Omega 3 Vitamin and Supplements

Omega-3 is the general name given to the family of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (EFAs). Essential fatty acids can be grouped into two categories, omega-6 EFAs and the omega-3 EFAs. br>
Nutritionists and medical professionals alike have come to recognize the importance of balancing omega-3 fatty acids with omega-6 fatty acids in the human diet. Key omega-3 fatty acids including EPA and DHA are found primarily in oily cold-water fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel (higher concentrations are found in pure fish oil). Aside from fresh seaweed, a staple of many oriental cultures, plant foods rarely contain EPA or DHA. And because most people on a typical Western diet consume far more omega-6-rich foods (including cereals, whole-grain bread, baked goods, fried foods, margarine, and others), the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids is out of balance for just about everyone. What does this mean? This means for most Americans the emphasis should to be on increasing omega-3s to make the ratio more even and to put the body back in balance.

Theoretically, humans should be able to synthesize Omega-3 EPA and DHA from dietary Omega-3 ALA (Alpha-linolenic Acid - found primarily in dark green vegetables), but in practice this process is inefficient. Many medical researchers have therefore concluded that omega-3 EPA and DHA should be obtained by dietary supplement. High quality fish oil is one of the rare sources that contain substantial concentrations of both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found naturally in fish, flaxseed, canola oil, nuts, and avocados. They are also available in some fortified eggs and dairy products.

The Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Researchers made one of the first important associations between omega-3 fatty acids and human health while studying the Inuit (Eskimo) people of Greenland in the 1970s. As a group, the Inuit suffered far less from certain diseases (coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, psoriasis) than their European counterparts. Yet their diet was high in fat from eating whale, seal, and salmon. Eventually medical researchers realized that these foods were all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which provided real disease-countering benefits.

Emerging evidence from several types of research supports the wide-ranging health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in connection with cirulatory/heart health..