1. What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fats are a crucial part of human cell membranes. They also have other important functions, including:
- Improving heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids may help manage cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood pressure levels.
- Supporting mental health. Omega-3 supplements may help manage or prevent depression, Parkinson’s disease, and psychosis in those at risk. However, more research is needed.
- Reducing weight and waist size. Omega-3 fats may help people manage their weight and waist circumference but more studies are needed.
- Decreasing liver fat. Initial research suggests that consuming omega-3s may help decrease the amount of fat in your liver.
- Supporting infant brain development. Omega-3s support brain development in a fetus.
- Fighting inflammation. Omega-3 fats may help manage inflammation that occurs with some chronic diseases.
2. What are omega-6 fatty acids?
Like omega-3s, omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, the last double bond is six carbons from the omega end of the fatty acid molecule. Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential, so you need to obtain them from your diet.
Some omega-6 fatty acids have shown benefits in treating symptoms of chronic disease. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an omega-6 fatty acid found in certain oils, such as:
- evening primrose oil
- borage oil
When consumed, much of it is converted to another fatty acid called dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA).
3. What are omega-9 fatty acids?
Omega-9 fatty acids are monounsaturated, meaning they only have one double bond. It’s located nine carbons from the omega end of the fatty acid molecule.
Oleic acid is the most common omega-9 fatty acid and the most common monounsaturated fatty acid in the diet.
Omega-9 fatty acids aren’t strictly “essential,” as the body can produce them. However, consuming foods rich in omega-9 fatty acids instead of other types of fat may have health benefits.
Always consult your health practitioner before taking nutritional supplements, especially if you are taking medication or are under medical supervision. You should not take supplements as a substitute for a varied balanced diet or healthy lifestyle. Store in a cool dry place, out of reach of children. Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.