Health Glossary - For Everyone

Omega 3 fatty acids
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What are omega 3 fatty acids?

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids which have a double carbon bond in the omega 3 position of their chain.

The most important omega 3 fatty acids are:

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the most important omega 3 fatty acid as the body cannot produce it. It can however, produce the other omega 3 essential fatty acids from ALA if it needs to, although getting them from the diet is a good idea.

Foods highest in the omega 3 fatty acids are:

The fish that are caught from the wild (or deep ocean) generally have more of this beneficial essential fatty acid than those that are farmed.


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Important omega 3 fatty acids facts

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Why omega 3 fatty acids are important

Levels of omega 3 fatty acids are recommended to be boosted, as not enough of them are consumed by Western society as a whole. The Heart associations of various countries recommend eating fish a few times a week to boost omega 3 essential fatty acid intake.

In addition to this, the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 should be in ratio of around 3:2. The typical Western diet has a ratio of about 10:1 up to about 30:1, which could be a reason why there are a lot of people with inflammatory disorders in the West. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce the incidence of inflammation, while omega 6 fatty acids increase it.

Omega 3 fatty acids have the following health benefits:


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Last reviewed: 30 September 2007 || Last updated: 14 March 2010


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More information

To learn more, go to the following web sites:


NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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