Fatty acids

Most fatty acids have unique properties, which makes them potent supplements. Most well known among the fatty acids is omega 3 which promotes fat burning, can increase longevity and helps against inflammation caused by omega 6.

What are omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9?

Omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 are collective names for various fatty acids within the polyunsaturated fatty acids. In the group Omega 3 we find three different fatty acids. These three fatty acids are the parent fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). By parent fatty acid is meant that the body based on this fatty acid can form new fatty acids with double bonds and longer carbon chains. When we talk about omega 3, it is mainly EPA and DHA that we are referring to, as these two fatty acids are vital (essential).

The omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are found only in animal products and phytoplankton. The richest source of omega 3 fats is found in fish and the most effective alternative is to produce omega 3 and fish oil from oily fish. When you buy omega 3 liquid in a bottle, it is often called fish oil and when you buy it in capsule form, it is usually only called omega 3. The omega 3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid is found in the plant kingdom. Our bodies can convert alpha-linolenic acid to EPA and DHA, but this conversion is very costly and only 10% of ALA is converted to EPA and DHA. Plant ALA is therefore a very poor source of omega 3. Dietary supplements with omega 3 contain almost exclusively highly concentrated fish oil with some form of antioxidant (vitamin E / tocopherol) that protects the oil. Within the group Omega 6, we find, among other things, the essential parent fatty acid linoleic acid. In the body, linoleic acid is converted to arachidonic acid. While omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory (counteract inflammation), omega 6 fatty acids are inflammatory. Therefore, it is very important that there is a healthy balance between omega 3 and omega 6.

 

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