Omega-3 Benefits Secrets You Wish You Knew One Year Ago
In this page, you’ll find out valuable Omega-3 benefits secrets you wish you knew a year, or even a few years ago, in order to put more “health savings” into your “personal body account”, or into the one of your loved ones…
Omega-3 Benefits Depend Mostly on the Metabolic Conversion
Understanding how the body metabolizes omega-3 fatty acids is a great bodily secret to understand in order to think and make the most informed choices when it comes to selecting the best sources of essential fatty acids and conserving the omega-3 benefits YOU NEED for better health.
You will find useful to be aware that:
- Theoretically the body converts the long chain omega-3 Alpha-Linoleic Acid (ALA) first into EPA; then into EPA, and finally into DHA.
- Good sources of ALA come mainly from vegetal sources and include flax and pumpkin seeds, nuts, soy products, and dark greens.
- Good sources of direct EPA and DHA are in fish, fish oils, seal oil, certain eggs, and mother’s milk, or by taking supplements.
- However, multiple factors can interfere with the ALA to EPA to DHA conversion.
The most important one is an excess of Omega-6 fatty acids in the bloodstream competing for the same enzymes as Omega-3s for a similar type of metabolism.
This explains why too many Omega-6 fats in the diet, mainly coming from vegetable oils, prevent the metabolism of ALA to DHA.
Other problems, all prevalent in our societies, such as a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals, aging or disease might inhibit the conversion process as well.
- Therefore, unless the body can’t make tablet to the convert ALA into direct long chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA & DPA.)
Omega-3 Benefits Are Quite Impressive
The Nutrition Recommendations for Canadians announced that “Omega-3 polyunsaturated are essential nutrients for maintaining good health, normal growth and development.”
The United States Department of Health and Nutritional Services, The National Institute of Health, and the Life Sciences Research Offices of the Council for Responsible Nutrition have agreed that the daily intake of Omega-3 fatty acids should increase to 1-3 grams per day.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended that the daily intake of omega-3 should be increased above that consumed today by mature adults.
Beside the fact that all cells and systems of our body can benefit from omega-3 fatty acids, it is important to know that EPA, DHA and DPA are vital to optimal cardiovascular, neurological, visual, immunological functioning, and more!
“The omega-3s, particularly EPA, are often added to the diet to clean the circulatory system of cholesterol and fat deposits. Specifically, these and other omega-3s reduce blood viscosity, lower lipid levels, reduce clotting, lower blood pressure, and help prevent ischemia (the damage to body tissue that results from interruption of blood flow; examples are strokes and heart attacks). Thus, the omega-3 oils not only minimize circulatory disorders but also encourage blood flow to tissues damaged by lack of circulation.
“Healing with Whole foods” by Paul Pitchford.
In fact, most of the western degenerative diseases that have risen exponentially with a deficiency of Omega 3s and an over-consumption of Omega-6s in the food chain may be positively correlated with over fifty diseases and illnesses.
|Acne||Dry Skin||Ligament Injuries|
|Allergies||Dry, unmanageable hair||Menopause|
|Alzheimer’s||Dry eyes||Mental Illness|
|Arthritis||Excessive thirst||Multiple Sclerosis|
|Atherosclerosis||Frequent urination||Patches of pale skin on cheeks|
|Atopy Dermatitis||Frequent infections||Poor wound healing|
|Attention Deficit Disorder||Gallstones||Pregnancy|
|Autism||Hives||Prostate Cancer or Enlarged|
|Autoimmune Disorder||Heart Disease||Psoriasis|
|Brittle Nails||High Blood Pressure||Raynaud’s Disease|
|Cancer||High Blood Cholesterol||Rheumatoid Arthritis|
|Cardiovascular Disorders||Immune Deficiencies||Stroke|
|Cracked heels or fingertips||Irritability, Nervousness||Tumors|
|Dandruff||Kidney Disease||Ulcerative Colitis|
|Depression||Liver Problems||Vision Disorder|
Do you suffer from any of these conditions?
If you wish to reap from all the wonderful Omega-3 benefits can bring you, remember that omega-3 fatty acids cannot be manufactured by the body, and that they need to be brought by food or by health supplements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Greatly Benefit Pregnant Mother and Child
Thankfully, awareness of the crucial importance of Omega-3s benefits in pregnancy for the neurodevelopment of the infant has been brought to the forefront of health care in the recent decade.
Studies have indicated that infants who are breastfed, or fed with an omega-3s enriched formula, benefit from better vision and intellectual faculties.
Did you know that normal pre- and post-natal brain development requires an adequate amount of EPA and DHA as the omega-3 content of the newborn’s brain is multiplied by 3 to 5 times during the last three months of gestation, and that it then increases again by the same amount during the first three months of life?
And because fetuses and babies are unable to metabolize enough Omega-3, it is imperative for pregnant women and nursing mothers, as well as infants and children, to maintain an adequate daily dietary intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.
A panel of experts recommends a minimum intake of 300 mg of omega-3 (EPA or DHA) during the last months of pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
A Danish study suggests that women with a higher omega-3 intake during pregnancy give birth to babies with healthier birth weights, and are less prone to giving birth prematurely.
While breastfed infants are nourished with mother’s milk rich in DHA & DPA, infants fed with standard baby’s formula in North America receive almost no omega-3s.
Breast milk appears to have major payoffs, according to Phyllis A. Balch, CNC and Dr. James F. Balch in Prescription For Nutritional Healing, who write, that breastfed infants have been found to be more intelligent than formula-fed infants and to achieve higher academic levels in adult life.
Baby food companies such as Gerber are talking about adding DHA to their foods (meanwhile, the some baby foods still contain trans-fats!).
In Japan, parents have been giving their kids DHA supplements for years to help them improve their grades.
Again, one reason explaining why modern mothers may be deficient in omega-3s and DHA, and why they run a greater risk of depression after childbirth, is the common excessive consumption of refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils and a lack of metabolized Omage-3 fatty acids level.
Benefit from Omega-3s for a Smarter Brain, Happier Moods and Better Vision
The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are staggering for our brain and vision!
In fact, the human brain is composed of over 60% fat and its primary fat is DHA.
Therefore DHA a major structural component for brain functions.
A normal brain contains more than 20 grams of DHA.
Aside from its concentration in the brain, DHA is also found in the retina of the eye and in sperm.
So, good vision in newborns and in adults is highly dependent on an adequate intake of omega-3s and DHA, constituting the retina’s cells. Studies have indeed confirmed that the risk of macular degeneration can be reduced with a sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
For the brain, supplementation of EPA and DHA, direct omega-3 fatty acids, alters its structure, and make neuronal cell membranes more fluid. When brain membranes are flexible and fluid, the conduction of exchange between neurons becomes optimal.
An important food for thought is that at every stage of life, from fetus to old age, DHA is crucial for brain development and mental function.
Science And the Connection of Omega-3 Benefits with Our Brain
Clinical research on the effects of n-3 LC-PUFAs in an array of health conditions – from type 2 diabetes, psychiatric and behavioral disorders, immune and inflammatory conditions, and certain cancers – is showing the importance of polyunsaturated fatty acids throughout life.
Dopamine and serotonin, which are receptors and neurotransmitters in the brain, are composed of DHA.Scientists have also identified a general relation between low levels of DHA and reduced visual, learning and behavioral functions.
They control our positive energy and emotional balance.
When a deficiency of omega-3s and DHA occurs, the body may use trans-fatty acid molecules instead, whose structure is straight while DHA is curved.
Thus, neurotransmitters become deformed and their functions impaired.
A daily accumulation of such substitution can lead to depression, difficulty in concentrating, or to other related mental problems.
As a matter of fact, there is ample evidence showing that a deficiency of DHA is associated with migraine headaches, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and dementia, and that an increased intake of DHA may benefit patients with dyslexia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Indeed, studies have indicated adults are twice as likely to develop dementia as those with high levels of DHA. And a 1997 study demonstrated that low DHA blood levels are an important risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
The memory Solution by Dr Julian Whitaker. Via: Brain health dramatically improved by intake of omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils
In children with attention deficit disorder, studies have found that they are not able to convert the precursor ALA omega-3 fatty acids to the longer chain DHA. Yet, their brains are still developing and therefore require optimum DHA amount to learn and focus in school.
The capacity of learning requires the brain to form new neural pathways; if a DHA deficiency is present, the brain will struggle to find what it needs and will compromise by utilizing other type of fatty acids with a wrong structural shape, forming defective and slower new neural pathways
This in turn may possibly lead to difficulty in learning and memorizing, as well as behavior problems. Studies seem to confirm that children suffering from attention deficit disorders and difficulties with assimilating information, such as dyslexia, have a lower level of omega-3s than other fatty acids.
On the other hand, a recent study, conducted in the Netherlands and published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, for 16 weeks in 40 boys with and without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, has found that an extra daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids reduced symptoms of inattention, as well as a welter of neuropsychological benefits to Omega-3 supplementation. They received an average of 650 mg per day of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and 650 mg of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Many other authors, studies have shown the dramatic health benefits omega-3 can have on our brain.
For example, Dr. Andrew Stoll, working at McLean’s Hospital, a part of Harvard University Medical School, has done a number of studies using omega-3 fatty acids in depression and bi-polar disorder. He found that “‘omega-3 fatty acids may inhibit neuronal signal transduction pathways in a manner similar to that of lithium …”
Another study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, has indicated that EPA and DHA can act as mood stabilizers and help to ease mood swings of people suffering from manic depression or bi-polar disorder.
Studies conducted in Finland and the Netherlands have also indicated that the richer is the diet in omega-3s, the less people suffers from depression, and that the more depressed people are, the less DHA they have.
Incidentally, pregnant women experience a major loss in DHA as the fetus is absorbing their DHA. Therefore, postpartum depression is quite common after child birth.
Also, the depression that occurs after alcohol consumption can be related to the fact that alcohol temporarily raises PGE1 but also depletes DHA stores extremely rapidly. Researchers at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism believe that the increasing rates of depression seen in North America over the last 100 years are due to a significant shift in the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. The researchers speculate that the depressions which often accompany alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, and childbirth are all due to a deficiency of DHA and can be corrected by increasing the dietary intake of DHA.
In addition to depression, stress was shown to be related to a deficiency in omega-3s. Studies have confirmed that stress factors can consume a substantial amount of DHA. This suggests that the resulting DHA deficit may exacerbate the stress and cause further mental problems.
Even our ancestors knew that: an ancient remedy for depression consisted of feeding the patient animal brains, now known to be extremely high in DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids. Fortunately today, we have a multitude of other choices in foods and in health supplements available to bring us the right type of omega-3 benefits in order to smarten up our brain, slowdown aging, keep us in a better mood, with a better vision, and even more!