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    Why Omegas Are Awesome

    May 05, 2017    By Krissy Kendall, PHD


    Fish oil supplements are all the rage right now—and for good reason! Supplementing with fish oil has been shown to promote heart health and brain function, support the reduction of exercise induced inflammation, and even give you glowing skin.*

    Although we know we’re supposed to be taking fish oil, it can be really difficult to pick out the right one among the dozens of options. Does this sound familiar: Do I need more Omega-3, 6, or 9? What’s the difference between them? How much should I have in my diet, anyway? What does DHA and EPA even mean?

    If you’ve asked yourself these questions, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you need to know about these special fatty acids.

     Omega-3s

    Omega-3s are essential, (which means we need to get them through food or supplementation), fatty acids that play an important role in our health. The 3 Omega-3 fatty acids are ALA, EPA, and DHA. Of those, EPA and DHA are especially important. They play a critical role in the development of the brain and central nervous system. Additionally, they may help to counter the pro-inflammatory effects of omega-6s (discussed in the next section) [1-5].*

    Some of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, tilapia, halibut, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and pecans. We recommend getting 250-500 mg combined EPA and DHA each day!

    Omega-6s

    Most of us get too much Omega-6 fatty acids in our diet because they’re found in many of the common vegetable cooking oils we use like corn oil and sunflower oil. They’re also common ingredients in many of the foods we eat, such as potato chips, pizza, and salad dressings [6]. The primary Omega-6 fatty acid is linoleic acid. When consumed in large amounts, it may have inflammatory affects.

    Most Americans eat way too much Omega-6 and not nearly enough Omega-3. Without a good balance between the two, further complications may occur. [5]

    Omega-9s

    Omega-9 fatty acids are the most abundant fatty acids in our diet, and are found in animal fat as well as vegetable oils. The main type is oleic acid, which is found in olives, nuts, seeds, and animal fats.

    Keep in mind that one type of fatty acid is not “good or bad” for you. In fact, your body needs all three types. What’s important is the proportion. The ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3s should be somewhere between 2:1 and 4:1. Most of us are around 10:1 and 30:1! [5,7]

    Reducing the amount of omega-6 fatty acids in your diet can help to improve this ratio, but current recommendations suggest increasing the amount of Omega-3s you consume.

    The easiest way to do this is through a quality Omega-3 supplement, like the Nourish + Bloom Multi Plus!* Just make sure to take it with a meal that contains fat to help your body absorb all the goodness.

    References:

    1.Guesnet, P., & Alessandri, J. M. (2011). Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the developing central nervous system (CNS)–Implications for dietary recommendations. Biochimie, 93(1), 7-12.

    2.Kitajka, K., Sinclair, A. J., Weisinger, R. S., Weisinger, H. S., Mathai, M., Jayasooriya, A. P., … & Puskás, L. G. (2004). Effects of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on brain gene expression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101(30), 10931-10936.

    3.Fontani, G., Corradeschi, F., Felici, A., Alfatti, F., Migliorini, S., & Lodi, L. (2005). Cognitive and physiological effects of Omega‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in healthy subjects. European journal of clinical investigation, 35(11), 691-699.

    4.Innis, S. M. (2008). Dietary omega 3 fatty acids and the developing brain. Brain research, 1237, 35-43.

    5.Simopoulos, A. P. (2002). The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy, 56(8), 365-379.

    6.Blasbalg, T. L., Hibbeln, J. R., Ramsden, C. E., Majchrzak, S. F., & Rawlings, R. R. (2011). Changes in consumption of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the United States during the 20th century. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 93(5), 950-962.

    7.Simopoulos, A. P. (2008). The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Experimental biology and medicine, 233(6), 674-688.

    About the Author


    By Krissy Kendall, PHD

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