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Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Fish Oil & Your Health

Image of Wild Catch Salmon at RickOsborn.com Executive Wellness Coach Nutrition Expert

I have learned over the years, by research and experience, that there are many, many health benefits of Omega-3s for the body. The benefits of Omega-3s for your cardiovascular health, not to mention for your mood, memory and brain function, make getting a daily dose of this essential fatty acid of the utmost importance. Don’t sell your body or your mind short of superb health function by denying the facts. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for your health and longevity. Unfortunately, nowadays, most people are deficient of this essential substance.

Below is an excerpt from a white paper, written by Vital Choice, discussing the scientific evidence proving the importance of Omega 3 fatty acids for the body. Please take the time to read it, as well as to download the whole White Paper to read about it in it’s entirety. Take it to heart, put it into practice and it will change your life and your health!

Excerpt from Vital Choice White Paper on Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

The overwhelming majority of scientific evidence indicates that people whose diets contain ample amounts of long-chain “marine” omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) – whether obtained from fish or fish oil capsules – enjoy reduced risks of heart disease, sudden cardiac death, stroke, depression, anxiety, and macular degeneration.

However, omega-3s of all kinds (fish-derived and plant-derived) have become very scarce in the diets consumed in America and many other countries.

In addition, the proportion of omega-3s to omega-6 fatty acids in modern diets is radically lower than it was over millions of years of evolutionary history.

This White Paper presents a summary of the scientific evidence concerning the effects of omega-3 fatty acids and the omega-3/omega-6 intake ratio on heart health, mental health, child development, cancer, diabetes, inflammation, and other health concerns.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) in brief

To survive and thrive, humans need to consume two kinds of nutritionally essential fatty acids: omega-3 and omega-6.

While these fatty acids constitute essential structural and functional components of our cells, and regulate many critical aspects of metabolism and immunity, they cannot be synthesized in our bodies and must be obtained from our diets.

Omega-3 EFAs

Omega-3 EFAs are found in two places:

  • Leafy green vegetables and certain seeds and oils.
  • Fish, shellfish, zooplankton, and aquatic plants (algae, plankton, seaweed).

Only fish, shellfish, zooplankton, and aquatic plants contain the long-chain or “marine” omega-3 fatty acids the human body actually uses:

  • Omega-3 DHA is an essential component of all cell membranes. DHA is also the dominant fatty acid in human brains, and is essential to proper brain and eye functioning and to regulation of metabolic rate. (DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid.)
  • Omega-3 EPA is found in all cell membranes, and is needed to make critical inflammation-moderating messenger chemicals called eicosanoids. (EPA stands for eicosapentaenoic acid.)

Plant foods contain a “short-chain” omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), whose primary purpose in the body is to provide the raw material with which to make the long-chain, “marine” omega-3s essential to good health.

When you see reports about the benefits of omega-3s, these almost invariably refer to the results of studies using one or both of the long-chain marine omega-3s (DHA and EPA).

Researchers employ the long-chain “marine” omega-3s in biomedical studies because these omega-3s yield much stronger effects in much smaller amounts, compared with plant-derived omega-3s (i.e., ALA).

The very small amount of omega-3 ALA found in most Americans’ diets comes from seed oils like soy and canola, which contain far higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids.

The best common food sources of dietary ALA are green leafy vegetables (e.g., spinach, kale, lettuces). Flaxseed, flax oil, hemp seeds, and hemp oil are the richest food sources of ALA, and therefore constitute the best supplemental sources of ALA.

The human body converts from two to 15 percent of dietary ALA into DHA and EPA. Nonetheless, people can survive and thrive if they consume enough plant-derived ALA.

In contrast people can survive and thrive entirely without ALA if they consume fish or fish oil supplements, which are naturally rich in DHA and EPA…

To read and download the Vital Choice White Paper on Omega 3s and your health in its entirety, Click HERE.



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