Omega-3 information, FAQ and product listing page. This page contains everything you need to know about Omega-3 fatty acids!
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Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to the body. They are essential to the body, but cannot be produced by it – making consumption through the diet necessary. Also referred to as polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs, omega-3 fatty acids play a very important role in brain function, growth, and development.
There are three primary types of omega-3 fatty acids that come from foods. These are ALAs, or alpha-linolenic acids, EPAs, eicosapentaenoic acids, or DHAs, or docosahexaenoic acids. Once consumed, the body converts ALA to EPA and DHA, the two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids that can be more readily harnessed and used by the body.
Research has indicated that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation with injuries and help reduce the risk factors for many chronic diseases like heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids are very concentrated in the brain and seem to play an integral part in the bodys cognitive and behavioral functions, which have to do with memory and performance.
A balanced diet of Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids work together to maintain overall health stability within the body. For example, Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the inflammation in our body, while most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.
In the United States, researchers believe that a significant factor in the rise of inflammatory disorders can be attributed to an unbalanced diet of Omega-3 and Omega-6. On average, each American diet contains 14-25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, plants, and nut oils. EPA and DHA are located in fish from cold-water sources, like salmon, halibut, tuna, sardines, herring, and mackerel. ALA is found in flaxseeds, flaxeed oil, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, purslane, and canola oil. Less common sources of omega-3 fatty acids include seal life like krill and algae.
In children, a safe and effective amount of dosage for omega-3 fatty acids has not been established. While omega-3 fatty acids are found in some infant formulas, effective doses have not been ascertained. Due to possible unhealthy environmental contaminants, like high levels of mercury, ingestion of fresh fish should be limited in young children.
For that have high coronary heart disease, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests no more than 1 gram daily of EPA and DHA. There may be a delayed response of 2-3 weeks for the benefits of the Omega-3 fatty acids to be seen.
The following may be signs of Omega-3 deficiency:
- Dry skin
- Bumps on the back of upper arms
- Cracking/peeling fingertips
- Dull nails
- Slow growing fingernails
- Dry eyes
- Dry mouth
- Excessive thirst
- Craving of fatty foods
- Stiff or painful joints
Omega-3 has a huge array of positive health effects on the body. Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids can help combat many common illnesses and health problems. These include countless conditions, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, weight loss, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, eating disorders, asthma, macular degeneration, menstrual pain, colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
Out of the all the benefits Omega-3 provides, the evidence is strongest for heart disease. One of the best ways to help, not only treat, but prevent heart disease is a low-fat diet with polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 fatty acids). EPA and DHA found in fish oil help reduce the risk of heart disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It also helps inhibit the development of plaque and blood clots.
Specific benefits to bodybuilders and athletes:
- Contributes to fat loss
- Ergogenic (performance-enhancing)
- Has essential roles in muscle repair
Although very rare, Omega-3 may have some side effects including allergic reaction, bleeding, diarrhea, and gas. For those pregnant or nursing, the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that intake of sport-caught fish should be limited to less than 6-ounces per week.
Omega-3 has possible drug interactions. If you’re currently on cyclosporine, etretinate/topical steroids, chocolesterol lowering medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, blood sugar lowering medications, or blood-thinning medications, you should consult your doctor before consuming omega-3fatty acid supplements.