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Omega 3 Facts – Why you need Omega 3 in a supplement

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Omega-3 fatty acids also called ω-3 fatty acids or n-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids with a double bond (C=C) at the third carbon atom from the end of the carbon chain. The fatty acids have two ends, the carboxylic acid (-COOH) end, which is considered the beginning of the chain, thus “alpha”, and the methyl (CH3) end, which is considered the “tail” of the chain, thus “omega.” The nomenclature of the fatty acid is taken from the location of the first double bond, counted from the methyl end, that is, the omega (ω-) or the n- end.

The three types of omega-3 fatty acids involved in human physiology are ALA (found in plant oils), EPA, and DHA (both commonly found in marine oils). Common sources of animal omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids include fish oils, egg oil, squid oils, krill oil, while some plant oils contain the omega 3 ALA fatty acid such as seabuckthorn seed and berry oils, clary sage seed oil, algal oil, flaxseed oil, Sacha Inchi oil, Echium oil, and hemp oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for normal metabolism but some of the potential health benefits of supplementation are controversial. Omega-3s are considered essential fatty acids, meaning that they cannot be synthesized by the human body -except that mammals have a limited ability, when the diet includes the shorter-chain omega-3 fatty acid ALA (α-linolenic acid, 18 carbons and 3 double bonds), to form the more important long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid, 20 carbons and 5 double bonds) and then from EPA, the most crucial, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, 22 carbons and 6 double bonds) with even greater inefficiency. The ability to make the longer-chain omega-3 fatty acids
In foods exposed to air, unsaturated fatty acids are vulnerable to oxidation and rancidity.
Fish are much more efficient than mammals at converting the ALA to the EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids

 

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