Omega-3 is commonly known as a supplement,which has a beneficial effect on heart health. However, this is only one of the beneficial effects, there are many other reasons to pay attention to the appropriate presence of this nutrient in the body.
One of the most well-knonw dietary supplements is Omega-3. It is not by accident, it is because of its many physiological advantages. Recently, it turned out to be one of the most effective factors in the prevention of inflammatory diseases. Another fundamental thing is the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which has a great impact on our health level.
What is omega-3 and how does our body get it?
Omega-3 is a group of unsaturated fatty acids.
This includes eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These can be taken with nutrition or dietary supplements in the body. Their main source is fish, alga or vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, krill, hazelnuts, eggs, blueberries, black raspberries.
These fatty acids play an important role in maintaining health and many diseases can be avoided if sufficient quantities are consumed.
ALA is a short chain fatty acid and the body has to transform it so it can be used. The other two are long chain fatty acids which is easy for the body to use.
The former can be found in many plants such as nuts, linseed, spinach, soy, broccoli, but these contain little of the other two.
The latter are mainly contained in some fish such as sturgeon, trout, tuna, herring, mackerel, anchovy, sardines. But we should consume these in a very large amount in order to get the sufficient quantities of the fatty acids.
That is why there are fish oil capsules, for example, but they are only partially
contain the active ingredients.
Omega-3 for children
It is extremely important to get sufficient amounts of omega-3 in childhood, especially for brain development. This affects learning ability, intelligence and behavior. Taking it in time can help prevent an early predisposition to childhood illness – especially with regard to inflammation.
There are several official recommendations for quantity intake. According to the American National Academy of Medicine, 0.5 grams per day is recommended up to the age of 1 year, 0.7 grams up to 3 years old. The European Food Safety Authority sets the recommended amount of DHA at 200 mg daily up to the age of 2.
At the same time, the American institute determines 0.9 grams per day up to the age of 8, but the European determine 250 mg (including EPA and DHA) up to the age of 18.
Omega-3 fatty acids – ALA, EPA and DHA
ALA or linolenic acid – is a fatty acid that the body converts to DHA, but it will not create the sufficient amount.
The recommended daily dose for men is 5.21 and for women 4.158 kcal. Excessive intake can cause problems in the digestive system, too little intake can cause poor mood and attention deficit and increases the risk of chronic inflammation. Usually linseed and rapeseed oil as well as nuts, broccoli, soybeans and spinach contain ALA.
EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid is part of the cell membrane in the brain. According to experts, it has an anti-inflammatory effect and the recommended amount is 200-250 mg daily.
Again, excessive intake could cause problems for the digestive system. A deficiency in turn causes the same symptoms as in the case of ALA. The source is the oily fish.
DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is an important building block for the brain and optic nerves. The recommended daily dose here is at least 650 mg. Excessive intake or deficiency cause the same symptoms as with both other fatty acids. It is anti-inflammatory and the natural source is oily fish.
The effects of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and their right ratio
Omega-6 fatty acids also have many advantages, but in a larger amount they contribute to inflammation. When enzymes (COX, LOX) break down saturated omega-6 fatty acids present in our cell membranes, inflammatory metabolites are also produced.
When omega-3 fatty acids are broken down, they produce anti-inflammatory metabolites. Therefore, if omega-3 fatty acids are in the majority in the cell membrane, no inflammation usually develops. If the saturated omega-6 fatty acids are in the majority, then the development of degenerative diseases is more likely.
The proportion of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the Western diet has multiplied in favor of the latter in the past century. This wrong ratio is in the background of chronic inflammation.
By increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids – with beta-glucans and polyphenols (antioxidant compounds) – reduces and prevents the presence and development of inflammation in the human body.
Originally, the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in human DNA was 1: 1. Today, this ratio has multipled in favor of omega-6.
In order for our body to work well- and to avoid inflammation – the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be between 5: 1 and 3: 1. However, this is rare nowadays, rather it is typical that omega-6 fatty acids are in the majority. This is why so many people can get cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, not to mention the other diseases.
The omega-3 truth
The main cause of most civilization diseases in our body is cellular inflammation. We do not feel this inflammation, but it can trigger cardiovascular, tumor, digestive, autoimmune diseases, the development of diabetes, and allergies.
The trigger for cellular inflammation is in our cell membrane, a significant shift in the normal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids towards omega-6. As a result of the subsequent inflammation, the wall of the cell-membrane swells, the fluidity deteriorates. This means that sugar, nutrients, vitamins and trace elements can only reach the cell to a limited extent and the supply of oxygen to the cell is also prevented. The removal of slag from the cell is also made more difficult.
Too much intake of omega-6 weakens our immunse system, helps the development of inflammations and increases the risk of development of hearth diseases and the risk of cancer. In contrast to this, the sufficient amount of omega-3 helps self-healing through better blood circulation. promotes normal functioning of the immune sysytem and inhibits inflammations.
Omega-3 contributes to the efficient functioning of the hormone system because its presence supports the elasticity of the cell membrance.
In contrast, the lack of omega-3 can also lead to a number of mental illnesses. Attention and ability to learn can be greatly reduced, can indirectly contribute to depression and in some cases even to schizophrenia.
According to experience, restoring normal ratio between Omega-6 and Omega-3 without the addition of food or with omega-3 capsules that don’t contain polyphenols is not possible. Polyphenols are those groups of plant antioxidant compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Among other things, they inhibit the formation of COX, LOX and MMP, which play an important role in the development of inflammation. Other mechanisms are positively influenced by them with the same effect too.
Good sources of polyphenols are cocoa beans and spices such as turmeric. But most vegetables, fruits, nuts, hazel and olives contain them as well.
The normal diet does not provide the appropriate amount for the right ratio.
There are many omega-3 capsules available on the market. Only a part of the fish oil capsules contains omega-3 fatty acids, so you should take a lot of capsules to get the sufficient ammount. Furthermore, those products that don’t contain polyphenols don’t achieve the desired effect.
The ideal solution is Zinzino, which contains Swedish fish oil products and seaweed oil.
The Zinzino BalanceOil – which is also available in a vegetarian version – contains high-quality EPA and DHA fatty acids with polyphenols and vitamin D.
This perfectly balances the body’s Omega-3 and Omega-6 ratio.
Part of the article source was the book of Dr. Paul Clayton: Out of the fire.