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Omega 3 Info

What are Essential Fatty Acids

Essential Fatty Acids

The term essential is deduced from Latin. Essential fatty acids are nutritional factors, discovered in 1929 at the University of Minnesota by George and Mildred Burr. Like vitamins, they are not synthesizable by the human body and therefore must be absorbed from food.

Essential Fatty Acids

We have already mentioned that essential fatty acids are nutrients that we must have to stay healthy. To really understand essential fatty acids, we must get down to the molecular level.

Omega Fatty Acids

The omega fatty acids are named according to the position of the first double bond in their carbon chains. Thus, the first double bond in the omega 6,s begins at the sixth carbon from the end of the chain. The first double bond in the omega 3,s begins at the third carbon position from the end of the chain, once in the body both omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids are bio chemically converted and control the body initially in two ways. First, they become incorporated into the cell membranes and secondly keep the cell membrane optimally fluid. If there are not enough omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, these cell walls will incorporate saturated fatty acids and other lipids and become less fluid. In fact, essential fatty acids are the major building blocks of cellular membranes surrounding every cell in the body, know as lipid bilayers, because they are made up of two layers of fat, these fatty acid walls help to control the opening and closing of the cells channels that allow the passage of important messenger molecules into and out of the cell. In a second pathway, the omegas convert to hormone like substances called eicosanoids that influence metabolic activities, it is important the body has an adequate balance. The recommended ratio is 3-5: 1 of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids.

Pure EPA is part of the Omega 3 family

It is estimated that 85% or more of people in the Western world are deficient in omega-3  and most get far too much of the omega-6 fatty acids. Vegetarian diets, for example, tend to be very high in omega-6.
Seemingly minor differences in their molecular structure make the two  Omegas  act very differently in the body. Although we do need both omega-3s and omega-6s it is becoming increasingly clear that an excess of omega-6 fatty acids can have dire consequences. Our ancestors evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of about 1:1. (most of theIt is estimated that 85% or more of people in the Western world are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and most get far too much of the omega-6 fatty acids. Vegetarian diets, for example, tend to be very high in omega-6.

Seemingly minor differences in their molecular structure make the two EFA families act very differently in the body. Although we do need both omega-3s and omega-6s it is becoming increasingly clear that an excess of omega-6 fatty acids can have dire consequences. Our ancestors evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of about 1:1. (most of the omega 3 came from consuming fish ) A massive change in dietary habits over the last few centuries has changed this ratio to something closer to 20:1 and this spells trouble. came from consuming fish ) A massive change in dietary habits over the last few centuries has changed this ratio to something closer to 20:1 and this spells trouble.

Fish oil vitamin E

When choosing a fish oil, it is vital that you opt for a high quality one.  Fish oil is extremely susceptible to oxidation the moment it is extracted from the fish and will go rancid very quickly if preventive measures are not taken.  Taking an inferior fish oil that has started to become rancid can increase the number of free radicals roaming about in the body, counteracting any health benefits from the fish oil itself.

In order to protect the oil from becoming rancid, good fish oil must contain a powerful fat soluble antioxidant such as tocopherol (Vitamin E) to protect it and keep it fresh both within the capsule and the body!

Vitamin E is also a very powerful anti oxidant once inside the body thus helping the body to “flush out” any toxins that are “floating” around.

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