WHY YOU NEED OMEGA-3

WHY YOU NEED OMEGA-3

These are the reasons why you need omega-3 fatty acids

Written by Cathrine Borchsenius, Clinical Nutrition Physiologist (MSc Clinical Nutrition)
Photo by Børre Helgerud

Good for your heart and brain

Omega-3 fatty acids are important components of the membranes surrounding each cell in our bodies. They fulfil many important functions and contributes positively to health. The omega-3 fatty acids are not produced in the body and therefore, it is crucial to ensure you consume enough of these fatty acids. The supply must come from food or dietary supplements.

Differences in marine and vegetable omega-3s

We divide omega-3 into vegetable and marine omega-3 fatty acids. The vegetable omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) we get from nuts, seeds and oils. The marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA, DHA and DPA are obtained from seafood and fish oils. In particular, the marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have proven to be beneficial to health.

The body can convert some of the vegetable ALA fatty acids into EPA and DHA, but this process is so ineffective that the recommendation is to eat seafood and / or take supplements of marine omega-3 fatty acids to secure the body enough supply of the important fatty acids EPA and DHA.

Beneficial for the heart

A lot of research is done on omega-3 fatty acids, and the importance of securing a sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids is highlighted in many studies worldwide. A substantial amount of research indicates that high intake of EPA and DHA is associated with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease1. In addition to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, high intake of seafood or supplementation of omega-3 can lower mortality among those who have already suffered a heart attack. It has also been shown that high intake of marine omega-3 fatty acids is associated with lower mortality in general2.

Reduces inflammation and cancer risk

Marine omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect and can therefore be beneficial in chronic inflammatory conditions such as atopic eczema, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and psoriasis. Research also indicate that marine omega-3 fatty acids can protect against cancer and make cancer patients healthier by improving appetite, improving quality of life and making cancer treatment more effective3.

Important for vision and brain

DHA fatty acids are important for the brain and visual ability. Research show that there is a relationship between maternal intake of DHA during pregnancy and normal development of the brain in the fetus. Some studies indicate that children with learning and behavior challenges may be deficient in EPA and DHA, and that supplementation with these fatty acids can improve both learning ability and behavior of these children.

Research also shows that DHA fatty acids contribute to the maintenance of normal brain function throughout life. A connection has been shown between dementia and low blood values ​​of long chain omega-3 fatty acids.

Recommended daily amounts of omega-3

Based on the current knowledge of the importance of securing enough omega-3 fatty acids, Norwegian and Nordic health authorities recommend that we consume at least 1-2 grams of omega-3 every day.

Pregnant and lactating women are recommended a daily intake of at least 2-2.5 grams of omega-3 (around 1 percent of the daily energy intake), of which 200 milligrams (0.2 grams) is DHA.

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Arctic Superhealth

© Arctic Superhealth AS
Org. nr. 917 966 710 MVA

Telefon: +47 913 91 008
Adresse: Grini Næringspark 3, 1361 Østerås

© Arctic Superhealth AS
Org. nr. 917 966 710 MVA

Telefon: +47 913 91 008
Adresse: Grini Næringspark 3, 1361 Østerås

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