Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are Omega 3’s that are used by the body efficiently, so they have the most direct health benefits. Sources of DHA and EPA are oily fish (e.g salmon, herring) and Omega 3 fortified foods including milk, yoghurt and eggs.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a type of Omega 3 that can be converted into DHA and EPA in the body. Sources of ALA are mostly plant sources; chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts, tofu and ALA supplements.
DHA is found at very high concentrations in the cell membranes of the retina and it is therefore required for the normal development of the eye and for normal vision. DHA intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding (350 – 450mg per day) promotes healthy brain and eye development for the baby.
EPA and DHA aid heart health, normal blood pressure, and normal blood triglyceride levels. A study showed that ALA supplements might slightly reduce the risk of heart attacks, death from heart disease and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).
The phospholipids of the brain contain high amounts of DHA and AA, suggesting their importance to the central nervous system. EPA and DHA are beneficial for improving memory in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.
EPA and DHA have a wide range of physiological roles, which are linked to certain health or clinical benefits, particularly related to cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, inflammation and neurocognitive function.
There is some evidence that Omega 3 may be beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, (when taken in addition to arthritis medication).
The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3 may help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon, liver, breast and prostate cancer.
Omega 6 includes linoleic and gamma linoleic acid (GLA) which can be found in sunflower, corn, evening primrose and borage oils.
Studies have shown that Omega 3 and Omega 6 are both needed to exert beneficial effects in the body due to their complex interactions.
As foods rich in Omega 6 are easier to find than those rich in Omega 3, more often than not people have a higher ratio of Omega 6:Omega 3 than recommended. Most diets have a ratio of 12:1 to 20:1 (Omega 6:Omega 3), but we are recommended to have 4:1 to aid health. Over time this high ratio of Omega 6:Omega 3 may lead to an imbalance of these EFA in the body, causing inflammation and increasing the risk of illness and disease.
The excessive intake of refined and processed vegetable oils is one of the main causes of the significant increase in Omega 6 fatty acids in the modern diet. In addition to this there has been an increase in Omega 6 fatty acids in dairy, eggs and meat due to animals being fed more grain and soy as opposed to grass and worms. This is why it is recommended to consume grass fed meat and wild fish as they tend to contain more Omega 3 as opposed to grain fed and farmed products.Shop OmegaBiocell369