Omega - 3 Natural Essential Fatty Acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) found in vegetable and animal kingdom. Alpha Linolenic acid (ALA), the parent fatty acid of Omega-3 family is an essential fatty acid (EFA). It is not synthesized by the body and must be supplemented through diet.
Human body can convert ALA to Eicosa pentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-3 fatty acids are found less in foods. The main sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are flax seed oil and fish oil. Flax seed oil is the world’s richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids, mainly ALA. Omega-3 fatty acids found in certain types of fish like Sardine consist of both EPA and DHA.
Omega-3 in health
EFA’s perform two vital functions in the body. The first is structural as part of the membrane barrier surrounding the cells and organelles. The second involves the communication between cells, known as signaling.
In cardiac health
The benefits of Omega-3 in cardiovascular diseases provide the strongest and most compelling evidence favoring its use. EPA competes with arachidonic acid (AA) leading to decreased production of proinflammatory agents. It decreases production of thromboxane (TxA2) producing potential anti-thrombotic effect. Membrane stabilization in cardiac tissue by EFA confers anti-arrhythmic effects whereas triglyceride lowering effect is caused by reduction and secretion of very low density lipoproteins from liver. They also increase systemic arterial compliance (SAC) and tend to reduce pulse pressure and total vascular resistance.
Mothers and infants
Omega-3 fatty acid use in pregnancy has shown promise in prolonging gestation and the prevention of preterm labor by inhibition of AA. DHA is of utmost importance for normal development of the brain, neural and retinal tissues in fetuses and newborns. DHA supplementation is mandatorily recommended for pregnant and lactating women by WHO for the benefit of next generation with improved IQ and Eye Q.
Essential Fatty Acid supplementation consistently shows modest clinical improvement in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Reduction of tumor necrosis factor, interleukin levels and other pro-inflammatory agents have been hypothesized as the main effect of Omega-3 fatty acids in arthritis.
Flax seed oil is a standardized concentrate of stable omega-3 fatty acid derived from pure flax seed oil. It is an excellent alternative to dietary supplementation of Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are of profound significance as dietary supplement for essential fatty acids generally and particularly to cardiac patients, pregnant and lactating women, infants, arthritic patients etc.