Benefits of omega-3

Everyone can enjoy the benefits offered by omega-3, independently from the age group, gender or lifestyle. Find out more from our article!

Benefits of omega-3

In the last two decades several researches proved the beneficial impacts of omega-3 fatty acids on our health. Regular consumption of these fatty acids are extremely important for children, adults and athletes, because they are crucial for the normal functioning of the heart and coronary system and also of the brain. Nowadays a concept is gaining more and more ground, which indicates that fats are bad for us, we need to reduce the intake quantity, because they cause obesity and they increase the level of  triglycerides in the body. But it is not completely true, it really matters what kind of fats and in what ratio we take in.

Let’s see these impacts on an athlete’s life!

What is omega-3 and why is it important?

The structure of omega fatty acids consists of one or two double bonds and the location of the bonds indicates the name of the fatty acid. Which means that the double bond of omega-3 fatty acid is located on the third place, while the double bond of the omega-6 fatty acid is located on the sixth place.

Both omega-3 and 6 are essential fatty acids, but due to nowadays nutrition we take in larger amount of omega-6 fatty acids, and this imbalance leads to the development of several chronic illnesses.

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids, and the most well-known of them are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).  Their regular consumption, due to their anti-inflammatory effect, is able to reduce the risk of numerous illness, such as cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancer. The consumption of fatty acids also helps during the treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure and skin diseases. For athletes the appropriate intake is also crucial in order to ensure the maintenance of the cardiovascular system,  furthermore due to its blood pressure reduction impact. It is also widely used for improving the pulmonary function and for the prevention of asthma.

How can your body get fatty acids?

The most important omega-3 fatty acids, namely EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) have been part of human nutrition since ancient times,. They are essential fatty acids, therefore you need to make sure that your body gets a regular supply of them.

Sadly nowadays the food we consume fails to cover the fatty acid requirement of the body, unless you regularly eat fish and meat of grazing animals, which are considered to be the best natural sources.

Plant sources (linseed, walnut) also contain omega-3 fatty acids in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), but the body has to transform them into EPA and DHA, which is a transformation with a pretty low efficiency level. Therefore it is worth relying on animal sources or on dietary supplements. But it is very important not only to check the omega-3 quantity contained by the product, but we also need to pay attention to the EPA and DHA ratio, because it can turn out that we need a daily 15 to 20 capsules to reach the required quantity.

The Mega Omega 3 softgel capsule contains EPA and DHA fatty acids in an outstanding 70%, furthermore it also contains Vitamin E, which is an excellent antioxidant. One serving (2 capsules) contains 1000 mg fish oil, out of which 400 mg EPA and 300 mg DHA. It not only contains high quantity of fatty acids, but the body can absorb them very easily.

Benefits of omega-3 on the human body

Benefits of omega-3 on the human body

1. Omega-3 is able to battle depression and anxiety

The symptoms of patients suffering from depression and anxiety also showed improvement (1, 2, 3), and EPA proved to be the most effective (4). It reduces the level of cortisol, which is triggered by stress and it has also an anti-catabolic impact.

2. Reduces the liver’s fat content

In the case of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) omega-3 reduces liver fat and inflammation. ( 5, 6)

3. It may improve the risk factors of cardiac diseases

Heart attack and stroke are the leading causes of death in the world now and researchers pointed out that in nations consuming high amounts of fish the number of such diseases is a lot lower and they also found the link to the consumption of omega-3. (7, 8)

4. May reduce the symptoms of metabolic syndrome

Omega-3 fatty acids may also improve insulin resistance, the risk factors of inflammation and heart diseases and they may also reduce high blood fat level and obesity. (9, 10, 11).

5. Improves the health of the bones and joints

Studies show that omega-3 may improve the rigidity of bones by increasing the amount of calcium in the bones (12, 13). It also contributed to reduction in pain during the treatment of arthritis. ( 14, 15)

6. It plays also a role in improving athletic performance

It may improve the functioning of the heart and lung, but it may also reduce blood pressure and also contributed to lower blood pressure of cyclists during training. (16, 17). As it improves the insulin receptor function (increased insulin sensitivity), nutrients (glucose, fat, amino acids) can get into the cells easier.

7. Helps to regenerate after work-out

Increased omega-3 intake can be also a potential method to prevent muscle damage caused by physical exercise, but it can also reduce muscle damage and pain and may also improve heart and lung function and also muscle power (18, 19, 20). The beneficial impact in most cases due to the fact that omega-3 fatty acids are incorporated into the phospholipid double layer of the cell membranes (also in the brain and in the muscles), therefore they become more flexible and the effectiveness of signal transmission for the hormones significantly improves.

8. May also improve muscle protein synthesis

Improves the mTOR, p70S6K protein synthesis routes, contributes to the increase of testosterone level (anabolic impact). By this supports the regeneration of connective tissues and joints, which are regularly under physical strain during everyday training. (21).

Recommended dosage

Based on the recommendations the recommended EPA and DHA quantity for the normal function is at least 250 mg, but for maintaining normal triglyceride level in the blood 2000 mg is recommended, while for maintaining normal blood pressure 3000 mg is recommended. Athletes will have a higher requirement. Most health organisations recommend the daily combined intake of EPA and DHA in a minimum quantity of 250 to 500 mgs, but according to the European Food Safety Authority the omega-3 fatty acid supplements can be safely used up to a daily amount of 5000 mg.

Excess use may also have negative consequences, thus please take also this into consideration. The blood pressure reduction impact of omega-3  may cause issues to people suffering from low blood pressure. In the case of patients suffering from type 2 diabetes, it increased the blood sugar level when taking a daily amount of 8 g. In the case of patients suffering from high fat content sensitivity, higher intake may manifest in acid reflux disease,  heartburn, diarrhoea or bloating. Some experiments on animals found that by the high intake of omega-3 fatty acids, the risk of haemorrhagic stroke may increase, while other human tests showed no connection.

It is recommended to consume high quantities split during the day. Only consume them cold, at room temperature. It dissolves easily if exposed to heat.

Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for the human body. Their regular consumption, due to their anti-inflammatory effect, is able to reduce the risk of numerous illness, such as cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s. The consumption of fatty acids also helps during the treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure. For athletes it plays a crucial role in regeneration after work-out and in the muscle protein synthesis.

The body is unable to produce it thus we need to cover the requirements of the body by nutrition. It is common in vegetable oils and sea fish.

Mega Omega3

It is not recommended to exceed the commonly suggested daily omega-3 fatty acid intake of 3000 mg, because it might have a negative impact on the body and on the digestive system. It is also important to pay attention to the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, because due to nowadays nutrition the intake moved towards omega-6.

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