What is Omega-3 & What are its health benefits?

What is Omega-3?

Omega-3 fatty acids are becoming a staple in all healthy diets in recent times and for good reason. Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that have a number of positive uses in the human body. When we are looking at fats, if there is one type of fat you shouldn't be holding back on it is Omega-3. Some types of Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in foods, in particular, fatty fish. However, in order to gain the full benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids, it is often suggested taking Omega-3 supplements to ensure you are taking the required amounts. Omega-3 fatty acids are formed by three major acids; ALA, EPA & DHA.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an essential fatty acid which means your body cannot produce it itself and must be sourced from elsewhere. ALA has been found in foods like flaxseed, soybean and canola oils. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is found primarily in fish. To get a constant daily supply of all 3 fatty acids it is recommended to consume Omega 3 supplements. These 3 fatty acids are not only crucial for body function but also offer a number of big health benefits which cannot be ignored.

Omega 3 vs Fish Oils

Although Omega-3 are fish oils they do not carry the exact same breakdown as other fish oils and in particular cod liver oil. Cod Liver Oil does, in fact, contain levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. However, the main difference between the two is cod liver oil also contains vitamin A and vitamin D. Vitamin A is known for its role in maintaining healthy skin and immune system and vitamin D is one of the most popular vitamins at the moment with its multiple health benefits including healthy bones and strengthening the body's immune system.

However, the reason Omega-3 is still seen as a superior fatty acid is the there is a lot lower concentration of omega-3's in fish oils than found in omega 3 supplements alone.

Where can you find Omega-3?

Finding food sources that have a high natural content of omega 3 is hard to come across and is why supplementing with omega 3 has become so thought of. Omega-3 is primarily found in significant potencies in fatty fish. Mackeral, Salmon and Sardines are all known for their high content of Omega 3 fatty acids. There are also high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids in oysters, anchovies, herring, cavier and the often supplemented Cod Liver Oil.

Both Salmon and Mackeral contain over 8 times the daily recommendation of omega 3 and are a great source of healthy fats.

What are the main benefits of supplementing Omega-3?

There is an endless list of health benefits of supplementing with Omega 3 but we have listed what we feel are the most important.

Help to fight depression and anxiety

Studies show people that have high levels of omega 3 in their diet have reduced chances of becoming depressed in life. Not only has Omega 3 been shown to reduce chances of depression but also help beat symptoms of depression and anxiety when they start supplementing high dosages of omega 3. It is, in particular, the fatty acid EPA in Omega 3 which is most effective in fighting against depression.

Reduce risk of heart disease

Many studies show omega-3 fatty acids have a number of positive effects for heart health including the following:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids raise HDL cholesterol levels (good cholesterol)

  • Supplementing Omega-3 has been shown to reduce blood pressure with people with high blood pressure levels.

  • Omega-3s have been linked to keeping blood platelets clumping together. This is very beneficial in helping prevent dangerous blood clots from forming

  • Supplementing Omega-3 helps to keep the arteries clear and prevent plaque from building which is what can restrict blood flow through the arteries.

Improve Bone and Joint Health

Supplementing with Omega-3s has been shown to improve bone strength by increasing the amount of calcium in bones which can be beneficial to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. There are also many studies that show Omega 3s could help with arthritis as well as reduced joint pain which is especially important with people taking part in regular physical exercise putting stress on joints.

Reduce factors linked to Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a term which included a number of conditions including obesity, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and high triglycerides.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce insulin resistance which is a key symptom with people on the verge of becoming type 2 diabetic through overeating and under-exercising.

Omega 3 fatty acids can also reduce inflammation throughout the body.

We sell a range of Omega 3 supplements here at CSN including CSN supplements Omega 3 fish oils, providing you with a hefty dosage of Omega 3. Shop Omega 3 here...