Omega 3 Essential Fats
Omega 3 essential fatty acids include
- Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) from flaxseed oil
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from fish, fish oil and some algae.
Omega 3 essential fatty acids have many health benefits including providing
protecting against heart disease, autoimmune diseases, skin conditions,
cancer and other inflammatory problems as well as improving brain function and
aiding in depression.
With Omega 3 oil, ALA gets converted to EPA and then DHA by the body; however
this process is dependent on the body having all the required nutrients for this
conversion (including Vitamin B3, B6, C, Magnesium and Zinc). Thus taking Omega
3 oils in the form of EPA and DHA can be a much more direct and efficient way of
enjoying the Omega 3 health benefits.
Taking Omega 3 Oils in the form of EPA and DHA can be a
Much more direct and Efficient way of enjoying the
Omega 3 Health Benefits.
Essential fatty acids are a part of our nerve cells, cell walls and most
importantly prostaglandins (a group of hormones that act as chemical mediators
and have extensive regulatory functions in the body). There are many types of
prostaglandins and some are more beneficial than others.
Series 2 Prostaglandins (Bad)
Series 2 prostaglandins play a role in swelling and inflammation and also
regulate platelet formation and clotting. These functions are vital, but in
excess they can cause many harmful effects such as excessive platelet
adhesiveness that can contribute to hardening of the arteries and cardiovascular
disease. This is why series 2 are often seen as “bad” Prostaglandins. The body
makes these types of prostaglandins from Omega 6 oils.
Series 3 Good Prostaglandins (Good)
Series 3 prostaglandins are seen as “good” because they prevent platelet
adhesiveness, enhance blood flow and decrease excessive inflammation in the
The body converts EPA to good prostaglandins. So by increasing your
consumption of Omega 3 essential fats you can increase production of good
prostaglandins and beneficially regulate platelet formation and inflammatory
responses in the body.
By Increasing your consumption of Omega 3 Essential Fats you can increase production of Good Prostaglandins
Omega 6 & 3 Balance
If you have high levels of Omega 6 (which are relatively easy to obtain in a
normal healthy diet from many vegetable and seed oils) and not enough Omega 3 to
balance it, your body will produce bad prostaglandins.
If there is enough Omega 3 to balance the Omega 6 then your body will
produce more good prostaglandins. A Normal healthy ratio is 4 Omega 6:1
Omega 3. A typical western diet has a ratio of 15 Omega 6: 1 Omega 3! (
and lots of inflammatory conditions ) .Therefore supplementing with Omega 3
essential fatty acids is important.
Benefits of DHA
DHA (made from Omega 3 oils) also has many health benefits. DHA is required
for normal brain development in the foetus and in infants as well as for normal
healthy functioning of the adult brain. Low DHA levels have been linked to
Alzheimer’s and patients suffering from severe depression have been found to
have low DHA levels. DHA also has anti-inflammatory and blood thinning effects
and has been shown to lower blood triglyceride levels.
Research shows that fish get their EPA and DHA by feeding on algae rich in
these oils, so this makes algae a very good vegetarian source for Omega 3
essential fatty acids. Another benefit of an algal form of EPA & DHA is
that because it is cultivated in a controlled environment, it does not have the
potential health risks of heavy metal contamination that fish oil has today.