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Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Dr John Stewart, BVSc

Omega-3 fatty acids are very important and we don't get enough of them in the diet for most Australians and most Americans. So what are they? Well, they're a type of essential fatty acid that we need to take pre-formed in our diet.

Now there are two forms principally, there is the marine based form of omega-3 fatty acids which where we are ingesting it, eating it in an already pre-formed form and the two most important omega-3 fatty acids are not ETA but EPA and the other one is DHA, EPA for heart health, DHA for brain health. Now, these omega-3 fatty acids are incorporated into the cell membrane of every cell in your body so, for instance if you've been eating a high grain diet and no fish and taking no fish oil capsules and eating no green lip muscle, then you will have an imbalance in your body. You will be high omega-6. Omega-6 are pro-inflammatory. Now most of our chronic diseases whether it be heart related stroke, related Alzheimer's related they are at the very foundation. It is a problem associated with a low level of inflammation you wouldn't believe it but even pollution particles less than 2.5 in size are sufficient to induce an inflammatory response that's why you're better off living in the country where the air quality is good than being in a city.

Liver, so omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect so they'll make you feel a bit better if you're getting stiff in your joints. They will be a help to you for many many people there'll be help to you if you have issues with anxiety and depression and as a general wellness thing. Your whole body is going to function better if you can boost the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet back up to what we got ancestrally which was roughly one part omega-3 to one part omega-6 not the 25parts omega-6 to one part omega-3 that most of us in the western world get because remember grains are high in omega-6 fatty acids. They are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids. So if you can't eat salmon, we're looking for oily fish. If you can't eat salmon three times a week, then one of the things I would suggest is and I do this, I would suggest that you supplement your diet with fish oil capsules. Now I don't hold back, I take 10 one gram fish oil capsules a day. Each of those fish oil capsules, has got 300 milligrams. Combined of DHA and EPA, so I'm actually taking in three grams of EPA and DHA a day and it does have to be the marine based source of omega-3 fatty acids. Linseed oil, flaxseed oil, linseed and flax seed and the same thing linseed and flax seed they have got omega-3 fatty acids in them but they're the short-chain omega-3 fatty acids not the big long chain EPA and DHA and we as a species are very poor at tacking together all those little short chain amino acids.

What's known as ala and making it into one of these big long EPA or DHA molecules so from a practical point of view don't rely on getting your omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed or linseed.

I know the science is a bit heavy sometimes but the the omega-3 fatty acid stories probably applicable to most people in Australia and most people in the Western world, so it's something that's so easy to fix so hang in there, let's hope you get as enthused about it.

The Nutrition Science Group
The information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about your medical condition, you should seek the advice of a physician or qualified health provider.
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