Omega 3 is Essential to Your Health



The Omega 3 EPA and DHA variants

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

Omega 3 supplements come from essential fatty acids that convert to EPA and DHA. Animal-based sources are found mainly in cold-water fish that feed off algae. These unicellular organisms contain anti-freeze chemicals that prevent the icy water and their inhabitants from freezing solid. They are highly unsaturated (polyunsaturated) fats with five and six double bonds on long structural chains that are very important for our heart health. DHA is more active as an anti-inflammatory chemical. It raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol to a protective level, while keeping blood fats low. Human breast milk has 4 times more DHA than EPA. Fish oil has higher amounts of EPA than DHA. Eating four grams of oily fish like salmon or taking four grams of fish oil gives you 2.04 grams of EPA but only 1.4 grams of DHA. Fish oil does not penetrate into cells and tissues as well as krill oil. Krill oil is clinically proven to deliver 46.4% more omega-3 absorption than fish oil.Argentinian squid oil has the same DHA to EPA ratio as mother’s breast milk and with a similar quantity:

  • Fish oil increases omega 3 levels by 131.8%
  • Krill oil increases omega 3 levels by 178.4%

 This means that krill oil is twice as effective as fish oil in maintaining healthy cholesterol and triglycerides. In fish oil, DHA is bound to triglycerides or ethyl esters (types of fat),but many of the benefits are lost when those fats are burned as energy. In contrast, the DHA found in krill oil is bound to phospholipids that are much simpler to digest than the triglyceride or ethyl ester forms found in fish oil. Good vegan sources of Omega 3 Marine algae from the icy Northern waters are the best sources for vegans. Spirulina is an algae that provides 58 milligrams of omega 3 and 88 milligrams of omega 6 per tablespoon. By weight, the chia seed contains about 32% omega fatty acids (very high and rare for a seed). Sixty-one percent of this is omega 3 and 20 percent omega 6. Hempseed oil contains the ideal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids and flaxseed has more omega 3. Most vegetable oils contain higher amounts of omega 6. Taking olive oil increases omega 3 levels, but it is misleading because it raises the omega 6 levels by ten times that amount. Oxidized fatty acids are dangerous. A study found that after a meal (postprandial) plasmaendotoxin concentrations increase between 18% – 50%. Toxic oxylipins are formed when polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as free DHA and EPA become oxidized. Other more recent studies suggest that a number of key inflammatory indicators are increased after a high-fat meal, including immune responses that excite leukocyte activation, increased neutrophil counts and endothelial cell activation.

 Cardiovascular as well as mental health disorders are associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and the elevation of inflammatory cytokines. An experimental group of people experienced notable mood disturbances and fatigue soon after they were exposed to high levels of oxidized fatty acids in the form of lipo-polysaccharide endotoxins (LPS). Some had nausea, muscle aches, or bouts of feverishness as a result of the increased inflammation. We need a constant supply of antioxidants such as Vitamin C and especially the oil-based vitamins like Vitamin A and E. We are more vulnerable to LPS endotoxins to the extent we:

  •  Lack a daily intake of dietary antioxidants
  • Have permeable gut membranes (leaky gut)
  • Suffer from gallbladder problems (lack of bile)
  • Eat too much fat at one sitting
  • Are not well suited to a high fat diet

New eating trends that improve the balance of dietary fats can improve cardiovascular health for a number of people – but not everybody. This is because nobody is exempt from the toxic effects of oxidized fats, especially in the case of a leaky gut. Endotoxins that escape through the damaged gut wall and into the bloodstream can have a lethal effect, regardless of how many carbohydrates you eat. Oxidized fatty acid toxins (LPS endotoxins) disrupt the normal functioning of LDL cholesterol and as we know, this ends up as arterial plaque accumulation. The LPS endotoxin has also been shown to increase nitrous oxide production within the myocytes (heart cells).

This limits the ability of cardiac muscles to contract. (Blood vessels use nitric oxide to stay relaxed and open but this is not the case with heart cells that have to contract). Studies have also indicated that toxic LPS can increase and trap lipid peroxide in heart cells leading to free radical damage (oxidative stress). They found that endotoxins inhibit cell repair because they break down matrix metalloproteinase – a substance needed to repair the heart tissues. Endotoxins are usually confined to the gut in healthy adults, but if the mucosal integrity is compromised, it can enter the bloodstream and may damage the heart. LPS endotoxins can leak out from the gut and into the circulatory system in response to a high fat intake; they travel through the “leaky gut” or are absorbed by red blood cells. It is important to attend to leaky gut problems.

Omega 3 oils are essential to the diet and most people do not eat and / or take enough supplements. Do you have enough Omega 3 in your diet?

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