Omega-3 fatty acids are a class of essential fats that the human body cannot make (hence their classification as essential) and must be obtained from the diet.
The three types of omega-3 fatty acids are:
ALA is found predominantly in plants (like walnuts and flax seeds), while EPA and DHA are found mostly in animal foods, especially fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines.
In this guide, we'll discuss further why omega-3 fatty acids are essential, as well as suggested omega-3 dosage guidelines and what to look for in an omega-3 supplement.
Let's first start by discussing the importance of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet.
The most substantial evidence in support of consuming sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids is regarding cardiovascular health.
The reason this is noteworthy is that heart attacks and strokes are the leading causes of death worldwide.
Epidemiological data indicate that populations with the highest intakes of omega-3 fatty acids have very low rates of heart disease. <1,2>
Additional studies note that omega-3 fatty acids may help <3,4,5>:
Despite the effects that omega-3 fatty acids may have on heart health, it’s worth mentioning that no research to date has shown that omega-3 supplements can prevent heart attacks or other cardiovascular-related events.
Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA in particular, are vital to the health and wellness of your brain.
DHA accounts for 40% of polyunsaturated fatty acid content in the brain, as well as 60% in the retina.
Due to the importance that DHA plays in the development and function of the brain and CNS, it’s no wonder why DHA is frequently added to prenatal vitamins and infant formula.
Furthermore, several studies have found a link between omega-3 fatty acid intake during pregnancy and <6,7>:
Omega-3 fatty acids serve an essential part of cell membranes throughout the body, and they also affect the function of cell receptors in these membranes.
More specifically, omega-3 fatty acids can help modulate cellular signaling events, enhance membrane protein function, and support gene expression. <8>
Yet another vital role omega-3 fatty acids serve in the body is that of a building block for hormones. <9>
Hormones are the “chemical messengers” that instruct the various tissues in your body what to do and when to do it.Deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids could impact the function or production of these important chemical messengers.
Various studies note that high intakes of omega-3 fatty acids (200–2,200 mg per day) may help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.< 11,12>
Since omega-3 fatty acids exert such a diverse array of effects in the body (blood clotting, contraction, and relaxation of artery walls, inflammation, etc.), it's easy to see that they may be beneficial in the treatment or prevention of certain diseases.
More specifically, omega-3 fatty acids have been noted to help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis. They may also play a protective role in certain types of cancer as well as other conditions, including <7,8,9>:
Beyond their importance for metabolic health, omega-3 fatty acids may also improve the appearance and quality of your external features, particularly your hair.
A 2018 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that Fish Oil, DHA in particular, promotes hair growth via the anagen-activating pathways in dermal papilla cells (DPC). <10>
In case you weren't aware, the dermal papilla cells are a vital component of optimal hair growth.
What this means is that, beyond impacting metabolic health, consuming sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids may also affect the look and quality of your external features, such as your skin, hair, and nails.
To date, no “official” guideline has been established for how much omega-3 you should get each day.
And, to make matters just a bit more complicated, opinions also vary amongst the significant worldwide health organizations as to an "optimal" amount individuals should get.
Generally speaking, though, an intake between 250–500 mg combined EPA and DHA is recommended each day for healthy adults.
If you do not typically consume a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., you don't eat a lot of fatty fish, walnuts, or flax seeds), then you may want to look into some omega-3 supplements.
SteelFit® offers 100% vegan and vegetarian-friendly omega-3 supplements in Pure Steel AhiFlower®.
AhiFlower® is a plant that contains a type of omega-3 fatty acid (Stearidonic acid) that converts more efficiently (4x more efficient than ALA, to be exact) in the body to EPA and DHA that ALA.
If you want to learn more about AhiFlower®, click here.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids that cannot be made in the body and thus, must be obtained through the diet.
Omega-3 intake has been associated with several health benefits, particularly regarding cardiovascular, cognitive, and metabolic health.
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax seeds, salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
If you don’t consume enough omega-3s in your diet, then it’s typically recommended to supplement with a high-quality omega-3 supplement, such as Pure Steel AhiFlower® from SteelFit®.
As a former collegiate athlete, I’ve has always had a passion for all things health and wellness. SteelFit® is a culmination of all my years of education, training, and passion combined. I create, formulate, and educate daily. I am always thinking of how to give our customers the latest and greatest products to help them achieve their goals. Some of my best ideas come when I’m at the gym. When I’m not doing all those, I love spending time with my wife Jessica, my son Logan, our three puppies, and playing daily fantasy sports. I love to travel and am always up for a good cheat meal.
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