Get the straight scoop on Omega 3's

What is Omega 3?


     If you are ready to find out what Omega 3 is, then here are some important things you need to know before you begin.  Marine life is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, namely eicosapentaenoic (EPA) docosahexanoioic (DHA).  These are very long chained and highly polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).  They contain 20 and 22 carbons and five and six double bonds, and are abundant in shellfish, sea mammals, and fish.  EPA and DHA are very low or absent in domesticated land animals.

    Another important consideration for finding out what is Omega 3 is where it comes from. The source EPA and DHA found in marine foods are phytoplankton.  The phytoplankton is naturally rich in EPA and DHA and it is a food for many sea creatures.  When you ask what Omega 3 is, it is fish oil from herring, cod liver, salmon, mackerel, and sardines, which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, while containing different levels of EPA and DHA.

    The place where fish grow has a major determination on their fatty acid content.  In the wild, fish consume food sources that contain high levels of alpha, linolenic acid.  This is an important point because an ever-increasing number of fish are being raised in pens and are fed grain. Similar to a cow. In their natural ocean environment phytoplankton, which is rich in EPA and DHA, form the basis of the food chain.  In contrast, fish raised on farms contain less DHA and EPA and the result is they contain less Omega 3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that wild fish have a higher Omega 3 fatty acid content than cultured fish fed commercial food that lacks EPA and DHA.

    Another thing to consider when asking what is Omega 3 there is another dietary Omega 3 fatty acid, which is alpha linolenioc.  Foods such as Tofu, Canola oil, Black Currant oil, Flax seed oil, (which is the best source that is not fish related) nuts, and soy beans are important sources of alpha linolenioc acid for people that do not consume seafood.  An important point to remember, however, when asking what is Omega 3 is that soy derived oils and foods and most nuts contain great amount of Omega 6 fatty acids, which will neutralize and counteract many of the therapeutic benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids.
 
     When asking what is Omega 3, the next question would be to ask what the requirements are for humans some people say that as little as one meal of fish is enough, however some suggest a higher intake is necessary for people to benefit from all of its wonderful properties.

     Since the amount of EPA and DHA in fish can vary depending on where the fish was raised, Omega 3 supplements offer a pure and reliable source of fish oil.


    If you want more info on what Omega 3 is, call our office at 239.947.1177

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