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Omega-3 fatty acids: what you need to know

Are you sure all dietary fats are bad? Think again - Not all fats are the same and bad. Omega 3 fatty acids are healthy fats. Here's how: 

Omega-3s have well-documented benefits for the heart, brain, and eyes. In recent years, however, scientific evidence has accumulated regarding various health conditions - including immunity, skin, sports performance, and pregnancy. Before that, let's dig into the more into omega-3 fatty acids world.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, meaning the body cannot produce them, so they must come from the diet. Omega 3s are best understood as DHA, EPA, and ALA. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are marine omega 3s.

These are the most common types of fats found in fish oil. Their benefits include cholesterol control, cardiovascular health, joint health, brain health, skin and eye health, and anti-inflammatory responses in the body.

ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is a vegetable form of omega 3, commonly found in flaxseed oil. Although at a relatively low conversion rate, ALA can be converted into EPA and DHA in the body. Most ALA comes from vegetarian sources, including flaxseeds, soybeans, walnuts, avocados, etc. (2) 

The Benefits of EPA and DHA at Various Stages of Life (2,3,4)

Did you know?

Regular intake of Omega-3 fatty acids is highly recommended and beneficial right from the first day of your life, i.e. during pregnancy, kids, teens, and older.

It is an essential fatty acid that can prevent serious health problems and complications if taken regularly! As active ingredients of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA play different roles at different life stages.

Children and Teenagers: 

One of the organs that develop at super-speed during childhood is our brain. And so, providing essential nutrients like DHA, one of the significant structural lipids in the brain, to help support normal brain development is critical. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may positively affect the mental development of your teen. A 2007 review published in Alternative Medicine Review shows that DHA is essential for normal brain development. Lower tissue levels of DHA and EPA are correlated with cognitive impairment. Omega-3 supplementation may improve brain function in children with cognitive impairment, according to the authors of this review. (5)

Young Adults:

  1. Helps Improve Cardiovascular Health: EPA and DHA, if taken in adequate amount, helps to improve heart health and reduce cholesterol levels.
  2. Supports Brain and Eye Health: Our brain requires energy throughout its life, and hence DHA is required to ensure the proper functioning of the brain and EPA for eye health.
  3. Helps Fight Anxiety and Depression:  Sufficient amount of EPA and DHA has been shown to reduce mild to moderate depression symptoms.

Older Adults:

  1. Improves Joint Health: EPA and DHA are proven to reduce joint inflammation, enhance mobility and flexibility and thus prevent joint pain.
  2. Protects from Alzheimer's disease: Studies have shown that EPA and DHA increase the production of LR11. This protein is found at reduced levels in Alzheimer's patients and thus protects against its adverse effects.


 

Other Benefits Include:

Beauty Care with Omega 3 Supplements

Research has shown that luscious hair helps to nourish the scalp, diminish hair loss, and get rid of thinning hair. Fish oil has also been shown to reduce leukotriene B4, an inflammatory compound that causes eczema symptoms.

Fish Oil Supplements and Dry Eyes

Because omega-3 fatty acids have proven anti-inflammatory properties, several studies suggest that they may be beneficial in treating dry eyes.

The Omega-3 Supplement and Healthy Aging

Researchers found that people with higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, good quality fats found in fish, live longer. This was one of the most extensive studies involving more than 2000 participants. The subjects were instructed to consume fatty fish twice a week. Their quality of life improved. But more studies are needed to confirm the benefits.

Athletes and Omega-3 Supplementation (1)

EPA and DHA from fish or fish oil benefit the body in the following ways- helps reduce synthesis of prostaglandin E2 metabolites and lesser concentrations of thromboxane A2 (a potent platelet aggregator and vasoconstrictor). It can also reduce inflammatory responses due to the reduction in the production of leukotriene B4, which is known to induce inflammation.

To gain the maximum benefits, best to go for dietary supplements that contain a balanced amount of EPA and DHA, which are processed and manufactured to remove all harmful metals and enteric-coated to prevent fishy burps.

Make sure the supplements you choose are made with high-quality natural ingredients. In addition to improving absorption, bioavailability and omega-3 index, multiple sources of omega-3 enhance the supplement's bioavailability.

Healthy Nutrition Omega 3 Fish Oil contains the most effective 3:2 ratio of EPA & DHA to help support your entire family's heart, brain, immunity and joint health.


Reference:

  1. Thielecke F, Blannin A. Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Sport Performance-Are They Equally Beneficial for Athletes and Amateurs? A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2020;12(12):3712. Published 2020 Nov 30. doi:10.3390/nu12123712
  2. Schwalfenberg G. (2006). Omega-3 fatty acids: their beneficial role in cardiovascular health. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien52(6), 734–740.
  3. Gammone MA, Riccioni G, Parrinello G, D'Orazio N. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Benefits and Endpoints in Sport. Nutrients. 2018;11(1):46. Published 2018 Dec 27. doi:10.3390/nu11010046
  4. Coletta, J. M., Bell, S. J., & Roman, A. S. (2010). Omega-3 Fatty acids and pregnancy. Reviews in obstetrics & gynecology3(4), 163–171.
  5. Parris M. Kidd, PhD, Omega-3 DHA and EPA for Cognition, Behavior, and Mood: Clinical Findings and StructuralFunctional Synergies with Cell Membrane Phospholipids. Alternative Medicine Review Volume 12, Number 3 2007.

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