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Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid

Omega-3 Overview

Omega-3, sometimes denoted as n-3 or w-3, essential fatty acid is the name given to a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids. At the top of list for these fatty acids is one known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Like a vitamin, these polyunsaturated fats are described as as essential due to the way they are obtained through one's diet. Polyunsaturated fatts and fatty acids have 18 carbon atoms and 3 double bonds (18:3).

From a nutritional standpoint, omega-3 essential fatty acid is considered exceptionally valuable. When omega-3 fatty acid breaks down in the body it translates to the beneficial long-chain fatty acids known as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. These fatty acids on their own are in theory able to be processed by the human body, however, it is an inefficient process. As a result scientists have concluded that EPA and DHA should be obtained from diet. Supplements like oil-rich fish, fish oil, cod lover oil, are the richest sources. There are other sources as well like krill and fortified everyday foods that are also in production.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids play an important role as structural membrane lipids, particularly in nerve tissue and the retina and are precursors to eicosanoids - highly reactive substances such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes that act locally to influence a wide range of functions in cells and tissues.

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid
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