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Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that we need to include in our diet on a regular basis, since mammals cannot synthesise it. It plays an essential role in our organism, particularly its anti-inflammatory capacity. Within this family we distinguish eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the main bioactive forms in humans.
Why is Omega 3 important?
To understand why it is so important to take Omega 3, here are some of the most important benefits of this fatty acid in our bodies:
- It is part of the structure of our cell membranes. Our body cells are not stiff (like plant cells are) but have an elastic wall, which is necessary for them to work properly. This consistency is due to its fatty acid composition, such as EPA.
- Inflammation and immunity regulation. Inflammation is directly related to the immune system, and Omega 3 plays a fundamental role in modulating this defence system, carrying out several functions, such as decreasing the synthesis of inflammatory molecules and activating the cells of the immune system. It also works as a precursor of molecules called prostaglandins, which are essential for fighting infections. It also improves the intestinal barrier by restoring a healthy ratio of intestinal bacteria.
- Brain development and cognition. Omega 3 is important in foetal growth and development, as it is involved in the development of the nervous system. During childhood it promotes cognitive and behavioural development, taking Omega-3 during adulthood improves our cognition and our memory.
- It prevents obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Omega 3 helps to lower triglyceride levels in your blood. It also promotes vascular health as it is anti-arrhythmic and anti-thrombotic. These preventive measures are always considered in the context of a balanced and varied diet, along with adapted physical exercise.
- It promotes eye and skin health. Omega 3 protects us against eye diseases, as Omega 3 helps the retina to develop and function properly. Several studies show its benefits against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Our skin is also subject to these benefits, since Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory it reduces redness and irritation, making it beneficial for certain skin conditions such as dermatitis.
What foods are rich in Omega 3?
Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are mainly found in oily fish (tuna, herring, salmon, mackerel), marine and fish oils, and seaweed. They are also found in plant foods such as nuts (walnuts) and seeds (flax, chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds).
Oils rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, such as rapeseed and linseed oil, are perfect as raw condiments, since they do not tolerate being fried or intensely heated. In this regard, fatty acid oxidation can be measured by the TOTOX index (total oxidation value), a useful indicator to evaluate the quality of these oils rich in Omega 3: the higher the index, the lower the quality of the oil. According to the FDA and EFSA, this value should be less than 25-26.
Recommended doses and Omega-3 deficiencies
Dietary recommendations from national and international bodies for Omega 3 (in the form of EPA and DHA) range from 200 mg to over 600 mg/day for adults, and from 40 mg to 250 mg/day for infants over six months, children and teenagers.
FACT: According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), it is safe to take up to 5 grams of Omega 3 per day as supplements.
A deficiency in omega-3 intake can have a number of negative health consequences:
- Low levels of Omega 3 have been linked to increasing incidences of mental health issues.
- Brain ageing: Omega-3 deficiency leads to high cholesterol levels and increased oxidative and inflammatory activities in brain structures.
- Inflammation: If we do not ingest enough Omega 3, the synthesis activity of anti-inflammatory molecules decreases and not enough is produced, resulting in inflammatory molecules.
- Increased triglycerides and cholesterol: Consuming other types of fats instead of Omega 3 can reduce its protective effect and increase cholesterol and triglyceride levels in our blood, thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Omega 3 supplements
To avoid these Omega 3 deficiencies in our diet, it is highly recommended to include supplements that guarantee you intake the correct amounts of this fatty acid and, consequently, adequate health.
Our supplement provides 1000 mg (1g) of fish oil per capsule, which provides 600 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids, of which 350 mg are EPA and 250 mg of DHA. Our Omega 3 is sourced from small wild fish, mainly anchovies, off the coast of Peru. It is free of heavy metals and other contaminants, as verified by an external laboratory. In addition, the TOTOX index of our Omega 3 is 8.5, well below the limit of 26, indicating a high quality of the oil. This supplement, rich in active ingredients, complements the intake of Omega 3 naturally found in food.
How to use: we recommend taking 1 to 2 softgels per day together with meals.
Besides Omega 3, our supplement includes vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant effects that interacts with harmful free radicals protecting our cells and preventing cellular aging.
Interactions and synergies with medications
If you are taking any of the following medications: warfarin (Coumadin®) or other anticoagulant drugs, consult your doctor before taking Omega 3 supplements, as clotting problems may occur.
Some studies suggest that simultaneously taking Omega 3 together with hypertension medication may provide better clinical results, as there is a potentiation (synergy) that allows for a reduction in the medication dosage.
Below is a chart summarizing Omega-3’s key aspects:
|Main function||Anti-inflammatory / Cholesterol and triglyceride control|
|Food source||Oily fish, nuts and seeds|
|Recommended dosage||600 mg/day or 1-2 capsules per day of Zenement Omega 3 together with meals.|
|Interactions and synergies||Interferes with anticoagulants and potentiates hypertensive medications.|