One of the most effective and powerful nutritional supplements are certainly the Omega-3, which can be taken from different raw materials: like the fish, or from semi (flax, hemp, chia, avocado), algae, o krill.
Each of these has its own reason and it is OK to take them, even turning the sources (a few months from the seeds, then from the krill, and from the algae).
But question main guiding this article is: "If a person needs the most potent benefits that Omega-3 has, what source should they get them from?".
If a person wishes to use the most potent and effective omega-3 (for example because they need to lose weight, have heart circulatory problems or are familiar with these problems) which one should they use?
Although the fatty acid analysis is complex, we have several data that can help us orientate better within this broad family of molecules.
FIRST QUESTION: "What is the correct ratio between the omega 3, omega 6, omega 9 fatty acids to be taken?"
To answer this question, we can start from the analysis of medical and nutritional statistics that universally highlight how in the last hundred years the ratio between omega 3 and omega 6 dietary fatty acids has been unbalanced strongly towards the latter, producing an average of omega report 3: omega 6 that goes by 1:10-1:15 (there are those who say 1:22, but for our evaluations we stay on the data officially confirmed in university textbooks and by world prevention bodies).
While the advice of official bodies is to stabilize on an omega-3: omega-6 relationship not higher than 1: 5.
The estimators of the omega 3 they even come to recommend a 1 report:1 as some statistics speculate that it was in the diet of prehistoric hunter-gatherer man (which should be the diet closest to our metabolic needs based on our genetics, which hasn't changed much since 40.000 years ago).
The unbalance variations of this ratio towards the omega-6 is mainly due to one decreased consumption of foods containing omega-3 (like fish).
But also to one overall decrease in omega-3 fatty acid content in many foods (meat and eggs) due to the change in the industrial feeding of farmed animals.
The reason we mainly consider omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and we have not yet mentioned omega-9 is because omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids, which therefore our metabolism is unable to produce by itself and needs to take them from the outside.
While omega-9 fatty acids are not essential and although they have some health properties, our metabolism is able to manufacture them by itself.
Furthermore, the substances that seem to be the most powerful for the balance of our health derive from omega-3 and omega-6: hormones eicosanoids.
As traditionally popular science literature does, we can divide this large group of super hormones into two categories, good eicosanoids and bad eicosanoids.
- good eicosanoids they produce good health effects, while the bad ones produce conditions that can bring us closer to the disease, both acute and chronic.
In reality, good health is produced by a healthy balance between these two, and at present, finding ourselves unbalanced towards an excess of omega 6 (which are the building material of bad eicosanoids) we should correct this imbalance with the intake of acids. fat omega 3 through foods that are rich in it, and perhaps with the associated use of good quality supplements in concentrated and purified form.
In fact, remember that to obtain the equivalent of omega 3 (EPA-registered household disinfectants, the most important long-chain omega 3) of a measuring spoon (about 4g = 1,67g EPA) of a good quality supplement, you need to eat about 450g of salmon (and salmon is one of the richest fish in these fatty acids).
SECOND QUESTION: "Is it better to use omega3 of vegetable origin or from fish?"
To answer this question we must remember that the omega-3 fatty acids that have a strong value for health (both from a preventive and therapeutic point of view) are EPA and DHA.
Although there are other types of omega-3, it is EPA and DHA that are renowned for their beneficial effects on our health.
Vegetarians in particular, but also all people in general, can be asked if it is not appropriate to prefer a source of vegetable omega 3 rather than animal.
I also happened to ask myself this question and to answer it with knowledge of the facts I dedicated some time (always well invested when it comes to health ...) to study these two alternative.
Remember that among the omega-3 fatty acids, the one that has the greatest health benefits is EPA (and DHA)?
Well, if you buy an 3 omega supplement from vegetable source (such as flaxseed oil), you are most likely buying an omega-3 fatty acid, but yes not the EPA (nor even DHA)!
Plant sources: Seeds & Co.
Both vegetable oils for cooking and typical omega-3 vegetable supplements are more or less rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega 3 fatty acid, but it is not EPA.
An example of these plant sources are: linseed oil, hemp, chia, avocado. In all these cases, these vegetable oils have a certain content of ALA.
ALA is a precursor to EPA, but the body has one reduced capacity to obtain good supplies of EPA in a reasonable time from the ALA supplied with food or supplements.
That is, ALA does not seem to be a good means of helping us achieve our goal of significantly increasing EPA levels in the body.
So it seems that there are no valid reasons to choose a product based on linseed oil or other correspondents rich in ALA (hemp, avocado, etc.).
Of course, they can be a little help, but they don't make the difference in terms of their contribution EPA-registered household disinfectants, which together with DHA is the Omega-3 fatty acid really capable of shifting the balance towards one in a few months of intake greater health general.
Finally, we could think of using a source of vegetable 3 omega from seaweed, which would constitute a real strong direct fatty acid omega 3 benefits EPA, but here's what came out of a study done on one of these products ...
Take the Klamath algae as an example of famous algae suggested for EPA and DHA supplementation. Their relationship between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids is as follows.
According to the detailed data sheet of a famous manufacturer of Klamath seaweed supplements, for 1,5g we have 18,4mg of saturated fatty acids against 23,6mg of unsaturated fatty acids.
We get a 0,78 ratio: 1 which is a bit top even to the report shown by meat (and being saturated fatty acids is not good news!).
In fact, we see how this relationship varies in the major foods: the ratio of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids in cheeses it is about 2: 1, it goes down to 0,7: 1 in meat, and it is around 0,1-0,3: 1 in fish and vegetable oils.
Furthermore, the saturated fatty acids found in Klamath algae are thepalmitic acid andmyristic acid. Two saturated fatty acids that compete for the primacy of greater atherogenic strength, ie greater ability to raise cholesterol.
In fact, we read this excerpt from a university text used in nutrition science courses * ... which says about saturated fatty acids: "However, it was subsequently seen that not all saturated fatty acids behave in the same way as regards their capacity to raise cholesterol: the most atherogenic were palmitic (C16: 0), myristic (C 14: 0) and lauritic (C 12: 0)".
But be careful, not all algae are dubious sources of omega-3.
Also available on the market are omega-3 (EPA and DHA) from purified algae and without saturated fatty acids. So only the good part of algae fats.
In fact, one of these products is specifically indicated for vegans: Dr. Rath Omega 3 VeganTM.
It should be noted that a couple of capsules of this contains only about 1 / 10 of EPA (175mg) compared to what would provide a teaspoon of omega 3 from fish (1600mg).
Aware of this, do your calculations against the your needs nutritional and healthy and make your choice ...
So all these data guide us towards choosing a Omega 3 (EPA and DHA) from fish rather than vegetable alternatives, which are normally the most desirable, but even here it emerges that everything is relative and not always as simple as one might think 😉.
So if you choose to use fish oil, do so only if it is completely safe and properly concentrated in its functional principles (EPA and DHA).
You can get this from a branded product 5 IFOS stars, which represents a certification of quality (purity, concentration, etc.) for fish oil. Safe choices in this sense appear the Omega 3RX from Enerzona or the Omegor.
If you skip this step you risk becoming slowly intoxicated with heavy metals that contaminate the seas, therefore the fish… But if you choose a 5 star IFOS product then you will know that even these unwanted residues will be virtually absent.
even the Krill (made up of various species of crustaceans) is a good resource of omega-3 fatty acids, but in this case it is necessary to make sure that the concentration of EPA and DHA contained are close to those of a corresponding good omega-3 based product from fish (example: Enerzona Omega3 RX is an excellent measurement comparison).
If in doubt it is best to opt for fish type oil Enerzona Omega3 RX or Omegor.
Benefits of Omega-3 (especially from fish)
- Heart health and arteries
- Brain function and health (memory and learning)
- Generalized anti-inflammatory effect (against silent inflammation)
- Weight loss (improve the parameter of insulin resistance)
Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful health allies (and they must necessarily be acquired through food because our body is not able to produce them by itself).
But to have the beneficial effects that I have listed for you in 4 points above you have to choose a fish oil supplement appropriately concentrated in EPA and DHA (at least like the Enerzona RX) e certified for the absence of chemical residues (via molecular distillation).
When these requirements are met then the Omega-3 does its job at the maximum efficiency and without side effects.
So, after reviewing these data reported in the article, the answer to the question "Omega-3: better from fish or vegetables?”Seems to take us to the ancestral sardine source of omega-3 EPA and DHA that we could not find from alternative plant sources.
NoteIt is not strictly necessary for everyone to use Omega-3s every day. Deciding to use them is both a personal choice and a possible health-related necessity.
If the analyzes (triglycerides, cholesterol, clean arteries) are good enough and are not present cardiovascular risk factors familiar, then you can also decide to give up on taking Omega-3s from fish, from plant sources (even products like Dr. Rath's above) and perhaps focus on antioxidant sources and nutrition in general.
The same applies to i vegetarian and vegan. What I wanted to discover and introduce you in this article is what was the best omega-3 for human health.
If for any reason you don't want to use fish as a source of omega-3, you can try to increase variety and quantity of vegetable sources of Omega-3 to make up for the best.
If you fall back into one of these cases, you shouldn't feel deprived of an absolutely necessary thing, omega-3 (especially that from fish) is useful but not always necessary. As usual, reality is complex and everything is relative : )
See you soon,
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"Food and human nutrition" by Aldo Mariani Costantini, Carlo Cannella, Gianni Tomassi - ed. The Scientific Thought Publisher