What are Omega-3s? Where can we find them?
Omega 3 are a family of essential fatty acids. It contains essential fatty acids that are necessary for the development and proper functioning of the human body, but that our bodies can’t make on their own. The precursor of the omega-3 fatty acid family is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It is said to be indispensable. It is therefore necessary to be provided through food.
From this compound, the body synthesizes other omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). However, the conversion rate from ALA to EPA and especially to DHA is too low to cover the needs. DHA is therefore also considered indispensable and must also be provided through food. ALA is brought by the consumption of vegetable oils: linseed oil, rapeseed oil, soybean oil, walnut oil…
EPA and DHA are provided by the consumption of fatty fish and by the consumption of food supplements of marine oils or microalgae oils.
What is DHA ?
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a polyunsaturated fatty acid of the Omega 3 family, present in fatty fish and certain microalgae. DHA can be synthesized in the body from the precursor of the Omega 3 family called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) present in certain vegetable oils such as linseed oil, rapeseed oil or walnut oil.
However, the conversion rate of ALA to DHA is too low to cover the need for DHA, so DHA is considered indispensable and must be provided through food.More information
TRUE or FALSE ?
All fish are rich in Omega-3
False : The fatty fish rich in Omega 3 are: tuna, sardine, mackerel, herring, cod, trout, salmon… White or lean fish such as sea bream, monkfish, cod, sole, sea bass… are much less concentrated in Omega 3. Nutrionists recommend eating fish twice a week: once fatty fish and once lean fish.
What is EPA ?
The EPA ( Eecosapentaenoic ) is part of the family of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids more commonly known as polyunsaturated fatty acids. This fatty acid is present in fatty fish and in some microalgae. Just like DHA, its synthesis from ALA (alpha-linoleic acid, present in plants such as flax, capelin and rapeseed) is very weak, hence the interest of EPA supplementation.More information
TRUE or FALSE ?
We consume enough Omega-3
False : The ideal ratio is 1 Omega 3 to 3 Omega 6. Today the ratio of the western population is about 1 Omega 3 to 15 Omega 6. This unbalanced ratio can lead to inflammatory and pro-thrombotic problems responsible for several pathologies. The solution to reduce this gap, and therefore improve our health, is to enrich our consumption of Omega-3 and more specifically EPA and DHA. This can translate into an increase in our consumption of fish. But we can also take food supplements rich in Omega-3, based on fish oil or microalgae oil.
What are the recommended doses?
Recommended doses vary from country to country. In Europe the recommended nutritional intake for adults in EPA + DHA is 250 mg per day. For pregnant and breastfeeding women the recommended nutritional intake is 250 mg of EPA + DHA per day plus 100 to 200 mg of additional DHA per day. In other countries such as Japan the recommendations are higher, up to 1000 mg EPA + DHA per day.
TRUE or FALSE ?
Omega-3s are essential to our health?
True : Omega-3s are essential for the good health of the human body. In fact, they play an essential role in the proper functioning of many physiological functions. The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has recognized the many benefits that Omega-3s and more specifically EPA and DHA can have on our cardiovascular, ocular, cerebral and pre & post natal health.
Where do you get Omega-3s?
Omega-3s can be found in plant form (ALA) or in marine and microalgae form (EPA & DHA). You will find EPA in anchovies, mackerel, sardines and herring. You will find more DHA in tuna and microalgae.
EPA and DHA have many health benefits and are precursors to anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic compounds.
TRUE or FALSE ?
I eat fish so I’m getting enough Omega-3 !
False : Not all fish are equal in terms of Omega 3 intake. Only oily fish such as tuna, sardine, mackerel, anchovies, etc. will provide you with interesting levels that will enable you to reach the recommended nutritional intake of EPA and DHA. At the same time, certain sensitive populations such as pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under 30 months are advised to limit their consumption of fish likely to be contaminated by environmental pollutants. Fatty fish in particular can concentrate lipophilic contaminants in the environment: heavy metals (Mercury, etc.), dioxins, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), pesticides, etc.
Through purification processes, Polaris guarantees undetectable levels of contaminants in its range of marine oils and thus offers consumers the possibility of safe Omega 3 supplementation.
What are the health benefits of the EPA?
EPA has many health benefits: anti-inflammatory, protection of the cardiovascular system, helps maintain a good emotional balance, reduces joint pain. EPA also has skin health benefits.
TRUE or FALSE ?
There is no risk of having an imbalance in the Omega-6/ Omega-3 ratio.
False : Numerous studies show that the Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio of western populations is unbalanced and is around 15 omega 6 to 1 omega 3. This imbalance contributes to the promotion of certain pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Studies also show that an increase in omega-3 consumption has a suppressive effect.
Dr. Simopoulos concludes in his 2011 study that the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is important for homeostasis and the normal development of the human body throughout the life cycle.
What is the difference between Omega 6 and Omega 3?
Omega 6 and Omega 3 are two distinct families each providing essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. The representative of the Omega 6 family is linoleic acid (LA), an essential fatty acid, present in vegetable oils (sunflower, maize, etc.) and a precursor of the polyunsaturated fatty acid ARA (arachidonic acid) present in particular in animal products (red meat, eggs, etc.). ARA is a precursor of pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic molecules.
The best known and consumed member of the Omega 3 family is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid present in certain vegetable oils (flax, rapeseed, soya, walnut, etc.) and a precursor of the polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fatty fish. EPA and DHA are at the origin of anti-inflammatory molecules.
The metabolism of these two families of fatty acids follows two parallel pathways and competes with the same enzymes. An influx of omega 6 is therefore likely to compromise the creation of EPA and DHA. In addition, the composition of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the phospholipids of cell membranes is directly related to the dietary intake of Omega 3 and Omega 6.
Thus: a balanced intake of Omega 3 is recommended to modulate the inflammatory reaction.
What is the correct ratio of omega-6 to omega-3?
The ratio recommended by the experts is 3 ω6 : 1 ω3. However, the current ratio of the Western population is 15 ω6 : 1 ω3. This imbalance can lead to inflammatory pathologies and the development of cardiovascular diseases.
TRUE or FALSE ?
Omega-6 and Omega-3 have the same functions in the body!
False : Omega-6s activate the immune system and the inflammatory response. They also play an important role in platelet, epidermal and reproductive functions.
Omega-3s, precursors of anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic molecules, play multiple roles. DHA is known for its effects on the brain and cognitive health as well as for the preservation of vision.
EPA is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, protection of the cardiovascular system, its action on emotional balance and its role in joint inflammation/pain. EPA also has skin health benefits.
How to protect oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids?
In order to limit the risks of oxidation, Polaris has developed a patented process called Qualitysilver®, which preserves the nutritional and organoleptic qualities of Omegavie oils. The patented Qualitysilver technology is an exclusive blend of antioxidants acting in synergy associated with a unique incorporation process.
Do our oils taste of fish?
Polaris cares about the organoleptic quality of its oils so that consumers can enjoy taking omega-3 without fish off-notes and without potential reflux. This is why we have developed the “Sensory® Concept” which guarantees that our Omegavie oils have a high organoleptic quality and thus have very little impact on the taste and smell of the finished products.
What are the current claims for Omega 3?
European Health Claims (EFSA) Cardiovascular Claims (4) :
- EPA and DHA contribute to normal heart function
- DHA helps to maintain normal blood triglyceride levels. (from 2g/d)
- DHA and EPA help maintain normal blood triglyceride levels.
- EPA and DHA help maintain normal blood pressure.
- DHA helps maintain normal vision.
- DHA helps the brain function properly. (from 250 mg/d)
Pre-Post Natal Allegations (2):
- The consumption of DHA by the mother contributes to the normal development of the eyes of the foetus and the breast-fed child (from 100mg/d).
- Maternal consumption of DHA contributes to the normal brain development of the fetus and breastfed baby.
Regulation (EU) No. 432/ 2012- Regulation (EU) No. 440/ 2011- Regulation (EU) No. 536/ 2013
In which products can Omega 3 be incorporated?
Omega-3s can be consumed in a different way than by eating fish. We can find them in food supplements in the form of soft capsules, capsules, tablets, gummies, syrup or liquid…
We can also find them in enriched food products: cereal/margarine bars, seasoning oil, dairy products… DHA is also found in all infant milks.
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