Everything you need to know about Omega-3 - Super Synbiotics

Everything you need to know about Omega-3

What is Omega-3?

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, which means that it is absolutely necessary for our body to function normally. Our body also cannot produce the omega-3 fatty acids itself, but we need to make sure that we get these fats through the diet, or via dietary supplements.

Omega-3 not the only essential fatty acid

The essential fatty acids are divided into several groups, where two of these groups are linoleic acid and linolenic acid. The linoleic acid family includes the fatty acid Omega-6 which represents inflammation. In the linolenic acid family, on the other hand, there are omega-3s that stand for resistance to inflammation. Together, these fatty acids help regulate inflammation levels in the body.

To keep inflammation in check, it is therefore important that there is a balance between these fatty acids. In a normal and healthy body, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is somewhere between 1:1 and 4:1. Among those eating a typical Western diet, these levels can sometimes be as high as 15:1. The reason for this is that the Western diet often contains a lot of processed foods that are rich in omega-6, and less of the healthy fat sources that provide omega-3. Omega-6 is found, among other things, in household oils such as rapeseed oil, sunflower oil and corn oil, margarine, as well as in nuts and seeds.

The Omega-3 Family

In the omega-3 family, there are the important substances EPA and DHA, which are particularly important for the regulation of the inflammatory processes. There is also a third type of omega-3 called ALA. ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA, but the process is not very efficient – ​​especially for the conversion to DHA.

EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish, shellfish and in some algae. ALA is found in plant-based fat sources such as walnuts and chia seeds. For people who eat a mostly plant-based diet, it can therefore be difficult to get enough EPA and DHA.

Why is omega-3 so important?

In addition to the fact that an imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 can create inflammation, there are several other reasons for prioritizing the intake of omega-3. EPA and DHA, for example, are important for maintaining cardiovascular health. DHA is also important for both the brain’s normal function – 8 percent of the brain’s weight is made up of DHA – as well as for vision and eye health.

Omega-3 Supplements – Fish Oil or Algae Oil?

For those who do not get enough omega-3 from their diet, a supplement can be a good alternative. There are different types of omega-3 supplements, with fish oil being the most common and well-known. Most often, the supplements come in capsule form or as liquid oil. However, fish oil can be problematic, partly due to environmental reasons but also because it is not suitable for vegetarians and vegans – those who may have the hardest time getting omega-3 from their diet.

In recent years, algae oil has therefore emerged as a plant-based alternative to fish oil. Algae is a direct source of omega-3 and actually the fish’s own source of omega-3. The reason that fatty fish such as wild-caught salmon contain omega-3 fats is because they eat smaller fish that feed on these algae. With an algae oil, you have gone directly to the original source and extract omega-3 from microalgae. The most common microalgae used is called Schizochytrium and is selected for its good ability to produce DHA naturally.



Balić A, Vlašić D, Žužul K, Marinović B, Bukvić Mokos Z. Omega-3 Versus Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Prevention and Treatment of Inflammatory Skin Diseases. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jan 23

Patterson E, Wall R, Fitzgerald GF, Ross RP, Stanton C. Health implications of high dietary omega-6 polyunsaturated Fatty acids. J Nutr Metab. 2012


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