Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health. Almost everyone knows that by now. Again and again, however, reports circulate claiming that omega-3 fatty acids are worthless at best. The result: no one knows what is right anymore. Nobody knows anymore what is really healthy and what is not.
Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency promotes chronic inflammation
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids. This means that we have to take them in with our food. Otherwise, we will develop a corresponding deficiency, which can show up in all sorts of symptoms – especially in chronic inflammation.
However, chronic inflammation is considered to be the main cause of numerous lifestyle diseases, such as e.g. B. arthritis, periodontitis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
It is now even assumed that other diseases are also linked to chronic inflammation, e.g. As diabetes, arteriosclerosis, tinnitus, asthma, multiple sclerosis as well as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and various types of cancer.
Anti-inflammatory measures – which include an anti-inflammatory diet with sufficient omega-3 fatty acids – are therefore of paramount importance in both the treatment and prevention of these health problems.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found, for example, in high-quality linseed oil, hemp oil, chia seeds, and, of course, in oily sea fish.
None of these foods have many places in today’s modern diet. Linseed and hemp oil are only used by the insiders of healthy nutrition, hardly anyone knows chia seeds and in times of widespread fat phobia, most people rarely eat oily fish.
Because large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids are consumed at the same time, many people suffer from a fatty acid imbalance, which can manifest itself in certain health problems, including the tendency to chronic inflammation described above.
Omega-3 fatty acids and their protective effects
If you increase the proportion of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet and reduce the omega-6 fatty acids, experience has shown that positive changes can be seen after just a few weeks, e.g. B. a reduction of rheumatic complaints.
A high omega-3 level can also reduce the risk of dying from a heart problem and developing an ischemic stroke.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s also develop much more slowly in people with high omega-3 levels.
This reduces the risk of premature birth during pregnancy, the baby’s brain development is more favorable and postpartum depression occurs less frequently.
Children whose mothers consumed omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy scored higher on intelligence tests at age 4.
Furthermore, a significantly lower omega-3 value was found in children and adolescents who suffered from attention deficit disorders or hyperactivity disorders (ADHD).
Doubts about omega-3 fatty acids justified?
Omega-3 fatty acids are basically excellent for health and should definitely be integrated into the daily diet in the right ratio with omega-6 fatty acids (e.g. 1:5). The media were of the same opinion up until now. So it’s high time – it seems – to bring a little confusion into play.
For example, some reports now cite a study from the Netherlands, which is now questioning the positive health effects of omega-3 fatty acids.
In the study in question, Dutch scientists examined a group of test subjects over a period of more than three years to determine whether or not omega-3 fatty acids could reduce the risk of heart attacks. They came to the conclusion that omega-3 fatty acids could not.
Omega-3 fatty acids are only effective in natural foods
It is always exciting to look at the exact course of the study when there are strange study results. Lo and behold, the Dutch subjects didn’t take high-quality flaxseed oil, krill oil, or even fish oil capsules during the three-year study.
The poorest had to eat margarine every day for three years. Margarine is enriched only with omega-3 fatty acids. And, wonder of wonders, these people didn’t experience a reduction in heart attack risk.
The headlines were quickly written (omega-3 fatty acids are not as good as previously thought). The sensation was perfect, the circulation figures saved and people confused.
Omega-3 fatty acids pointless in margarine
But hardly anyone found out that margarine was used in the study.
However, depending on the type of margarine, margarine can massively increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
For example, a study conducted several years ago found that women who consumed four or more teaspoons of margarine a day were about 50 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than women who consumed less than one teaspoon of margarine per month.
So couldn’t it be more likely that omega-3 fatty acids would prevent or help prevent cardiovascular disease? But was this positive effect canceled out by the margarine in the said study?
On the other hand, we know that the regular intake of linseed oil, hemp oil, krill oil, fish oil, or simply the regular consumption of fatty fish or chia seeds is extremely healthy and has many positive effects on (heart) health.
So it could just as well be that omega-3 fatty acids just don’t work when taken in isolation, but do work when consumed in conjunction with all the other beneficial ingredients in the oils and fats listed below.
Potent omega-3 fatty acid sources
So if you want to be good for your health and want to take omega-3 fatty acids for that purpose, you should not do so with foods that have been fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, but with the following foods that are naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids. 3 fatty acids are:
- Fresh and high-quality linseed oil or linseed
- hemp oil or hemp seed
- Chia seeds
The seeds should ALWAYS be eaten ground to provide them with omega-3 fatty acids, otherwise, the seeds will be excreted unchanged with the stool, thus promoting digestion, but otherwise having little effect.
The omega-3 sources mentioned now contain short-chain omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid. Although this also has many important tasks in the body, it does not have the same range of effects as the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (DHA/EPA). Therefore, one should also keep an eye on the supply of these fatty acids.
Now the alpha-linolenic acid in the body can be converted into long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. However, the conversion rate is often low and not the same for every person, as it depends on various factors.
A safe, purely plant-based omega-3 source (with DHA and EPA) is algae oil, in particular, the algae oil capsules Omega-3 forte from effective nature, as these also contain really relevant daily doses of DHA/EPA.