Why take Omega Oil supplements?
Omega oils play an incredibly important role in our physical health. The 3 major oils needed by our bodies are Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9. A majority of them are not produced by our body and therefore has to be absorbed through the food we eat. Nuts, fresh seeds, and seafood are all great sources of Omega oils, although for many people their daily diet does not supply them with a high enough intake of these oils.
That’s where Omega oil supplements come in. Found in various forms ranging from soft gel capsules to liquid drops, these supplements will provide us with the appropriate levels of Omega oils required for our bodies to function properly.
Studies have found that Omega oil supplements are most important for individuals whose diets do not include much seafood, or who have pre-existing issues that put them at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Generally, healthy individuals may still find themselves lacking certain Omega oils because of their eating habits, making Omega oil supplements a vital part of the world’s population’s daily diet.
What is Omega-3?
Omega-3 is the most commonly known Omega oil and is also the oil that most people are deficient in, to a certain extent. This is because it cannot be produced naturally by our bodies, meaning we have to rely solely on our diets to provide us with it.
As mentioned before, most of the world’s population’s eating habits do not include enough oily fish, nuts, and seeds, therefore making it incredibly difficult to absorb a substantial amount of Omega-3 oil without taking supplements.
There are 3 main types of Omega-3 fats, with slightly altered chemical structures and functions:
- EPA: This Omega-3 fat has 20 carbons, and is most commonly found in algae and oily fish. It mainly contributes to the immune system and our mental health.
- DHA: Made up of 22 carbons, this Omega-3 fat actually makes up about 8% of your total brain weight, making it vital for normal brain development and function. Like EPA, it is found in oily fish and algae.
- ALA: This Omega-3 fat is a little different – the body can convert it into EPA and DHA if needed, though the process isn’t very efficient. It’s the easiest to obtain, as you can do it by eating plant sources, like nuts and seeds. ALA mainly contributes to energy production in the body, working to reduce fatigue.
Omega-3 Oil Benefits
On a cellular level, Omega-3 fats are a crucial part of our cell membranes. They contribute to the smooth functioning of chemical reactions within our bodies and make sure our metabolic processes are functioning properly. This makes the oil vital to our survival, as critically low levels of Omega-3 in the body can become disastrous.
On a larger scale, Omega-3 brings a whole range of benefits, including but not limited to:
- Better heart health due to an increased amount of “good” cholesterol in the body, and decreased risk factors of heart disease.
- Reduced blood pressure due to the prevention of the formation of arterial plaques.
- Reduced symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, which promotes better mental health. The EPA variety appears to be the best at fighting depression.
- Better and easier weight management due to reduced symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
- Improved bone and joint health, with a potentially reduced risk of arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Decreased chances of fat deposits building up in the liver.
- Protection of vital organs, such as the eyes, from external damage. DHA is a major structural component of our eyes, so having lots of it in your body will help prevent damage and degeneration.
- Anti-inflammatory properties and a boosted immune system, which contributes to overall good health.
- Supporting infant brain development. High levels of DHA are required by the body to keep the brain functioning properly, especially in the early stages of our development.
- Preventing dementia in older individuals. Studies show that people with higher levels of Omega-3 in their system tend to have a slower decline in brain function as they age. Omega-3 can also help to improve older people’s memory and attention span.
Deficiencies in Omega-3 oils can be incredibly dangerous, as they can lead to the development of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
A great example of an Omega-3 supplement that helps to prevent heart disease is Nordic Naturals’ Ultimate Omega Lemon supplement. The high concentration of Omega-3 gives you the perfect daily dose to keep your heart healthy and functioning properly.
Alternatively, their Omega Vision soft gel capsules are the perfect solution for improved eye health. The Omega-3 oil is combined with lutein and zeaxanthin to keep your eyes well moisturized and protected from the harmful rays of the sun.
What is Omega-6?
Similarly to Omega-3 oil, Omega-6 is an essential oil that needs to be obtained through our daily diet. Thankfully, it is much easier to intake the correct levels, so Omega-6 supplements are more often recommended as a booster for our health, rather than a necessity that we cannot live without.
Omega-6 oil has a few different varieties, such as:
- Linoleic acid: This is the most common form of Omega-6 fat, which can be converted into longer fat molecules like ARA.
- ARA: This works similarly to Omega-3’s EPA by boosting the immune system. Your intake of this Omega-6 fat needs to be closely monitored, as too much of it can cause an increase in inflammation.
- GLA: Found in oils like evening primrose oil and borage oil, GLA is often converted into GDLA for storage purposes. It brings general health benefits and can be a preventative measure against chronic pain.
Omega-6 Oil Benefits
Omega-6 oil has some amazing benefits that can be elevated by taking daily supplements:
- Reduced fatigue as the oil can be used for energy production in the body.
- Significantly reduces the number and severity of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
- Improved effectiveness of breast cancer drugs when combined with Omega-6 fats, compared to taking breast cancer drugs alone.
- Reduced body fat mass due to increased metabolic rates, if consumed within reason.
- Contributes to a properly functioning immune system and inflammatory response by producing pro-inflammatory chemicals called eicosanoids.
- Contributes to improved reading, spelling, and behavior in young children if taken consistently.
- Lowers risk of respiratory illnesses in infants.
- Can reduce and treat symptoms of most chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
As mentioned before, our daily diets are usually able to provide us with just about enough Omega-6 oil to keep us healthy. That is why a majority of Omega-6 supplements contain a combination of Omega-3 and Omega-6, with some brands even choosing to add certain vitamins into the mix; the average consumer will not require a highly concentrated dose of Omega-6, and will only need it to work in combination with other vitamins and supplements.
A great example of a combined Omega oil supplement is Nordic Naturals’ Complete Omega soft gel capsules, which provide consumers with an accurately concentrated blend of Omega oils working together to promote overall better health. The formula contains a high concentration of all 3 varieties of Omega-3 oil, the GLA variety of Omega-6 oil, and the oleic acid variety of Omega-9 oil.
It’s important to remember that an excess of Omega-6 oil can do you more harm than good, as it can cause an increase in your “bad” cholesterol levels. This is why it’s recommended to stick to combined supplements that aren’t just a concentrated dosage of pure Omega-6 oil.
What is Omega-9?
Omega-9 oil is probably the least commonly known form of Omega oil. This is because, according to the World Health Organisation, this Omega oil is not necessarily considered essential as it can be produced in the body when needed.
Like with Omega-3 and Omega-6, there are a number of Omega-9 oil varieties:
- Oleic acid: This is the most common form of Omega-9. Studies indicate that it could be the reason behind the unique health benefits of olive oil.
- Mead acid: This variation is similar in function to Omega-3’s EPA and Omega-6’s ARA as it works to boost the immune system.
- Nervonic acid: This fat is quite important for healthy brain function, and is commonly found in salmon and fresh nuts.
Omega-9 Oil Benefits
Despite not being considered an essential Omega oil, it’s important to note that increasing your body’s levels of Omega-9 oil has a number of great benefits, such as:
- Improved insulin sensitivity, which may contribute to preventing diabetes.
- Decreased levels of “bad” cholesterol in the body, reducing the risk of obesity and heart disease risk factors.
- Better immune system response and decreased inflammation.
- Improved metabolic health, making it easier to maintain weight.
- May be able to help protect babies from fatty liver disease if high levels are consumed by the mother.
Studies have found that even though our bodies produce this oil, having heightened levels, or “too much”, of Omega-9 fats in your body has no ill effects. This is because they simply replace the unhealthy, more dangerous saturated fats found in our system, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
A great example of an Omega-9 oil supplement is, once again, Nordic Naturals’ Complete Omega soft gel capsules. By taking this supplement, you are guaranteed to consume a high enough level of all 3 main types of Omega oils to keep your body healthy and functioning properly.
There are many brands out there claiming to have formulated the perfect Omega oil supplement. However, many consumers unfortunately find that these supplements either do not provide them with a high enough dosage of the Omega oils or that they leave behind an awful fishy taste and smell.
Both of these problems are caused by the brands using low-quality fish oil that provides little to no benefits and goes rancid incredibly quickly through premature oxidization. Many studies indicate that consuming rancid fish oil products, whether pure fish oil or in a supplement form, may cause your body significant harm. This includes increased levels of “bad” cholesterol, causing organ damage, and increased inflammation.
Thankfully, Nordic Naturals seems to have found a solution. Using the highest quality fish oil, they have created a perfectly concentrated formula that tastes good and brings about all of the great benefits you’ll see listed below. This brand has a huge range of Omega oil supplement products, including pure fish oils and various combinations of vitamins, so there’s something for everyone!
According to the brand’s website, they source their fish oil from Nordic waters (as their name would suggest), which are some of the cleanest waters on earth. They then bottle the fish oil in an environment that is rich in nitrogen and completely free of oxygen, to ensure long-lasting freshness.
Now, the majority of Nordic Naturals’ supplements contain fish oil, as it has an incredibly high concentration of Omega oils. This, unfortunately, leaves vegans and vegetarians to live without these vital supplements… Or so you’d think.
Thankfully, there is a great cruelty-free version of Nordic Naturals’ supplements, which derives its Omega oils from algae. It’s called the Algae Omega supplement, and it provides consumers with all of the same benefits as the fish oil versions do. According to the brand’s website, this supplement has a much higher daily dose of Omega oils than other vegan options available on the market. Also, the algae used in its production is sourced sustainably, making it a great option for those that are aiming to reduce their carbon footprint on our world.
Alternatively, anyone looking for a cruelty-free version of a Vitamin D supplement should check out Nordic Naturals’ Vitamin D-3 Vegan Liquid. It’s sourced from lichen and provides consumers with a non-lanolin form of Vitamin D. The plant-based formula is actually the natural form of Vitamin D, which means that it will be easier for the body to absorb and use. The liquid will help support your immune system, regulate your sleep patterns, and support the absorption of calcium for healthier bones.