Fish oil & Omega 3 supplements

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Fish oil is the collective name for fats (oils) extracted from the tissues of fatty fish. It is usually obtained from cod liver, mackerel and krill, but many other fish species are high in Omega 3. Omega 3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid with a specific chemical structure. In the human body, 3 of these fatty acids have an effect:

  • Alpha lipoic acid (ALA)
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic (DHA)

Unsaturated fatty acids are distinguished from saturated fatty acids by the presence of a double bond. Because of the double bond, unsaturated fatty acids have a looser structure than saturated fatty acids and therefore less adhesion on the vascular wall, giving unsaturated fatty acids (such as Omega 3) cholesterol-lowering and vascular wall-protective properties. 

The difference between Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids lies in the position of the double bond. The position of the double bond can completely change the effect of a compound on our body.

Omega 3 is used by our body to produce anti-inflammatory molecules (eicosanoids). In contrast, Omega 6 fatty acid - arachidonic acid (ARA) - plays a role in the inflammatory process, and thus has an anti-inflammatory effect in large quantities. However, small amounts are essential for healthy healing process.

It's all in the balance (hence Omega 3-6-9) supplements.