Archive for May, 2010

What is Omega-3 EPA DHA ?

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

What is interesting is that whilst everyone has heard of omega-3 how many people know what EPA or DHA  is ?

Why are these essential fatty acids so important to our health and emotional wellbeing ?  They are known as essential fatty acids  simply because they are “essential “- we cannot live without them . As the body is not able to make omega-3 for itself  you must get them from your diet.

With regards omega-3 if you are vegan / vegetarian the only option is to eat foods that have it in the ALA form  such as flax seed , flax oil , walnuts and green vegetables and these then need to be converted into the key omega 3 forms of EPA and DHA. For the rest of us  the best forms are oily fish such as sardines, mackerel , pilchards , salmon and tuna .With regards meat you can get some omega-3 provided the animals have been fed naturally on fresh grass – then there all the products that have come to market in recent years that have been fortified with omega-3 ie. eggs , milk , yoghurt, bread etc  - You need to look very carefully at the labels to determine just how much omega -3  are in these products.

So it is clear  that the best way to boost your omega-3 levels is to consume oily fish , however people for a number of reasons dont consume  oily fish on a regular basis or even at all . So why is this when more and more we are told of the health benefits such as supporting a healthy pregnancy , child development , mental health , cardio health , supporting healthy immune system. For some people its as simple as they  do not  like oily fish or  they have a preference for convenience food and they dont see  oily fish in that category  , others it is concern especially in pregnancy of  contaminents in the fish especially those further up the food chain ie. tuna . This is why we have seen a rise in the consumption of supplements as most see it as the easiest and most convenient way of  ensuring they consume omega-3  however not all supplements are the same and do you know what to look for when purchasing these either in store or online.

DHA is  most critical during pregnancy and early years , omega-3 and omega-6 (we have more than enough omega-6 in our daily diet so I wont go into that at present what I will say is that at the start of the century the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 was 4 : 1 now we are a level of at least 16:1 ) is required to build a baby’s brain and central nervous system – Up to 50% of your retina is made from DHA so it is clear to understand the importance DHA plays in visual development and retinal health. During pregnancy baby’s use their mothers supply of DHA and this continues post natal especially if the baby is being breast fed, as a result it is really important that mothers ensure that they  consume enough omega-3 – most opt to take supplements that have a higher element of DHA to EPA as there is concern about mercury levels in fish such as tuna , salmon etc. However the way round this is to buy fish from sources that guarantee they are mercury free . Fish at the bottom of the food chain such as sardines are a good alternative . You  should aim to eat  2 portions of oily fish twice per week .

EPA has come to the fore in recent years , more and more research is now being done with regards this omega-3. It is recognised as a key anti inflammatory  and helps support the immune system , it also plays a vital role in Cardio Health as it improves blood flow and research has shown success in the treatment of mental health disorders such as depression. There has also been success with regards improvement in concentration and behaviour in children . We have full details of all the trials and you can contact us via our website www.takeomega3.co.uk  if you require specific information or if you are a medical professional we can provide you with access to the professional area of the site where all this information is held.

So what should you look for if you are going to be buying omega -3 in supplement form ,  it can be confusing . Even though it will say ie 1000mg Omega -3  on the front of the pack just how much EPA and DHA are you getting per capsule ? This will often be shown on the rear of the pack .We took the decision to label our products as clearly as possible so on the front  so the consumer can see each capsule contains 750 mg EPA and 50mg DHA and is an 85% pharmaceutical grade  omega-3 which is a one per day capsule. The majority of products currently on the market do not have anywhere near these levels or either in EPA or DHA or indeed that level of concentration which is amongst the highest on the market  and is the reason why we are so proud of this product which has been manufactured entirely in the UK .

Also where does the fish come from and is it from sustainable sources again we are proud to say that we adhere to the highest possible standards of marine conservation , we only use sustainable fish stocks which come from the purest waters.-Our oil is manufactured entirely in the UK at a site that is only one of two licensed by the MHRA  for the production and sale of omega 3 which underlines the exceptional standards that goes into producing Takeomega3. It was extremely important to us that when we were developing this product that we only used british companies from the design of the packaging and marketing material to the distillation and the encapsulation of the oil .We have used companies from Scotland , England and Wales so it truly is the best of british.

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