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Omega 3 Info

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Omega 3 Fish Oil Production

Omega 3 Fish oil is produced by a continuous and carefully controlled process, the main objective it to remove all impurities from the crude omega 3 fish oil ( free fatty acids, coloured components, protein residues, oxidation products etc ) in order to obtain a clear almost colourless oil with a low content of oxidation products and other contaminants. The processes involved are comparable to the ones used in the processing of all edible oils and fats, that is, deacidification, winterisation, bleaching and deodorization.

Omega 3 fish oils – 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.A fantastic source of essential fatty acids is from omega 3 fish oils.

Omega Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fish oils are so called because 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.

OMEGA 6 OMEGA 3
Linolenic acid Alpha-linolenic acid
Gamma-Linolenic acid C 18.4
Dihomogamma linolenic acid C 20.4
Arachidonic acid Eicosapentaenoic acid
C 22.4 C 22.5
C 22.5 Docosahexaenoic acid

Health Benefit of fish oil

The extraordinary health benefits of fish oil were first discovered back in the early 1970’s when doctors in Denmark studied Eskimos living in Greenland.  They noticed that they had fewer heart attacks and a much lower incidence of arthritis than the Danish, despite the fact that they ate a high fat diet. Studies from all over the world, have since shown that the health benefits come from the Omega 3 essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  These are found in the fatty tissue of fish that the Eskimos ate in very high quantities.

Traditionally, man ate a diet that was equally balanced between Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids on a ratio of 1:1.  Today it is estimated that this ratio is more like 25:1 and sometimes even as high as 50:1, with a whopping 85% of the population consuming too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3. This is having a disastrous effect on the health of the population, leading to a higher incidence of cancers, particularly hormonal cancers, inflammatory diseases and allergies.

Essential fatty acids are essential in that they are necessary for the body to survive, but the body cannot produce them itself, it has to rely on dietary sources.  Unfortunately, Omega 6 is in plentiful supply in our diets today; however, the Omega 3 fatty acids, that are so essential for our wellbeing, can only be found in fish oil and not much else. Both Omega 6 and Omega 3 have very different roles in the body and it is this imbalance that needs to be rectified, either by eating more fish or taking fish oil supplements.  This becomes alarmingly clear when we consider that the Omega 6 fatty acids behave in such a way that they encourage tumour growth, help the blood to clot and promote inflammation whereas the Omega 3 fatty acids do the opposite.

Fish oil can benefit the heart, the mind and the body all at the same time.  Studies show it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, has demonstrated significant success in the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder and ADHD as well as numerous other conditions, and acts as an immune booster to promote general health.  It has also been found to improve concentration and memory. A recent article in The Sunday Times revealed that the UK government is considering giving fish oil capsules to schoolchildren as due to a rise in the use of convenience and processed foods, they are not receiving an adequate supply of Omega 3.

One pilot study in Bradford, where pupils were given fish oil on a daily basis, resulted in 81% of pupils showing an improvement in reading, 67% in writing and 74% in Maths.  Another study in Lancashire showed that pupils who took fish oil for 3 months before their GCSE exams managed to achieve one grade higher than what would have been expected.

Food for thought indeed.

Eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA

Very simply put EPA is one of the most important omega 3 nutrients. It can be found in large quantities in certain fish, and in very high quantities in certain fish oil supplements .

Eicosapentaenoic acid: Is one of the principal omega 3 fatty acids. Abbreviated EPA. The body has a limited ability to manufacture EPA by converting the alpha-linolenic acid ( ALA) which is found in flaxseed oil, canola oil or walnuts. ALA is also an omega 3 essential fatty acid; it is the parent fatty acid to EPA.

Eicosapentaenoic (EPA)

Eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, is a major component of fish oil. It is a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid of the n-3 or omega-3 type. EPA is an all cis polyunsaturated fatty acid containing 20 carbons and 5 double bonds. EPA is also known as EPA; C20: 5n-3 and cis-5, 8, 11, 14,17-eicosapentaenoic acid. The structural formula is as follows :

CONTRAINDICATIONS

None known

ADVERSE REACTIONS

There have been no reports of serious adverse events in those taking EPA supplements, even up to 15 grams daily, for prolonged periods of time

OVERDOSAGE

None known.

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