What are Omega-3 fatty acids?
The synthesis of omega-3 fatty acids in mammals is explored, highlighting the conversion of ALA into EPA and DHA and the importance of diet due to the inability of mammals to synthesize ALA. The history of omega-3 fatty acids, dating back to the 1929 work of George and Mildred Burr, is outlined, with a focus on their essential role in maintaining health.
The chemistry of omega-3 fatty acids is explained, detailing their unique structural features and susceptibility to oxidation. The mechanism of action of omega-3s, their designation as essential fatty acids, and their role in eicosanoid metabolism are discussed. The article emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balanced ratio of long-chain omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids for optimal health.
The efficiency of converting ALA to EPA and DHA in humans is explored, noting individual variations and gender-specific differences. Dietary sources of omega-3, including fish, fish oil, krill, eggs, meat, and plant sources, are detailed, with a focus on sustainability and potential concerns.
Different forms of omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil ethyl ester, fish oil triglyceride form, krill oil, cod liver oil, algae oil, and vegetable oils, are explained. Each supplement form is discussed in terms of source, processing method, composition, bioavailability, potential benefits, dosage, purity, quality, and potential side effects. The article concludes by emphasizing the importance of choosing reputable sources and maintaining a balanced and varied diet for overall health.