Omega-3 fatty acids

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omega-3 fatty acids

Why are Omega-3 fatty acids important?

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory which means they help reduce inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids (another essential fatty acid) are inflammatory which in turn means they promote inflammation. Even though both of these fatty acids are absolutely essential, typical American diet is filled with many more Omega-6 rich foods compared to Omega-3 foods. This can result in chronic inflammation in the body which is known to be a root cause for many diseases. Therefore, it is important to have a proper Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids ratio to stay healthy.

Besides controlling inflammation, Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for ensuring healthy heart and brain health. People who eat seafood (rich in Omega-3 fatty acids) at least once a week are less likely to die of a heart disease. During the pregnancy and early childhood, Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for child proper brain development.

What can being deficient in Omega-3s cause?

Being deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids in long term can cause huge problems. For example, if child doesn’t consume enough Omega-3 fatty acids during the childhood and/or mother doesn’t consume Omega-3 fatty acids durning the pregnancy, child’s brain may not fully develop. Low Omega-3 intake later in life is linked to poor memory.

What foods contain Omega-3s?

Richest food sources of Omega-3s are fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and trout. Shellfish (crab, mussels, and oysters, etc) are also rich in Omega-3s. Make sure to choose a fish which is known to be low in mercury, especially during the pregnancy.

Is supplementing with Omega-3s necessary?

Omega-3 fatty acids are not manufactured in our bodies which means they need to be obtained from food and/or supplements. Unless you eat a lot of fish, you are most likely deficient in two of the three Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are mostly present in fish. ALA, the third Omega-3 fatty acid, is usually more abundant in typical American diet. It’s found in vegetable oils etc.

Most popular Omega-3 supplement is fish oil, but some research suggests that krill oil is more effective and better absorbed by the body. I take one krill oil capsule twice a day with food. P.S. Omega-3 supplements may interact with drugs that affect blood clotting.

I take this one by Jarrow Formulas:

Last updated by Health And Muscles on January 3, 2018.


References:
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/omega3
https://nccih.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/072811.htm
http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids

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