What Is Omega 3?
The buzz these days is all about omegas and in particular omega 3. Many nutritionists, doctors, naturopaths, dieticians and health practitioners are all breathing a collective sigh of relief that this fatty acid is getting the attention it deserves.
It is because of this buzz and the strong need to supplement our omega 3 levels that you’re likely getting questions from your clients about omega 3 supplementation. We thought we’d put together an article that you could pass on to your clients, vendors and other third-party partners that provides some facts and tips about omega 3 supplementation.
What is omega 3?
Omega 3 is a fatty acid that is vital for a number of our body functions including muscle activity, fertility, digestion, blood clotting, brain development and function, and cell growth. Omega 3 is available in three formats: ALA, DHA, and EPA. Because ALA is an essential fatty acid it must be supplemented – our bodies cannot make ALA omega 3. Our bodies can make DHA and EPA from ALA omega 3, but typically this happens at a very low rate so it is important to support this with the correct foods and supplements.
- Some studies and research support that the use of omega 3 can aid in healing the digestive tract – making it a good supplement for people with Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis.
- Studies have shown that this fat can help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Research has shown that omega 3 has been effective in protecting against heart disease.
How can I get omega 3?
There are a number of ways you can supplement your omega 3 levels – you can do so with your diet and increasing the amount of omega 3-rich foods you eat, you can cook with certain oils that have higher levels of omega 3, and you can include an omega 3 supplement in your daily routine.
Food sources that are recognized to be high in this fatty acid include: fish and seafood, specific vegetable oils, flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds and some soy products. The problem is that the amount of omega 3 available in these foods is limited and for those people that do not consume fish or seafood, it is even harder to get the required daily amount of omega 3.
Most dieticians, nutritionists, naturopaths, doctors and other health practitioners advocate taking an omega 3 supplement. It used to be that these supplements had a lingering fishy taste, but with advances in softgel encapsulation, omega 3 supplements are very easy to swallow and do not leave an aftertaste.
What about vegetarian or vegan options for omega 3?
Due to the innovation in vegetarian softgels, obtaining a vegetarian or vegan omega 3 supplement is no longer a barrier. Because of the nature of these softgels you can be confident that they will dissolve correctly and if you’re traveling to a hot or humid climate, your supplements will remain stable and won’t melt.
To learn more about our omega 3 encapsulation options, visit the Captek website.