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Omega 3 Health Benefits
Blog | Omega 3 Health Benefits

Omega 3 Health Benefits

Oct | 2016 | Team Foresight

Omega-3 Health Benefits Explained by Foresight Preconception

Whether you are thinking about having a baby or just want to feel better in your day to day life, Foresight’s Omega-3 supplement and vegan omega 3 offer a number of health benefits.

Omega-3 is an Essential Fatty Acid (EFA). They are considered ‘essential’ because they cannot be synthesised by humans and therefore must be obtained through diet. Essential fatty acids are grouped into Omega categories. Omega-3s are necessary for the formation of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances made from fatty acids that play a role in many body functions, including correct hormone balance, influencing pain signals, regulation of inflammation, maintenance of tissues, blood clotting and stimulation of cells into action.

There are a number of different Prostaglandins and they have a wide variety of biological functions. A small number of prostaglandins, when excessive in the body, can have a detrimental effect on health and can be influential in symptoms such as dysmenorrhoea (painful periods), these are mainly found in high fat foods and red meat. Prostaglandins are present in every cell of the body. In females, they tend to be low in the first half of the menstrual cycle and then rise sharply towards the menstrual bleed, causing in some cases, lower back pain and also abdominal cramping and can cause a variety of other symptoms including headaches, nausea and fatigue.

Why do I need Omega-3?

Omega-3 fats have a variety of health benefits related to their anti-inflammatory properties.

The omega-3 fats come in three main forms: DHA, EPA, and ALA.

ALA is found in certain nuts and seeds, EPA and DHA are found in oily fish like salmon and mackerel.

EFAs are involved in the proper function of the sex organs and for the prostaglandins which are present in semen. EFAs contribute to the health of the heart and skin and are essential to the health and efficiency of all cell membranes. Deficiencies can lead to chromosomal defects and may be a risk factor for miscarriage. Fish contain a variety of fatty acids, but the ones that are believed to confer the majority of the benefits are the long-chain omega-3 fats eicosapentanaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These omega-3 fats are found exclusively in seafood and
marine algae. It can be hard to obtain enough omega-3 fatty acids through diet alone.

Omega-3 Benefits

The most common medical conditions omega-3 is recommended for are as follows;

  • High cholesterol
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Infertility
  • IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Macular degeneration
  • Skin issues (eczema and psoriasis)

Omega-3’s have also been shown to support weight loss, healthy pregnancy, athletic recovery and thickening hair and nails.

Omega-3 deficiency is common in industrialized countries because of the excess consumption of omega-6 fats.

Omega-3 deficiency symptoms can include poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings, joint pain and autoimmune disease.

Foresight Omega-3 Supplements

Busy lifestyles can get in the way of managing our correct intake of Omega 3 and it is highly recommended that you supplement if you are unable to consume enough in your regular diet. Visit our shop to see the latest Omega 3 Supplements and offers.

Krill Oil

Omega 3 Health BenefitsKrill oil is similar to fish oil because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids that the body needs for growth, heart health and neurological function. Krill are tiny little shrimp-like creatures that also contain astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant.

Benefits

Since discovering its remarkable ability to shuttle ample amounts of healing omega-3’s into your body, clinical research scientists have been vigorously testing and researching krill oil to see just how effective it is at helping to:

  • Protect your heart
  • Sustain healthy inflammatory pathways
  • Support brain health; concentration, learning and memory
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels
  • Ease pre-menstrual distress such as cramps, fluid retention and mild mood swings
  • Boost immune function
  • Encourage healthy liver function
  • Promote a healthy complexion
  • Improve joint lubrication and overall function

Krill Oil in Pre-conception & Pregnancy

Krill oil can be a safer alternative during pregnancy because it is purified and does not include mercury, pollutants or contaminants that may be harmful during pregnancy. Omega-3 fatty acids aid in the development of the baby’s neurological system and other body systems.

Krill oil and the nutrients and antioxidants included in the supplement may offer great benefit during pregnancy. Potential benefits include a decreased risk of preterm labor and subsequent premature delivery. Omega-3 fatty acids may lead to increased intelligence and problem-solving ability during childhood.

Studies have shown that sufficient levels of omega-3 fats optimize brain growth in children, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy. Because the foetus depends on the mother’s DHA sources, the constant drain on a mother’s DHA reserves can easily lead to a deficiency and some researchers believe that preeclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure) and postpartum depression could be linked to a DHA deficiency. It is important to note that plant-based sources of omega-3 fats, such as linseed oil do not provide the same benefits as animal-based omega-3s (fish oils/krill oil), because it is not as easy to convert the ALA in plant-based fats to the appropriate amount of DHA and EPA that is required.

At Foresight, we recommend Krill Oil as a superior source of DHA and EPA. The Omega 3 fatty acids in Krill oil, unlike fish oils, are more efficiently absorbed by the body as they are carried to the cells in a ‘phospholipid’ form. Our Krill oil also contains Astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant with additional anti-inflammatory properties (i). In trials, the antioxidant properties of Astaxanthin have also been shown to have positive effects on male infertility (ii).

Omega 3 Vegan (Cytoplan)

Omega 3 Health BenefitsNo matter your reason for choosing a vegan or vegetarian diet, or simply avoiding fish products, you know the importance of paying close attention to your nutritional intake to ensure you’re as healthy and vibrant as possible.

Benefits

The most common people who are omega-3 deficient include those who consume a large amount of processed foods, hydrogenated oils, and those on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Foresight’s Cytoplan Omega 3 Vegan is a fantastic alternative to fish or Krill oil for Vegetarians and Vegans.

Made from Marine Algae and grown in a controlled environment, it is an ideal vegan, rich source of the important Omega 3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA.

Omega 3 (vegan) in Pre-conception & Pregnancy

Omega 3 (vegan) is suitable for all the family, and can be safely taken pre/during and post pregnancy and when breastfeeding:

  • DHA maternal intake contributes to the normal brain development of the foetus and breastfed infants
  • DHA intake contributes to the normal visual development of infants up to 12 months of age.
  • DHA maternal intake contributes to the normal development of the eye of the foetus and breastfed infants.

For more information and products for Krill Oil and Omega 3 (Vegan), please visit our shop.

Footnotes and list of terms

(i) For further reading on oxidative stress and the protective role of antioxidants view: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2014/671539/

(ii) Essential Fatty Acids are considered ‘essential’ because they cannot be synthesised by humans and therefore must be obtained through diet

(iii) EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid found mainly in fish, also synthesised from ALA.

(iv) DHA – (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA are long-chain fatty acids found mainly in cold-water fish, but can be synthesised from ALA. DHA is important for visual and neurological development.

(v) ALA – Alpha-Linolenic Acid

References

(i) Jean Soon Park, Jong Hee Chyun, Yoo Kyung Kim, Larry L Line, Boon P Chew. 2010 Astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation and enhanced immune response in humans. Nutrition & Metabolism,7:18.

(ii) F.H. Comhaire Y.El Garem, A.Mahmoud, F.Eertmans, F. Y of Sciences. 2005 Combined conventional/antioxidant “Astaxanthin” treatment for male infertility: a double blind, randomised trial. Asian J Androl 2005; 7 (3): 257-262DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-7262.2005.00047.x

 

Written by Team Foresight

Team Foresight

Foresight is a pioneering charity which helps couples to conceive happy, healthy babies. By optimising health in both parents we support fertility and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.

Website: http://foresight-preconception.org.uk