Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA), mainly known by the name of Omega 3 (and Omega-6), are a fundamental class of natural substances that perform numerous biological functions within our organism and that of our animals.
Many of them are called "Essential" because the organism is unable to synthesize them, therefore we can introduce them only through food or through food supplementation.
Their characteristics are represented by numerous beneficial effects almost on all systems and systems, from the cardiovascular to the nervous system, even to the urinary tract and the emotional sphere.
The Omega 3 they are the most nutritionally important and are made up of three substances: ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid), EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). While ALA is mainly contained in foods of plant origin, EPA and DHA are more abundant in foods of animal origin. It must be said that ALA is the real essential fatty acid, while EPA and DHA are only partially. However the latter two are the metabolically active ones.
The main plant sources of Omega-3 are:
- Chia seeds
- flax seed
- cranberry seeds
- hemp seeds
- the walnuts
- soya beans
As mentioned, food sources of animal origin have a higher concentration of Omega 3, in particular EPA and DHA and are represented by:
- blue fish and atlantic fish (especially their liver)
It is important to remember that some environmental pollutants can accumulate in these aquatic organisms, with particular reference to mercury and other metals. For this reason, it is good to manage their consumption and moderate the intake of these products, preferring less contaminated foods and supplements that have one or more quality certifications.
In our diet, however, there is a predominance of other polyunsaturated fatty acids, the Omega-6, the excess of which can determine a state of subtle inflammation on which numerous problems can develop.
The enzyme that converts ALA to EPA and DHA is the same that is used by the body to make up the Omega-6therefore we can say that an integration with EPA and DHA can also and above all serve to maintain the correct balance between Omega 3 (little consumed with food) and Omega-6 (extremely common in common foods).
Integration with correct dosages of Omega 3 it is very common but the quality of the raw materials used to formulate a good food supplement is not as common. We remember once again the importance of certifications that certify the origin and analysis of the substances used in the formulation of the finished product.
The pharmaceutical form of this supplement is also very important. The wording in should always be preferred capsules or pearls and not in syrup, since fatty acids are easily subjected to the oxidation process when exposed to air and light.
The Omega 3 they are known above all for their use in the prevention of cardiovascular problems and for the control of triglycerides.
Recently, numerous publications have highlighted the importance of Omega 3 in the control of many affections affecting the skin (atopic dermatitis and psoriasis), the nervous system and also the mood, in particular it has been studied that Omega 3 they can improve a variety of typical symptoms of depression such as anxiety, low libido, insomnia and fatigue.
In short, they will not be a panacea but they are extremely important for our health and for that of our pets.
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