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Where to find Omega 3 and Omega 6 and what they do?

Omega 3 fatty acids are required for cell function throughout the body, so they contribute to well-being in many ways. Omega 3 fatty acids have been demonstrated to protect from heart disease. Their consumption also been linked to:

  • Brain health and development

  • Healthy skin

  • Immunity

  • Musculoskeletal health

One of their major benefits is their ability to dampen down inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is increasingly recognised as being a factor in many conditions, so omega 3 fatty acids are often used as both prevention and treatment for conditions such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease and many more.

Omega 3 fatty acids are found predominantly in oily fish, the best sources being salmon, herrings, anchovies, mackerel and sardines. Official sources recommend that oily fish should be consumed twice a week.

Although there are plant and nut sources of Omega 3. Walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flaxseed, these are not so readily converted in the body to the form required for assimilation. It is though some individuals may lack the enzymes required to carry out the conversation of fatty acid prior use. Thus, some individuals and vegetarians may be more prone to omega fatty acid deficiency.

Omega 6 fatty acids are found in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, meat and eggs. Baked goods such as bread, cakes and biscuits which contain vegetable oils also contain omega 6 oils.

Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids follow different metabolic pathways, thus have different effects in the body. Whereas omega 3 fatty acids result of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, omega 6 fatty acids contribute to the release inflammatory prostaglandins.

Both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses are required by the body at different times for different situations. Therefore, it is very important that the right amount of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are consumed as prolonged release of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins is implicated in many chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease.

Deficiency signs and symptoms for essential fats include:

Omega 3 fats Dry skin, inflammatory health problems, water retention, tingling in arms or legs, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, prone to infection, difficulty losing weight, memory or learning ability declined.

Omega 6 fats High blood pressure, PMS or breast tenderness, eczema or dry skin, dry eyes, inflammatory health problems, difficulty losing weight, blood sugar problems or diabetes, excessive thirst

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