February 23, 2022

What Are Omega Fatty Acids?

Written By

Lifeforce

You’ve probably heard of omega fatty acids by now, but what are they exactly, and how can they benefit your health? Learn more here with Lifeforce.

Omega fatty acids are tremendously valuable essential fatty acids that can help support long-term health. “Essential” doesn’t just mean that they are super good for you, either — essential fats mean that they are fats that your body cannot produce on its own. 

On a cellular level, omega fatty acids work hard to support our bodies, and we need to consume them through our diet or supplements. 

Omega fatty acids, like omega-3s and omega-6s, may provide a wide range of health benefits that span beyond nutrition alone. On the most basic level, omega fatty acids work to regulate blood clotting, maintain proper contractions and relaxations of artery walls, and keep swelling in the body to a minimum. Beyond this, omegas may have benefits regarding heart health, cognitive function and mood regulation, and infant health. 

Here’s all you need to know about omegas so you can understand why these nutrients are a vital part of a healthy diet

A Closer Look at Omega Fatty Acids

So what’s going on with these essential fats at a molecular level? They are long chains of polyunsaturated fats coming in different varieties. The two primary types of omega-3s are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is another omega fatty acid commonly found in plant sources, though DHA and EPA are most prominent. 

Omega-3s cover a broad range of health benefits. They may have various benefits for maintaining our overall well-being, from demonstrable effects in regulating mood and supporting brain health to soothing effects on swelling in the body. 

Let’s dive into some of the potential health benefits of omega fatty acid intake so you can learn more about how to make this nutrient work for you. 

May Help Support Heart Health

Many studies point to the supportive effects of omega fatty acids on heart health— so much so that the American Heart Association recommends one to two seafood meals weekly as a means of reducing the possibility of cardiovascular issues like certain cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks.

Studies show that omega 3s can also help reduce triglyceride levels in our blood. Triglycerides are fats that can clog our blood vessels and hearts when levels are too high. Reducing triglycerides is a crucial component of heart health and the prevention of cardiovascular disease as it keeps our blood unsaturated with these fats that raise our cholesterol levels.

Cardiovascular diseases are among the most prominent causes of death globally, especially as we get older. According to dietary guidelines, including omega fatty acids in your diet can help maintain your heart health and support healthy blood pressure.

Mental Health Benefits

The low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in people with certain mental health symptoms have led researchers to study the relationship between essential fat and mood disorders.

Research shows that deficits in omega-3 fatty acids may contribute to issues with mood and mental health, which suggests that omega-3 supplementation may help regulate mood.

Omega fatty acids aren’t a silver bullet for mental health conditions; however, in scenarios where sufferers have low omega-3 levels, supplemental essential fats may help lead to signs of improvement.

Eye Health Benefits

Age-related issues with eye health can include vision loss experienced by folks in later stages of life. Declines in eye health and vision are both a natural part of growing older. However, people with higher levels of omega acids may have a lower risk of issues with eye health, another testament to the long-term benefits of an omega 3-rich diet.

One study looked at the impact of omega fatty acids on the pressure in the eye. Researchers found that people taking omega supplementation for three months lowered their risk of issues with eye health compared to those who did not use omega fatty acids supplementation.

May Support Healthy Aging

An influx of omega fatty acids cannot reverse existing age-related complications. Still, research indicates that a consistent, omega 3-rich diet throughout a person’s life may reduce the risk of experiencing health complications caused by aging, such as morning stiffness. This may be thanks to the fact that omega fatty acids support our health overall, allowing us to age more gracefully with fewer side effects.

May Help Support Infant Health and Neurodevelopment

Omega fatty acids don’t just assist with your vitality, but the vitality and development of your children as well. Incorporating omega fatty acids into your diet during pregnancy can support your baby’s gestational development. Increased consumption of omega fatty acids when expecting can also help a mother maintain her well-being and health throughout the pregnancy.

Sources of Omega Fatty Acids

Finding sources for these fats like omega-3s and incorporating them into your diet can be a great way to ensure your overall wellness. So how can you make sure you are consuming enough sources of omega fatty acids or that you are overall maintaining adequate levels?

The primary source of omega-3s is fatty, oily fish. Think salmon, sardines, king mackerel, cod liver oil, swordfish, or even canned tuna. Just watch your levels of mercury during fish consumption, and choose fish with lower mercury levels to play it safe. As little as t a couple of servings of fish per week is generally enough to help you maintain adequate levels of omega fatty acids, so don’t overdo it. 

If you have dietary restrictions or choose not to eat fish, there are other food sources you can turn to in order to make sure you are getting enough omegas. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil, walnuts, chia seeds, soybean oil, and canola oil are rich sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Between the fish, nuts, and supplement forms of omega-3s, which can be found in most drug stores or through Lifeforce’s clinician-grade nutraceuticals, you can seamlessly transition into a diet that incorporates these essential fats. 

Our supplement Lifeforce Omega is a phenomenal way to get your recommended dosage of omega 3s with added benefits. Our supplement features 3.5 times more bioavailability than competing brands. That means that in one of our supplements, you’re getting not only omega-3s, but omega-6s and oils from borage seeds and Ahiflower, also known for their nutritional benefits.

Are Omega-3s Right for You?

Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t an end-all supplement. If you are looking to live a healthy lifestyle, you should include omega-3s in your diet if you don’t already. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in food sources like nuts and seeds and fatty fish like tuna and salmon, making it easy for you to get more of this key nutrient. However, this can become difficult for those with allergies or other dietary restrictions, in which case a supplement may be necessary.

Implementing a healthy amount of omega fatty acids can help optimize your health and performance. Head to MyLifeforce.com to learn more about our clinician-grade supplements, and get you the support you need to start living at your peak. 

Sources:

Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids | American Heart Association

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Heart Health | AHA Journals

Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Mood Disorders | Psychiatry Online

Oral Omega-3 Supplementation Lowers Intraocular Pressure in Normotensive Adults | TVST | ARVO Journals

Omega 3 fatty acids in the elderly | PubMed

Omega 3 Fatty Acids | Cleveland Clinic

Omega-3 Fatty Acids | NIH