What Are Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids?
Omega 3’s are found in all animals, including seafood. They are named ‘essential’ because the body cannot manufacture them and they are necessary for good health – this means they must be provided through diet or supplementation.
There are 3 commercial sources of Omega 3’s:
- Fish oil
- Plant (flax seed, etc)
- Krill oil
Fish oil is the most popular source of Omega 3, and plant sources are generally chosen by vegetarians or vegans as well as people who may have concerns about the toxicity of other sources.
It is worth noting that Omega 3’s in the form that your body requires (EPA/DHA) is only found in animals, including seafood – not in plant sources. Plant sources provide Omega 3 in the form of ALA, which has to be converted into EPA/DHA by the body. While this can be done, it requires energy and nutrients, so is not ideal.
By the way, if you only want to consider plant sources of Omega 3 for your own reasons, I’d suggest you take a look at sacha inchi oil which seems to be a better option than flax seed oil due to the lingans that that contains and which can interfere with hormone balance.
Krill oil is a recent addition to the options of Omega 3 sources. Krill is a small, shrimp-like crustacean that feeds on phytoplankton before being eaten by whales, fish, penguins and even squid. Krill oil marketers claim that it is a superior product because the fatty acid is attached to a phospholipid, while fish oil fatty acids are attached to a triglyceride – this is supposedly a benefit because it means that the fatty acid can reach the intestines more rapidly.
However, Omega 3 products are required to support a wide range of body systems over a sustained period, and so at this time there is no evidence to validate that the speed of entry makes any difference to the health benefits already documented as being achieved through supplementing a fish oil supplement.
The majority of research demonstrating a long list of health benefits is based on EPA/DHA Omega 3’s obtained from fish oil supplements in the triglyceride form, and so this is my recommended source of Omega 3. You can order my recommended and personally used Omega 3 supplement at a great discount – and with a 100% money back guarantee – here.