Omega-3 is short for omega-3 fatty acid.
This is a family of eleven polyunsaturated essential fatty acids needed for optimal performance of the human body. They make and repair the body’s cells and organs and each system of the body depends on them.
The Omega-3s are good fats needed more than ever to ensure your quality of life as they support all of the body’s functions.
Our bodies cannot produce them on our own and our diet does not provide adequate amounts. Therefore, in order to get what the body needs, supplementation has become a necessity.
The major Omega-3s are:
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
DHA and EPA are long chain Omega-3 fatty acids that are obtained mainly from marine algae, fish and krill.
ALA is a short chain Omega-3 fatty acid and is the most common in the diet. Mostly found in plants, it does not provide the same benefits as DHA and EPA. It also is less effective as it needs to be converted into DHA and EPA by the body for it to be utilised. The conversion rate is very poor – typically less than 2%.
Short and long chain fatty acids function differently in the body.
Short chain fatty acids like ALA are a source of energy, while the long chain fatty acids DHA and EPA are structural elements that actually make up our cells.
The most important Omega-3 is DHA.