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Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Information from Dr. Andreas Papas

Omega-3 Fatty Acids . . .The Omega-T? Advantage, by Yasoo Health

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Omega-3 fatty acids are important building blocks of our cell membranes, signaling pathways and neurological systems. They play a critical role in many functions in the body and are essential for good health. These health effects were noted at first by studying the Inuit Indians which ate a diet of marine and fish wildlife and had a significantly reduced risk of heart attacks. The benefit of omega-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular disease is so well demonstrated that the American Heart Association has published statements since 1996 recommending increased fish intake and/or omega-3 supplements. Scientists and physicians have also discovered many other benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and the research continues to grow!

In this Omega-T? advantage section you will learn the basics about fatty acids and fats, their function in our bodies, the affects of our western diet on omega-3 levels and the latest research on the cardiovascular and other benefits of this compound. In addition there is a section on coenzyme Q10 - another critical nutrient that has a synergistic role with omega-3 and is found in Omega-T?, Yasoo’s exciting new product.

The Omega-3 Basics

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Omega-3: The Basics. Omega-3 fatty acids are long-chained, polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Who are you calling a fatty acid? Fatty acids are the building blocks of triglycerides and other lipids. They are usually composed of a long chain of unbranched carbon atoms with a carboxyl group at one end. Most fatty acids contain between 4 and 24 carbon atoms in the backbone.

What is a saturated fatty acid? A saturated fatty acid has only single bonds in the carbon backbone. Unsaturated fatty acids have one or more double bonds in the carbon backbone. Thus, monounsaturated fatty acids have one double bond and polyunsaturated fatty acids have two or more double bonds.

These double bonds decrease the melting point – that means they are more likely to be a liquid than a solid at room temperature. The longer the carbon backbone length, however, the higher the melting point and the more likely to be a solid than a liquid at room temperature. The melting points of a series of 18-carbon fatty acids are stearic acid, 69.6 °C; oleic acid, 13.4 °C; linoleic acid, -5 °C; and linolenic acid, -11 °C.

What does omega-3 mean? Fatty acids are named by the amount of carbon atoms and double bonds in the backbone. Thus, linolenic acid, C-18:3 9,12,15 , means a 18 carbon backbone with three double bonds after the 9th, 12th and 15th carbons from the "front" or carboxyl group. An simpler naming method only declares the first double bond from the methyl end and calls this compound an omega-3 fatty acid. This means that this fatty acid has a double bond 3 carbons from the "end" or methyl group.

What is an essential fatty acid? Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important because our bodies do not have the enzymes necessary to create double bonds after the 10th carbon from the carboxyl group. Thus, linoleic and linolenic fatty acids are essential.

 

ALA is the only essential omega-3 fatty acid because our bodies can convert ALA into others such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid DHA. There are, however, conditions where this conversion is inefficient. For example, infants and people with certain enzyme deficiencies cannot efficiently convert ALA to EPA. For this reason, EPA and DHA are sometimes considered as conditionally essential.

The major omega-3 fatty acids are:

ALA, (alpha) linolenic acid

EPA, ei

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The information provided on this site, or linked sites, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. Product information contained herein has not necessarily been evaluated or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.



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