Omega-3 fatty acids and their function.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Why you should cover your needs!
We want to briefly explain what omega-3 fatty acids can do and how
they influence your body.
For this we will answer 4 questions about omega-3 fatty acids. Namely, what they regulate in the body and how they can be supplemented.
What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that our body cannot produce itself and therefore must take in through food.
Omega-3 fatty acids are divided into short-chain and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
The short-chain omega-3 fatty acid is alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA for short, and is found primarily in oils such as linseed oil and hemp oil.
The best-known long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, and are found especially in fatty fish.
Since both omega-3 fatty acids accompany various functions in the body, one should be well supplied with both. More about this in the next paragraph.
What do omega-3 fatty acids do in the body?
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed in the body in very many processes.
Omega-3 fatty acids are involved in the following processes in the body:
- In the joint supply.
- Blood lipid regulation.(2)
- In hormone production.(3)
- Protein synthesis.(4)
- Cell metabolism.(5)
- In the supply of hair and skin cells. (6)
- In the production of defense cells.(7)
Thus, regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids can keep these processes stable and even reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and hypertension (8).
Do I need to eat fish?
Oily fish is a super source of omega-3 fatty acids because it is high in DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These are the components of omega-3 fatty acids, which are not found in walnuts, for example. Recommendations are therefore to consume oily fish three times a week. Since this is rather unrealistic and in walnuts mainly ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) occurs, which only forms the precursor and must first be converted by the body into DHA and EPA, algae oil is a real alternative. This can also be consumed by vegetarians and vegans without any problems. This is because algae oil is naturally rich in DHA and EPA.
What are the benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplements?
There are several studies that have shown positive improvements in sleep (9), eye health (10) and heart health (11).
In summary, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can have many benefits. If the taste of fish does not arouse great enthusiasm, or one does without it due to vegan nutrition, one can ensure the supply e.g. by suitable food addition.
All statements made refer to the study situation at the time of publication and were used as the basis for this article. This article should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment.