Name: Omega-3 fatty acids

Synonyms: Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, EPA & DHA, Essential Fatty Acids, Marine oils, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)


General Description:

Fish oil and krill oil are a source of omega-3 fatty acids, these more specifically being eicospentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

The best dietary source of omega-3 is oily fish such as sardines , herrings, salmon or mackerel, also some foods such as eggs, bread or margarine may be fortified with omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.


Functions and General Science:

Omega-3s have a critical role in many body functions and structures, these include: hormone synthesis, assisting the body’s response to pain and inflammation, regulating the structure of cell membranes, nerve transmission as well as providing an energy source for the heart muscle. They have an important role in the musculoskeletal, immune and gastrointestinal systems.

ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is the parent compound of all of the omega-3 fatty acids. ALA is found in green vegetables, canola oil, and soybeans.  The body is able to covert ALA into EPA and DHA, however only a small percentage (<10%) is converted, making this an inefficient source of omega-3 fatty acids in the body. Therefore, oily fish is the best source as the fatty acids present in it are absorbed rapidly from the digestive tract.

Consuming oily fish regularly in the diet, or alternatively taking fish oil supplements is important as the body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids, nor can it convert omega-6 fatty acids, which are plentiful in the Western diet, into omega-3 fatty acids.



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Disclaimer:
The information provided in reference to this ingredient is general in nature and provided as information only. Any product specific therapeutic claims for this ingredient are linked to specific dosage requirements based on evidence of traditional or scientific nature.