Fish Oil and Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Fish oil and Omega 3 fatty acids have become very popular lately.

This is because these substances help to control the inflammatory processes and thereby become a factor in reducing stress as they are a barrier to serious illnesses and disabilities such as arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer and many others. It turns out that they are unusually good for the heart, brain and ... practically all systems of our body.

What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Omega 3 fatty acids are a group of non-saturated fatty acids, which are contained in large quantities in fish oil. Most important for human nutrition are three of them:
  • α-Linolenic acid (ALA);

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA);

  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Omega 3 fatty acids, in particular omega 3, are called essential because the body can not synthesize them from other substances and they play important roles in many biochemical processes. It has been discovered that the body synthesizes omega 3 rapidly if in the place of synthesis runs parallel synthesis of omega 6 fatty acids; otherwise it is easier to absorb omega 3 essential fatty acids from the food we eat.

Functions and Modes of Action

In general, omega 3 essential fatty acids have the following functions:
  • participate in the construction / composition of the cell and nuclear membranes of cells;

  • regulate and ensure the functions of the immune system with omega 6 essential fatty acids;

  • have indispensable part in the regulation of inflammatory processes and recovery;

  • serve as donors of signaling molecules and thus participate in the processes of communication between cells of the nervous system.

How can such a simple thing such as omega-3 fatty acids help beat inflammations? Inflammation is a chemical fire causing redness, swelling, tenderness and pain. Some fires burn quickly and violently, and then are quenched. We have such type of inflammation during acute diseases when the temperature suddenly rises, then falls, or when we injure us and the wound inflates and then heals. Other fires are more like a hot bed of ashes, constantly emitting heat, never and never dying completely. This type of reaction is caused by chronic autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and asthma.

Inflammation is a complex reaction to some kind of damage to the body - by bacteria, viruses, toxins or waste products of metabolism. It includes a series of reactions and chemicals. Inflammatory process involves cells called platelets, white blood cells and macrophages, which are designed to kill bacteria as they literally eat them. Our immune system needs inflammation, to assist the healing of wounds and disease control.

But sometimes the process goes out of control. Then we need the assistance of essential oils, especially contained in fish oil. These oils contain the essential fatty acids Omega 3. Over the past 10 years more than 5000 researches have been conducted on the benefits of Omega 3 while fighting with any kind of disease: from cancer to heart related, psoriasis, autoimmune disorders, even kidney diseases. Deficit of EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) or DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) causes allergies, infections and dry skin. Continued deficits could lead to serious autoimmune diseases.

Omega 3 are involved as basic ingredients in the chemical synthesis of specific molecules called eicosanoids. These molecules have short term signaling purpose for a number of processes in the body. Thanks to these cells communicate with each other.

The communication net of eicosanoids covers primarily the immune and nervous system, and communication between cells in tissues with compromised integrity (wounds, inflammations, etc.). Our body absorbs Omega 3 with almost no effort. Any other oil needs enzymes for activation. With fish oil this is not the case.

The good news about Omega 3 is that over time they accumulate. Thus if you have consumed for years food rich of Omega 3 you will have rich reserves of essential fatty acids in cells. But if your diet was poor and the body was forced to use other fats, you will need a while until restoring the balance. Omega 3 are the fireman of the ancient oceans - they are able to create miracles, but the only thing required of you is patience and time.

Proven Effects of Omega 3

  • decrease coagulation;

  • protect the heart from heart attack;

  • widen blood vessels;

  • help to reduce blood pressure;

  • suppress inflammation;

  • contribute to the elimination of depression;

  • decreased levels of triglycerides in the blood

Do Omega 3 Really Help in case of Stress and Depression?

The fatty matter, from which our brain is built, consists precisely of omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that consumption of these acids in optimal daily doses helps to relieve depressive states. This does not mean that you should immediately throw away the medicines that your doctor has prescribed and start eating fish oil instead. Omega 3 fats only enhance the efficacy of antidepressants, but they can not improve your mood miraculously.

What Foods are Best Sources of These Essential Fats?

At first this is fat fish. A portion (around 150gr) of salmon contains 1gr of beneficial fatty acids, which is the recommended daily dose. Same amount may be acquired by the consumption of fresh tuna, as well as trout and sardine.

In some of these fishes, however - such as salmon and tone - there is a real danger to consume large amounts of mercury along with the beneficial fat. This is due to the pollution of oceans and can be avoided if Omega 3 fatty acids are taken in the form of capsules.

Game is also rich in omega 3 fats.

In dairy products and eggs we can also find not so big quantities. For example, to procure the necessary 1gr our day should eat about 20 eggs.

How about Vegetarians?

Many vegetarians think that a focus on nuts, linseed or hemp oil would be enough in order to have the necessary amounts of omega 3 fats. This is so, but not quite! These vegetarian foods do not contain two types of the Omega 3 fats - Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are indispensable for our body.

The only sure solution for now is to consume dietary supplements containing Omega 3 fatty acids.

Very important to know is that fish oil and Omega 3 fatty acids must be taken with an antioxidant (vit.A, F, C) to protect fats from oxidation.

Can Omega 3 Fatty Acids Stop Inflammation of the Joints or Arteries?

Inflammation is inflammation, regardless of where it occurs. Therefore the substance which will ease painful joints may be beneficial to your cardiovascular system as well. Particularly in relation to heart problems research showed that Omega 3 fatty acids are useful in several ways:

  • Reduce the risk of abnormal heart rhythm

  • Inhibit the accumulation of plaques in arteries

  • Lower amount of triglycerides and

  • Lower blood pressure

Fish oil for all! Fish oil helps not only people with asthma but in most inflammatory conditions e.g. lupus, arthritis and other rheumatic diseases sklerodermit, disease inflammation of the thyroid glandÂ…

Nobody knows for sure what causes these diseases, although viruses are one of the possible explanations. Whatever the reason, studies have found that levels of essential fatty acids of those patients were low. Thus consumption of fish oil and Omega 3 fatty acids could relieve those conditions or at least dramatically decrease the chances to have them.

What are the Optimal Doses of Omega 3 acids?

According to most sources, the maximal daily intake of Omega 3 essential fatty oils is not more than 3 grams (3000 mg.). The acceptable daily intake is 1.6gr for men and 1.1gr for for women. (Food and Drug Administration, USA;)

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