Facts & Health Benefits Of Omega-3 DHA
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are long chains of carbon atoms with a carboxyl group at one end of the chain and a methyl group at the other. They are distinguished from saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids by the presence of two or more double bonds between carbons within the fatty acid chain.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an integral part of the structure of the cell membrane throughout the body, they are especially high in the brain and retina. They have wide functions in the body’s cardiovascular, immune, eye, cognitive function, joint, and muscle function. Omega-3s can benefit health in a number of ways, they function as building blocks of hormones, reduce cholesterol, maintain skin health, regulate inflammation, support brain, and mood issues.
Omega-3s are important nutrients one must consider getting on a daily basis from diet and supplements.
Did you know? Omega-3 fatty acids are called so because their first double bond is placed at the third carbon atom when counting from the methyl end of the fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids are also named “vitamin F” from “fatty acids”.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FOOD SOURCES OF OMEGA-3 DHA?
Omega-3 fatty acids like ALA are found in flaxseed, soybeans, canola oil, chia seeds, walnuts.
The omega-3 EPA and DHA can be found in marine food sources like salmon, tuna, sardines, crustaceans, krill, mackerel. Other important marine sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids include sea life such as autotrophic macroalgae, microalgae.
Some foods like eggs, yogurt, juices, milk, soy beverages are fortified with DHA and other omega-3s.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALA, EPA & DHA?
All three are omega-3 fatty acids with the being ALA is found only in plant sources, whereas EPA and DHA are found in animal foods and algae. The polyunsaturated fatty acids vary structurally in terms of the number of carbon atoms and double bonds. ALA is known as C-18:3n-3 because it is an omega-3 fatty acid that has 18 carbons and 3 double bonds, EPA is known as C-20:5n-3 because this omega-3 fatty acid has 20 carbon atoms with 5 double bonds and DHA is represented as C22:6n-3 because it’s an omega-3 fatty acid which has 22 carbon atoms with 6 double bonds. The best source of omega-3 fatty acid is DHA and EPA. Omega-3 DHA is the solution to bioavailable omega-3s. Our body can utilize them well without any conversion or modification.
WHAT IS THE NEED TO SUPPLEMENT WITH OMEGA-3 DHA?
Omega-3s are classified as essential polyunsaturated fatty acids as our body can’t make them and need to be obtained from food or supplements. The human body can make most of the types of fats it needs but that’s not the case for omega-3 fatty acids. Humans do not possess an enzyme required to synthesize omega-3 fatty acids. Our body can obtain the shorter-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) consisting of 18 carbon and three double bonds and later use them to produce eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which is considered to be a more important fatty acid that consists of 20 carbon and five double bonds. From EPA, they further synthesize docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is considered more crucial and consists of 22 carbons and six double bonds. However, research has found that conversion of DHA from ALA is insignificant, which suggests the importance of dietary intake of DHA.
Consumption of DHA and EPA from foods doesn’t contribute much to total daily omega-3 intakes. Therefore, getting DHA from dietary supplements is the convenient and practical way to increase levels of these omega-3 fatty acids in the body.
ZENITH NUTRITION OMEGA-3 DHA
Zenith Nutrition Omega-3 DHA is a 100% natural, vegan dietary supplement that provides 300mg of omega-3 fatty acid standardized to contain 20% of DHA. The supplement does not contain sugar, preservative, corn, dairy, soy, yeast, or gluten. The vegan supplement sourced from microalgae is suitable for both men and women. The supplement is manufactured in a GMP-certified facility and has gone through strict quality control to validate its purity and potency.
WHAT IS THE ADEQUATE DAILY INTAKE OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS?
The adequate daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids for adults is 1.6g for males and 1.1g for females according to the National Institutes of Health.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY OF OMEGA-3 DHA?
Plasma and tissue concentration of DHA decrease when an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is present. A deficiency of essential fatty acid can cause dry, rough, scaly skin, mood disorders, difficulty learning, elevated LDL cholesterol, inflammation, arthritis, feelings of fatigue, impairment of visual function, neural function, and immune response.
DO OMEGA-3 DHA SUPPLEMENTS INTERACT WITH MEDICATION OR OTHER DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS?
There may be a possible interaction between omega-3 DHA supplements and your medications. People taking medications on a regular basis are advised to discuss with their physicians about the possible interaction. It is advised not to exceed the prescribed dosage mentioned on the supplement to avoid any possible side effects.
ARE VEGETARIAN DHA SUPPLEMENTS SAFE TO CONSUME?
Yes. Vegan DHA supplements are the ultimate source of omega-3 fatty acids for vegans. Zenith Nutrition Vegan DHA supplements are made from sustainable microalgae grown in controlled environments, which avoid ocean-borne contamination as well as toxins such as mercury found in fish.
WHO MIGHT NEED TO SUPPLEMENT WITH OMEGA 3s?
Omega-3 supplementation is particularly beneficial for non-fish eaters, vegans, those who consume alcohol, smokers, those who take in excess saturated fats, during conception stages for both men and women, those who undergo stress, sports people to keep their joints and muscles functioning well.
IS THERE A POSSIBLE CHANCE OF TOXICITY WITH OMEGA-3 DHA?
EPA and DHA are generally considered safe. The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) recommends that daily intake does not exceed 3g/day of EPA and DHA combined, with no more than 2g/day deriving from supplements.
WHY DO VEGANS PARTICULARLY NEED OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENTS?
Vegan DHA supplement obtained from microalgae may be a particularly important consideration for vegetarians and vegans to obtain adequate levels of the important nutrient. A vegan and vegetarian diet consists exclusively plant-based diet and omega-3s found in plant sources is ALA. Plant foods do not contain EPA or DHA. The ALA in plant foods can be metabolized into EPA and DHA in the liver but this conversion is limited in humans, moreover, factors like stress, aging, illness, and diet can impair this process. If you are eating a varied plant-based diet, then it is likely that you are consuming good sources of ALA on a regular basis, however, eating enough ALA may require more planning.
OMEGA-3 DHA HELPS ACHIEVE OPTIMAL SKIN HEALTH
A healthy skin barrier helps prevent dehydration and foreign substances from getting absorbed into the skin that might irritate deeper layers of the skin and cause skin infections. Omega-3 DHA can regulate skin oil production, improve hydration, helps improve skin barrier function. Omega-3 DHA has anti-inflammatory properties that protect the skin cells from sun-induced inflammation, helps soften rough, dry skin, decrease acne lesions significantly, minimize signs of aging and give your skin a soothed, glowing appearance.
OMEGA-3 DHA CONTRIBUTES TO JOINT & MUSCLE HEALTH
Joint and muscle pain is very common in the population due to local biomechanical factors, such as degree of joint loading, or incremented articular impact loading which can cause damage to cartilage and muscles. Omega-3 DHA can improve muscle-building response, are known to reduce the amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cartilage-damaging enzymes in the body, help reduce musculoskeletal dysfunction. Omega-3 DHA can help reduce morning stiffness, can offset free radical damage, helps blood flow efficiently to the muscles, make muscles stronger and resilient.
OMEGA-3 DHA BENEFITS HEART HEALTH
High levels of triglycerides have been linked with fatty acid buildup in the artery walls, which increase the risk of heart ailments. There is consistent research evidence to show omega-3s ability to decrease levels of triglycerides by increasing the rate of beta-oxidation, by acting specifically on carnitine acetyltransferase 1 (CAT 1) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase. Omega-3s particularly DHA can decrease mitochondrial oxygen consumption without reducing power generation for the ventricles by altering mitochondrial membrane phospholipid composition, protecting the heart from tiring. Omega-3 DHA has a favourable effect in improving endothelial function, maintaining normal blood pressure, reduce inflammatory markers, reduce plaque buildup in the arteries, decrease the risk of abnormal heart rhythm and decrease the risk of atherosclerosis.
OMEGA-3 DHA SUPPORTS HEALTHY VISION
DHA is found in high concentration in the retina, the part of the eye that is responsible for visual recognition, suggesting it has an important function in sending signals to the brain. Those with low levels of DHA may suffer from visual impairment and degradation of the retina. Omega-3 DHA provides antioxidant protection to the eyes, has a protecting role in reducing the onset and progression of retinal and vision problems. DHA optimizes fluidity of photoreceptor membranes, retinal integrity, reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Omega-3s have cytoprotective effects in the retina and may help prevent symptoms of dry eyes that can include a stinging, itchy, burning sensation in the eyes and sensitivity to light which is commonly seen in older women.
OMEGA-3 DHA BENEFITS ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Omega-3 DHA supplements help increase metabolic capacity, improve exercise efficiency, delay fatigue onset, improve muscle hypertrophy, and shorten recovery periods. Omega help reduce free radicals, which are unstable molecules that oxidize other molecules in order to become stable. Omega-3s attenuates the loss of muscle strength and range of motion, markers of inflammation such as creatine kinase, TNF-α. Omega-3 DHA has been shown to increase lipid oxidation, insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle and stimulate glycolytic capacity in skeletal myocytes. Omega-3 DHA has been demonstrated to reduce muscle soreness and maintain muscle function following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage.
OMEGA-3 DHA HELPS REGULATE COGNITION, BEHAVIOUR & MOOD
Lowered tissue levels of DHA are correlated with accelerated cognitive decline and cognitive impairment. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids particularly, DHA function as the building block of the brain’s cell membrane, exhibit neuroprotective properties and have been associated with increased attention and physiological function. Omega-3 is highly concentrated in the brain, foster the development of brain circuitry and the speedy processing of information. DHA has been shown to benefit gene expression in the brain, give membranes fluidity and elasticity, allowing brain cells to easily pass neurotransmitters. DHA promotes the release of mood- boosting neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin and is associated with reduced risk of stress, anxiety, and mood decline. Omega-3 DHA supplementation is particularly important in menopausal women and old age adults who generally face loss of interest in daily activities.