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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Why Omega Vitamins are Essential to Your Health

Why Omega Vitamins are Essential to Your Health
By: Grant Eckert

The Omega fatty acids are an integral part of any healthy diet. Known, simply as essential fatty acids (EFA), Omegas are nutritional elements our bodies cannot produce. The two fatty acids known as Omega -3 and Omega-6 are essential for a healthy body. Omega -9 is another fatty acid considered a part of the Omega equation of 3-6-9. Most available information, however, relates to why Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential to your health.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 have a symbiotic relationship. The two act together to make certain your body is healthy. They combine to make sure you have proper brain function, normal growth, healthy bones and skin, as well as a well-regulated metabolism. According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, regular the regular intake of Omega 3 may reduce the risk of coronary thrombosis or heart attack by up to seventy percent. Furthermore, research evidence seems to indicate levels of Omega-3 can affect or contribute to heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, lung, brain disorders, cognitive impairment and a host of other problems. These are very good reasons to understand the EFA and maintain the proper levels.

What are Omega-3 and Omega-6?

Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. It passes through the digestive tract, breaking down existing cholesterol and creating a barrier to its reformation. This, in turn, prevents cholesterol build-up and accompanying plaque and clot-producing formation – factors in heart attacks and strokes. Omega-6 is also an EFA. It unites with Omega-3 and 6 to combat a variety of related health problems.

It is important to know that your body does not naturally produce either Omega-3 or Omega-6. The only way you can obtain these vital fatty acids is through your diet or a vitamin supplement. Omega-6 is found in many vegetable oils, including sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, corn and soybean oil. The most popular omega-6 fatty acid is gamma-linolenic acid or GLA. GLA is in mother’s milk and in the seeds of several plants including borage, black currant and evening primrose. Omega-6 is also in meats, particularly organic meat, and egg yolks.

Omega-3, on the other hand, is most easily absorbed from eating fatty fish. This includes mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna and salmon. Alpha-lineolic acid (ALA), which converts into the Omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaeonic acid (DHA) in the body is heavily present in soy foods, flax seeds and walnuts.

Omega-3 is particularly necessary to an individual at risk for cardiovascular disease or heart attack. It helps prevent cholesterol from becoming artery-clogging plaques. It also, lowers blood pressure, decreases irregular heart beats and reduces the level of triglycerides in the blood. Omega-3 prevents or reduces inflammation, particularly arthritic.

One significant factor concerning the Omegas effects whether you absorb the food naturally or through a vitamin form. In the human diet, Omega-3 and Omega-6 need to betaken in perfect balance. Ideally, the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 is 4:1, in the United States, although there does seem to be some discrepancy and arguments about the exact ratio. In Europe, the average relation between the two is 5:1. Some individuals maintain 10:1 or even 20:1. Trying to maintain a balance, however, does become a problem when traditionally, Western diets, until recently, have been higher in Omega-6 than Omega-3.

To counteract this, deficiency, you can take vitamin supplements. Omega-3 supplements are commonly in capsule form. The source is, generally fish oils high in Omega-3 acids. Vegetarian Omega-3 supplements are available, usually as flaxseed (linseed) oil. You can take an Omega-6 supplement consisting of flax oil, olive oil, hemp oil, or evening primrose oil.

Article Source: http://www.contentfueled.com

About Author:
Grant Eckert is a writer for Lane Labs. Lane Labs is a leading provider of Omega Vitamins | Health Supplements

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