Omega 3 and Omega 6

Omega-3 and omega-6 are part of the fatty acids (healthy fats) that our body uses for various tasks.

What are fatty acids?

These are the main components of fats, which can be divided into two groups: not essential fatty acids that the human body can produce independently and essential (essential) fatty acids that the body receives from the food or in the form of food supplements. Essential fatty acids are a bit like vitamins because we get them from external sources. However, fatty acids must be taken in much larger quantities than vitamins.

Types of Omega Fatty Acids

Fatty acids are also divided into saturated and unsaturated acids. The term “saturated” fatty acids mean the absence of a double bond in the acid chain. These include palmitic and stearic acids. Their increased consumption causes obesity and an increase in cholesterol, which leads to cardiovascular disease.

Unsaturated fatty acids contain a double carbon bond. It is either monounsaturated (oleic acid) or fatty acids with double carbon bonds. The separation of these acids into omega-3-6-9 depends on the location of the first double carbon bond in the chain, which is located in the third, sixth, or ninth carbon atom. Different acid structures have different effects on human health. Each of the omegala has its advantages and comes from different sources.

How are omega fatty acids formed?

The most important for the human body are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 refers to alpha-linolenic acid ALA, eicosapentaenoic EPA, and docosahexaenoic DHA. Omega-6 fatty acids include linoleic acid LA, arachidonic AA, and γ-linolenic GLA.

The human body is capable of producing only omega-9 fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 enter the body with food or as supplements. The body is not able to synthesize LA and ALA acids, but it can form EPA, DHA, and AA. Each acid is taken from different food sources, but we can get a sufficient level of omega-3 fatty acids only through a combination of all of them.

Differences between Omega-3 Omega-6 and Omega-9

As we have already mentioned, from a chemical point of view, the difference between these acids is in the composition of the molecule and in the order of the double carbon bond, which is located on the 3rd, 6th, or 9th positions in the chain. Other differences:

The formation of omega fatty acids in the body

The difference is also in their synthesis. While the body can produce omega-9 on its own, omega-3 and omega-6 should be taken with the diet or as dietary supplements.

Other sources of omega-3-6-9

The main source of omega-9 is olive oil. Other sources include rapeseed, liver, coconut, soybean, and almond oil. Omega-9 is found in the diet most often, providing a balanced diet.

Experts believe that the ideal ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids should be in a 4: 1 ratio. Omega-6 acids were found in corn, sunflower and grape seedlings, pumpkin and flax seeds, soy, and peanuts. And also in vegetable oils, walnuts, and pine nuts.

The largest source of omega-3s is fish meat (mainly marine) such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, or sardines. Freshwater fish include trout, carp, eel, peled, grayling, and catfish. Other sources include walnuts, flax and chia seeds, as well as vegetable oils – flaxseed, soybean, and canola oil.

Manufacturers are currently adding omega-3s to so-called fortified foods. They include several brands of yogurt, juice, milk, soy drinks, and baby food. In the case of plant sources of omega-3s, it is important to note that they contain only ALA acids. EPA and DHA can be supplemented with fish or nutritional supplements.

Various effects of omega fatty acids

Certain omega acids also have a positive effect on health. Omega-9 helps to reduce the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and also has an anti-inflammatory effect. Omega-6 helps in the prevention of breast cancer and helps to reduce excess weight. At the same time, omega-9 is an excellent prevention of diabetes.

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