A healthy diet should contain two groups of essential fatty acids: omega 3 and omega 6. For the proper functioning of the body we need both, however, in the Western diet there is a tendency for high consumption of omega 6 fatty acids, while the consumption of essential omega 3 fatty acids is usually reduced . Is it necessary to take omega 3 dietary supplements?
Significant amounts of omega 6 are found in seed oils, including sunflower oil and corn oil, as well as in some fatty fish – sardines, salmon, mackerel. Fatty fish also supply two types of omega 3, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The main function of EPA is to support heart and arterial health, while DHA is essential in the construction of cell membrane layers throughout the body, especially in the brain and retina of the eye.
Medical environments recommend taking 450 mg of EPA + DHA per day. However, the consumption of these acids in Western countries is much lower. Additionally, it was found that we eat too much omega 6 and too few omega 3.
A balance is needed for the body to function properly. The same principle applies to the appropriate proportions between the nutrients we eat. The essence of omega 3 is to “suppress” the organism’s response and keep it at an optimal level to prevent overloading. However, too much omega 6 essential fatty acids can cause excessive swelling and tissue damage. It is important to maintain a balance between omega 3 intake and the amount of omega 6 in our diet. It is believed that a healthy and balanced proportion is 50-60% of omega 3 fatty acids.
Essential unsaturated omega 3 fatty acids have a strong anti-inflammatory effect, and therefore have a beneficial effect in a wide range of ailments, including eye diseases, cardiovascular diseases, degenerative brain diseases (Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease).
People who have diabetes need special support for the cardiovascular system. In these cases, the benefits of omega 3 supplementation have been found, which improves insulin action, lowers triglyceride levels in blood and promotes slimming.
Recent research indicates that the brain is also a susceptible organ for inflammation. Complications associated with the brain, including depression, stress and anxiety and ADHD, often result from inflammation and edema, which suggests the potential benefits of taking omega 3 dietary supplements.
A healthy balance of fatty acids can be achieved by minimizing omega 6 intake and increasing omega 3 intake. This can be achieved by supplementing the diet with olive oil, which has reduced omega 6 fatty acids. Increasing the amount of fatty fish or regular use of fish oil supplements is effective methods for providing the right amount of essential omega 3 fatty acids.