A brief explanation of omega-3 fatty acids
There are different types of fatty acids: the so-called saturated fatty acids, the unsaturated fatty acids and the polyunsaturated fatty acids. All these different fatty acids have different functions and effects in our body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are essential fatty acids and therefore indispensable.
What is OMEGA-3?
Omega-3 fatty acids –
natural and irreplaceable
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential, i.e. vital, polyunsaturated fatty acids that the body cannot produce itself, or can produce only to a small extent. As a component of fats, fatty acids are mainly ingested with food in the form of triglycerides.
A triglyceride is a compound of fatty acids:
1 molecule of glycerine and 3 fatty acids.
- Fatty acids are divided into saturated and unsaturated.
- The unsaturated fatty acids are also divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ones.
- There are three types of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the most important of which are:
- omega-3 fatty acids: α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- omega-6 fatty acids: Linoleic acid, arachidonic acid,
- Omega-9 fatty acids: Oleic acid
Where is OMEGA-3 contained?
Omega-3 fatty acids - vitality from the sea
Various omega-3 fatty acids are found in animal and vegetable foods.
The most important Omega-3 fatty acid, EPA and DHA is found mainly in sea fish, mussels and certain algae.
Beyond that there is still α source of linolenic acid present in vegetable food such as linseed oil, rapeseed oil, tree nuts, soybean oil, green leafy vegetables or wheat germ.
α-linolenic acid is the precursor for EPA and DHA, but can only be converted to about 10% of the effective fatty acids EPA and DHA. . It is therefore difficult to meet the recommendations for daily intake of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from vegetable foods.
Adults should therefore take up the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA directly with their food, not only their precursor.
Source: „Fett in unserer Ernährung“, Recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)
Omega-3 fatty acids protect and
and promote health
Omega-3 fatty acids carry out numerous functions in the body that are associated with health benefits. These include cardiovascular health, inflammation and neurocognitive functions. Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in all phases of life. Among other things, they are the basic substance for the production of important tissue hormones (regulation of inflammatory processes and the immune system) and have a beneficial effect on blood lipids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a key component of cell membranes, keeping cells "supple" and influencing other functions in the cell. Particularly high concentrations of DHA are found in the retina of the eye and in the brain. This suggests that DHA is essential for the development of the brain and vision. EPA and DHA contribute to the normal functioning of the heart, immune system and probably other organs as well. In addition, there is evidence that DHA not only contributes to development, but also to the maintenance of normal brain and visual function.
Source: Swiss Nutrition Society (SGE) and „Fett in unserer Ernährung“, recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)