Heightened importance has been placed on omega-3 fatty acids in recent years as researchers have found that they may help reduce chronic inflammation, and subsequently be a key player in warding off disease. <1> Current studies indicate that omega-3s may help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer, and they may offer protection against depression and osteoarthritis. Omega-3s can also modulate gene expression of cytokines (vital cell signaling proteins) and adhesion molecules (proteins that help cells stick to each other) by interacting peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) and help modulate the immune and inflammatory responses <1,2,3>. Due to the importance omega-3s serve in the human body, increased focus has been placed on consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids, as the typical western diet does not provide the recommended amounts of these essential fatty acids. <4,5> Typically, when looking to increase one's intake of omega-3s, the default option is oily fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut, which are high in DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). For those not particularly fond of sea options (or those looking to diversify their fat intake), several plant foods like flaxseed, chia seed, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts contain another form of omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The human body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA through a chain of chemical reactions that occur in the liver. However, this conversion isn't very efficient in most individuals. <6> This means that only a small fraction of the ingested ALA converts entirely to DHA. Researchers believe this is due in part to competition from omega-6 fatty acids, which are usually consumed somewhere on the order of 20:1 (omega-6:omega-3) compared to omega-3s. This has led many people to consider using dietary supplements, such as krill oil, cod liver oil, other fish oil caps as a means of increasing their omega-3 levels. However, the fish oil supplement market isn’t without its own set of issues as fish oil supplements are highly susceptible to oxidative degradation. <7> The degree and rate to which a given fish oil supplement is oxidized (degraded) is based on several factors, including <8,9>:
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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