It is good to know that the fats in our food not only provide energy for us, but they are also the very essence of our health.
They are involved in controlling our immune processes, and in building up the structure of cell membranes, physiological membranes, eyes, and the nervous system. As our body is not able to produce these essential is worth taking care of their supplementation(?) every day fatty acids, it.
Based on their chemical structure we distinguish saturated fats, monounsaturated omega-9, polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
The structure of polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are:
Physiological role of unsaturated fatty acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks for all cell membranes, determining their permeability and flexibility. Their complex molecules with proteins are essential for the healthy development and function of the nervous system,(and) the nerve membrane of the eye. Omega-3 fatty acids ensure elasticity of red blood cells, proper circulation in the capillaries and healthy functioning of the vascular membrane. They have beneficial effects on the heart, blood vessels, the brain, our vision, immune system and muscles.
Omega-6 fatty acids are precursors to hormone-like substances called eicosanoids. They form prostglandins, prostacyclines, thromboxane, leukotrienes, which are responsible for the tissue mechanism of inflammation. If they are continuously present in large quantities in the body, chronic inflammation can develop. The presence of a sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids can avoid chronic inflammation, which is a common source of all diseases in todays society.
Omega-9 fatty acids help to maintain healthy blood and heart and help control blood glucose levels.
What’s the omega-3 ratio and why is it important?
The omega-3 ratio is the percentage of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids to the total amount of fatty acids in the red blood cells membrane: the healthy omega-3 ratio is at least 8%. The higher our omega-3 ratio the greater our level of protection against a sudden cardiovascular disease.
In the January/2017 issue of The Mayo Clinic Proceeding (a recognised medical journal) a meta-analysis of 34 studies was published, which confirmed the beneficial effects of regular omega-3 consumption on cardiovascular diseases. In these studies, which are repeated analyses of previously conducted studies, nearly 900,000 people were involved.
In subjects, who regularly consumed omega-3 fats (DHA, EPA) the incidence of fatal and non-fatal events associated with coronary artery disease was reduced by 6-18%.
The most prominent relationship was found in the context of sudden cardiac death. There was a 47% reduction in sudden cardiac mortality among those who regularly consumed DHA and EPA fatty acids.
By determining the omega-6 / omega-3 ratio, we can obtain information on chronic inflammation and the degree of cell damage.
Today we unwittingly have more omega-6 fatty acids in our system than we need. A 1:1 omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids ratio would be desirable to our health. In the world however, the average ratio is 20:1. This is due to the omega-6-rich soya-based feeding of large-scale livestock and the high consumption of processed food and fast food. In countries, such as Iceland and Japan, where there is high consumption of omega-3, people live longer and there is a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other chronic diseases. Therefore, it is not enough to simply reduce omega-6 consumption, it is also necessary to ensure an optimal intake of omega-3.
How much omega-3 fatty acid should we consume?
To maintain your health, we recommend 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams a day. In case of cardiovascular problems, joint problems, renal dysfunction, a higher amount is required.
Sea fish, crustaceans, oilseeds and algae are natural sources of omega-3. However, many people are averse to consuming them because they either do not like fish or they fear the possible contamination present within fish. Consumers desire that omega-3 products are supplied with quality certificates such as a low TOTOX value. The TOTOX value represents the level of oxidised, rancid fats and toxic substances.
Stated in the Rubin Report issued by a Norwegian Authority in 2011:,, The consumption of low oxidation value omega-3 has the most beneficial effect on our health.”
About the importance of omega-3 fatty acids and their impact on our health:
- They contribute to normal cardiac function
- They maintain healthy brain function and mental functions (250 mg DHA)
- They contribute to healthy eye and nervous system development in fetuses and children (Women need 450 mg DHA and 250 mg EPA during pregnancy and whilst breast-feeding)
- They contribute to the maintenance of eye health, normal vision, and healthy eye development in infants (100 mg/day)
- It contributes to the normal function of the immune system
- It contributes to maintaining normal levels of triglycerides in the blood and normal blood pressure (4-5 gram/day)
- It supports normal muscle function
Vitamin D3 maintains healthy muscle and immune system function
- It contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system
- It contributes to the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, to control the level of calcium in the blood. It is necessary to maintain healthy bone structure and dentition
Vitamin A maintains healthy skin, eye and immune system function,
- It contributes to the growth and healthy development of bones