal oil good for?

10 November 2020
Seal Oil Omega-3
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Health Benefits

The research keeps coming in!  Seal oil is good for you—all of you, and that is true no matter your age. Omega-3 seal oil contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA). Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that are important in preventing and managing:

  1. Cardiovascular health
  2. Reduce inflammation
  3. Mental & cognitive health
  4. Fetal & infant development
  5. Immune system

1. Cardiovascular health

Omega-3s reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improve circulation, reduce the risk of blood clots, and fight plaque build-up in arteries. Both Health Canada and the American Health Association have long recommended the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids by anyone at risk of cardiovascular disease.  All Omega-3s, however, are not created equal.

 

Part of seal oil’s superior cardiovascular health benefits is the presence of DPA, an essential Omega-3 not found in fish oil. In a 2010 study, Mann et al.1 found that DPA, even the amount in a low-dose seal oil supplement, appeared to induce changes protective of cardiovascular health in healthy subjects. The researchers noted that seal oil appeared to increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and decrease plasma triacylglycerol (a lipid associated with cardiovascular disease). While both fish oil and seal oil improved blood DHA levels; only seal oil also raised DPA and EPA levels. In other words, seal oil seems to better promote healthy blood plasma lipid profiles than fish oil does, in turn reducing the risk of blood clots, among other benefits.

 

2. Reduces inflammation

Long-term inflammation is a contributor to many chronic conditions, including psoriasis, arthritis, and joint pain; seal oil supplements can help soothe symptoms and improve overall joint health. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the body’s production of molecules linked to inflammation, such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines. 3

 

Omega-3s reduce inflammation caused by arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, improve mobility, and reduce joint pain. As stated in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 4, dietary supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids have been consistently shown to reduce the number of tender joints, and the amount of morning stiffness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. These effects are attributed to the ability of omega-3s to significantly reduce the production of mediators of inflammation including leukotriene B(4) and interleukin 1.

 

3. Mental & cognitive health

Omega-3s boost central nervous system and brain function, can improve memory and other cognitive abilities, and can help regulate and stabilize moods and reduce anxiety and the effects of stress.

 

As mentioned above, DPA, found in seal oil, has also been shown to raise the levels of DHA  and EPA in humans. Increased DHA levels are particularly relevant in discussions of brain health, as DHA is quantitatively the most important omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid found in the brain, and has been shown to play key roles in the neuronal membrane. Deficits in DHA and EPA levels have also been connected with neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s. 7

 

A 2020 Harvard Health article suggests the anti-inflammatory abilities of DHA and EPA, as well as the ability of those omega-3s to travel through brain cell membranes and interact with mood-related molecules, may help relieve depression and other mood disorders.

 

4. Fetal & infant development

Pregnant and nursing mothers take seal oil to support the development of the baby’s brain, eyes, and nerves. A 2003 study8 showed, for example, that regular omega-3 supplementation by pregnant and lactating mothers appeared to boost the child’s IQ at age 4.

 

Babies of mothers who regularly consume seal oil also show better immune function. Dunstan et al. (2003)9 indicated that maternal omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy resulted in lower allergen responses, indicating a strengthened immune system.

 

5. Immune System

Inflammation is the body’s response to trauma, whether from tissue injury, toxins, bacteria, virus, or infection. The onset of inflammation is your immune system at work: immune system cells travel to the site of injury or irritation and cause inflammation by widening blood vessels, encouraging swelling, and causing fluid and immune cells to course into affected tissue. Those cells are working to protect you and destroy the invaders.

In acute situations, inflammation subsides when the injury heals, or the trauma is removed. Chronic inflammation, however, is long-term, can affect the whole body, and is linked to conditions including joint pain, arthritis, heart disease, asthma, and even some cancers. When inflammation doesn’t subside, blood vessels and other organs can become damaged.

The suite of omega-3s (DHA, EPA, and particularly DPA) found in seal oil have been shown to down-regulate the production of pro-inflammatory molecules (cytokines) within the body, thereby assisting immune system function.

 

Why is Seal Oil unique?

  • Truly Canadian: 100% Canadian Seal oil is harvested in Canada’s pristine waters, unlike most Omega-3 fish oil.
  • Preserved purity:  Most Omega-3’s on the market are chemically altered. Seal oil is 100%
    natural and pure.
  • Optimal absorption: Seal oil is more easily absorbed by humans compared to fish oil. This means no “fishy burps.”
  • Contains DPA : Seal oil is one of the only sources (like mother’s milk) with naturally occuring high levels of DPA.

Seal Oil Nutrition Facts

The Power of DPA

  • DPA is 10x more effective than EPA:  Studies have shown that the same health results are achieved using just 1/10th the amount of DPA compared to EPA. (1)
  • Helps repair blood vessels:  Data show that DPA helps to achieve maximal endothelial migration, a critical function in repairing blood vessels. (2) (3)
  • Boosts all key Omega-3’s: DPA increases the levels of all key omega-3’s (EPA, DHA and DPA), therefore boosting Omega-3 levels in the body. This study shows that unlike DPA, an EPA supplementation only increased the proportions of EPA in the the body. (4)
  • An Omega-3 that absorbs better!  A scientific study has shown that after 14 days of supplementation, the total level of Omega-3s in the body of those consuming seal oil was more than 20% greater compared to those consuming fish oil. (2)

Sources

(1) Toshie Kanayasu-Toyoda, et al. Docosapentaenoic acid (22:5, n-3), an elongation metabolite of eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5, n-3), is a potent stimulator of endothelial cell migration on pretreatment in vitro, 1996.

(2) Neil J. Mann, et al. Effects of seal oil and tuna-fish oil on platelet parameters and plasma lipid levels in healthy subjects, epub, 2010.

(3) Kaur G, et al. Docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n-3): a review of its biological effects, 2011.

(4) Miller E. et al, A short-term n-3 DPA supplementation study in humans. Eur J Nutr, 2013.

References