Omega-3 fatty acids reduce cholesterol, boost brain power, and keep us looking young. There are many different types of omega-3 fatty acids available, each with their own unique properties. However, there are three main forms of omega-3 that each work differently in your body you need to know about!
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found primary in terrestrial plants. Flaxseed, vegetable oil and several other vegetables and nuts contain large amounts of ALA. While a daily dose has not been established, patients with type II diabetes have used between 600-1200mg/day to reduce symptoms. It is NOT recommended to be taken in large doses by women how are pregnant or breast feeding.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is found in marine algae, krill and fish oil. EPA is generally formed within the marine algae and then works its way up the food chain. It can only be found in marine based food like fish. Interestingly the body is able to convert EPA into DHA, but not the other way around. EPA is the second most important omega-3 for the human body.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is found primarily in live marine algae and krill DHA is the ultimate form of fatty acids in humans, but most people get far too little of it. The body is able to convert ALA into DHA, but it is very inefficient. Conversion from EPA to DHA is more effective. Ensure that you are able to get between 800-1000mg of DHA (or high EPA levels) from supplements to reap the benefits.
- Rebuilds and Lubricates joints – Some unique strains of marine phytoplankton have an exceptionally high amount of the essential acid proline, which is a building block of fibrous tissue such as tendons and cartilage. Proline is not commonly found in our diet and should always be supplemented. PhytOriginal is living marine algae containing an extremely high 10% proline in each cell. Avoid knee surgeries and arthritis by keeping your body mobile.
- Pumps the Heart – Omega-3’s reduce triglycerides, stabilize your heartbeat, make platelets “less sticky” and can even lower blood pressure. The EPA and DHA helps prevent artery-blocking clots.
- Decreases inflammation – Omega-3 fatty acids are simple structured molecules, especially compared to omega-6 thru 9. The National Institutes of Health states that “most American diets provide more than 10 times as much omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids.”
- Fights Wrinkles – As we get older our veins stiffen. Omega-3 helps keep inflammation down, allowing for the veins to transport more oxygen and fight wrinkles. Increased blood flow to the smallest veins is crucial to looking young.
- Protects Vision – Eyes’ retinas are a membranous structures and the whole eye is covered in a soft double layer of membranes, making your eyes’ health dependent on the liver. The liver helps metabolize fat-soluble vitamins that feed and maintain those membranes. If you’re deficient in DHA, it affects how we see by delaying the system that converts light into neural energy in the retina.
- Acne – Inadequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids contributes to breakout-prone skin. Trade sugar (and meat) for avocados, walnuts, phytoplankton or trout to help control acne.
- Cholesterol – Increases levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) while reducing your LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Brain Function – In keeping your arteries clear, you’re immediately improving brain function by increasing oxygenation.
- Pregnancy Prerequisite – Omega-3 fatty acids directly affect brain development, making it crucial for expectant mothers. When the mother doesn’t have enough of these essential fatty acids, the baby borrows from her. Some prenatal vitamins now include omega-3s, so be sure to check the label or grab a handful of walnuts each day.