Just like vitamin C and vitamin D3, it may be advisable to take omega 3. The fatty acids in omega 3 protect users against heart and vascular diseases. However, omega 3 is characterized by a more tricky nutrient because the human body itself does not create it. These are the 5 facts that you should know about!
1. Different types of omega 3 fatty acids
Just like the different vitamin D, different types of fatty acids can also be delivered with omega 3. The best-known omega 3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alphalinonleic acid (ALA). EPA and DHA are extracted from fish while ALA is a plant-based fatty acid.
ALA can be obtained from different products such as linseed oil, rapeseed oil and soy oil. Walnuts and different margarines also contain ALA.
EPA and DHA can be extracted particularly from fat fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel.
2. What does omega 3 do in the body?
Omega 3 influences our body at different levels. It mainly helps to keep all cell membranes of our skin cells healthy. However, that’s not all because it also helps with a lot more tricky cases. For instance, omega 3 is a building material for a wide range of interleukins. These are cytokines that are produced during a immune response. And finally, it facilitates among other things the intercellular communication of nerve cells.
3. Omega 3 in heart and vascular diseases
Those are of course a lot of fancy words, names and terms for the true experts. Omega 3 is most famous as a product against heart and vascular diseases. The combination of EPA and DHA contributes to maintaining the normal function of the heart. Research shows that eating a portion of fish correlates with a decreased risk of heart diseases. Whoever does not eat fish can also take a supplement. Researchers of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health from Boston see that taking 1 gram of fish fatty acids (EPA and DHA) decreases the risk of death due to heart diseases by no less than 10% in risk cases.
4. Omega 3 in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Pregnant women should pay attention: extra omega 3 has several benefits for the fetus in your belly! When pregnant women take consume more fish and the fish fatty acid DHA during pregnancy, this appears to have positive effects on the development of the brain and retina of the child. This does not only apply for the fetus during pregnancy, but also for babies who are breastfed.
5. Other effects of omega 3
However, that’s not all because various studies show that taking omega 3 has an influence at different levels. For instance, 4 grams of EPA and DHA per day lowers the blood pressure (diastolic pressure) in people suffering from high blood pressure. A daily dose of 2 grams of DHA increases the LDL-cholesterol by about 0.20 mmol/l.
Furthermore, a lot of studies are being conducted on omega 3 and its ‘super powers’. Even though researchers do not yet dare to stake their lives on it, fish fatty acid would help against poor learning behavior, dementia and depressiveness. The effect in rheumatism is also being looked into.