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Published on : 07/04/2021

Omega 3 - The Complete Guide

In short

Omega 3 are essential fatty acids for the proper functioning of the body. They play a major role in protecting the heart, brain development and vision.

It is possible to obtain omega 3 with food. For optimal intakes, a cure of omega 3 can prove beneficial.

Traceability, fatty acid concentration, TOTOX index... for a quality supplement, it is essential to monitor a number of key criteria.

The recommended dose is at least 250 mg of EPA and 250 mg of DHA per day.

Omega 3 is essential for the functioning of the body. However, as the body does not know how to produce them, they must be provided by the diet or through food supplements.

Zoom on this essential super fatty acid.

Presentation of omega 3

Omega 3s are part of the family of polyunsaturated fatty acids which includes:

- alpha-linolenic acid (ALA),
- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA),
- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

The main sources of omega 3

Omega 3 is found in food. Foods rich in omega 3 are of different kinds:

Sources of ALA

ALA is mainly present in plants. The best sources of ALA are vegetable oils (such as linseed oil, walnut oil or perilla oil) but also nuts as well as chia seeds or linseeds.

Green vegetables, especially leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce or cabbage, are also excellent sources of ALA.

Sources of EPA and DHA

EPA and DHA are present in foods of marine origin, including fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, cod liver, sardines, anchovies, etc.). It should be noted that omega 3s of animal origin are better assimilated by the body than omega 3s of plant origin. It is nevertheless advisable to vary these two forms of omega 3!

The benefits of omega 3

They are legion! Omega 3s are essential for the proper development and functioning of the entire body and are needed at all ages. Omega 3s contribute to:

- normal heart function,
- regulating blood pressure,
- improving blood circulation,
- good brain development (during pregnancy and infancy),
- maintaining normal vision,
- reducing inflammation.

Recent studies indicate that omega 3s may also help prevent certain mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety or Alzheimer's disease.

It should be noted that the benefits on cardiovascular health are mainly due to EPA and DHA type omega 3s found in fish oils.

Omega 3: recommended dosages

The recommended daily intakes are as follows:

- ALA: 2.5 g for a man and 2 g for a woman
- EPA: 250 mg
- DHA: 250 mg

Beware of omega 3 deficiencies!

Unfortunately, the diet is often insufficient to cover all the recommended omega 3 intake.

It is estimated today that only one third of the French population complies with the weekly omega 3 recommendations.

When they are lacking in your plate, the deficiency in omega 3 can have repercussions on your whole body.

- Cardiovascular risks.
- Obesity: ALA blocks the multiplication of fat cells.
- Vulnerability to depression and cerebral decline (loss of memory, difficulties of concentration).
- Eye fragility: as DHA is one of the main components of retinal cells, its deficiency can lead to AMD (age-related macular degeneration). In addition, a good intake of EPA can help in the treatment of dry eyes and glaucoma (anti-inflammatory action).

What should the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 be?

It is essential for our body to obtain omega 6 and omega 3 in the right proportions. In order for this omega 6 / omega 3 ratio to be balanced, we must consume a maximum of 5 times more omega 6 than omega 3.

However, it is estimated that the current trend in Western countries such as France is 20 to 1. Such an imbalance can notably promote obesity as well as cardiovascular and inflammatory disorders.

Modern diets favour the consumption of omega 6 to the detriment of omega 3. Foods rich in omega 3 are much less represented in our diet than those concentrated in omega 6.

To restore the balance between omega 6 and omega 3, it is recommended to increase one's intake of omega 3 (omega 3-rich foods, dietary supplements) on the one hand and to limit one's consumption of unbalancing foods that are too rich in omega 6 (sunflower oil for example) on the other hand.

How to choose your omega 3 ?

To ensure your omega 3 intake, two (complementary) options are available to you.

The first is to eat food rich in omega 3, and therefore primarily fatty fish. But to get enough, you need to eat at least four times a week, which is not always easy.

Beware of farmed salmon, which is highly polluted. Even wild fish such as herring and sardines are contaminated with alarming quantities of PCBs. So opt for fish from organic farms.

If you find it difficult to obtain the recommended level from your diet alone, the second option is to opt for a course of fish oil-based food supplements. A course of omega 3 supplements can be taken by anyone from the age of 1 year.

Discover below the criteria for choosing your supplement.

Types of fish used

Choose omega 3 from small wild fish (mackerel, sardines and anchovies) because they contain very few pollutants, unlike larger fish.

The fishing area

Check that the product has a label certifying that the fish comes from a sustainable fishing area. Examples: Friend of the Sea or MSC.

The extraction method

Opt for omega 3 extracted at low temperature, a process that best preserves the structure of the fish oil.

EPA/DHA content

The concentration of EPA and DHA fatty acids is an important criterion. For optimal intake, we advise you to choose a balanced oil, ideally with 40% EPA and 30% DHA.

Ethyl ester or triglycerides?

Omega 3 exist in two forms: ethyl ester or triglycerides (natural form). Triglycerides are to be preferred because certain studies show that they are better assimilated by the body.

Resistance to oxidation

One index must be particularly monitored, it is the TOTOX. This index measures the degree of oxidation of omega 3. The higher the TOTOX, the more likely the oil is to be rancid (and therefore to contain less omega 3 than indicated).

The threshold set by the GOED (group of omega 3 producers) is 26. For optimal quality, we nevertheless advise you to choose an oil with a TOTOX of less than 10.

How to use our omega 3

Dosage

To maintain your health, take 4 capsules of our omega 3 per day with a glass of water. This is equivalent to 1600 mg of omega 3, including 800 mg of EPA and 600 mg of DHA.

It is preferable to take the capsules during a meal, in order to spread your consumption of omega 3 throughout the day.

Supply

To maintain a constant supply of omega 3, we advise you to take this supplement as a permanent cure.

Contraindications

Allergic to fish or shellfish? Be careful if you use supplements of marine origin. Before consuming them, ask your doctor for advice.

Overdose

The risk is very limited. This would require consuming an inordinate amount of fish in addition to your supplementation. Overconsumption can lead to inflammation of the colon or a disturbance of the immune system.

We recommend

Omega 3 Epax®

Ultra pure fish oil concentrated in omega 3 essential fatty acids (90% triglycerides). 800 mg EPA and 600 mg DHA per dose.

Epax® Fish Oil

800 mg EPA + 600 mg DHA

Heart, brain & vision

1 month supply

See the product

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