View Full Version : omega 3

15-10--2005, 12:10 AM
Lots has been claimed about the importance of omega 3, it's basically several amino acids which cannot be synthesised by the body so need to be consumed as part of your diet. It seems clear that developing foetuses and children require omega 3 oils for adequate development of brain cells and, while unproven, there have also been claims of links with brain function and mental health in adults.

Pumpkin seeds and flax seed oil are vegetarian sources of omega 3 fatty acids , but from what I can discern they only provide the short chain variety, and the body needs long chain molecules. From what I have read, the body can convert short chain acids to long chain from these non-animal sources but apparently not very efficiently. Long chain molecules can be got directly from fish oil.

I'm a bit lost, so I might have a few facts wrong.


Useful sources of Omega-3

The proven scientific literature points to two Omega-3 fatty acids that are especially critical to human health: the long (20 carbon) chain eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and the 22 carbon chain docosahexanoic acid (DHA). The best known source of these Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA's) is fish oil from cold water fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines which contain large amounts of Omega-3, and have a profile of around seven times as much Omega-3 as Omega-6. Larger fatty fish such as tuna also contain Omega-3 in somewhat lesser amounts, but should perhaps not be eaten in great quantities due to the potential for heavy metals which accumulate up the food chain. Additionally, with the greater lifespan of larger fish, more toxic heavy metals and other contaminants may accumulate. Some supplement manufacturers filter the heavy metals and pollutants from their products through various means (like molecular distillation- see above) that can make some fish oils, very pure and safe. Even some forms of fish oil may not be optimally digestible. Of the four studies that compare bioavailability of the triglyceride form of fish oil vs. the ester form, two have concluded that the natural triglyceride form is better, and the other two studies did not find a significant difference. No studies as yet have shown the ester form to be superior although it is cheaper to manufacture.

Flax (aka linseed) (Linum usitatissimum) or its oil is a very good source of one Omega-3 fatty acid: ALA (approx. 55% alpha-linolenic acid in the oil)[7], and is a common source of Omega-3 for vegetarians. Flax also contains a significant amount of Omega-6 but has around three times as much Omega-3 as Omega-6. However, a study on how effectively the Omega-3 in flax oil is converted and utilized in breast milk indicated that flax Omega-3 was not transferred. [8] This may indicate that flax is not a useful source of the nutrient, and certainly should not be relied on by lactating mothers, as Omega-3 is essential to the formation of synapses (memory and learning) in the developing infant's brain. Also, the fetus, especially in the last trimester, undergoes major brain cell development and the primary building block of human brain cells is DHA, so supplementing with an Omega-3 source rich in DHA is particularly critical for pregnant mothers. Post-partum depression (baby blues) has been linked in many studies to the mothers depleted reserves of DHA and these studies lend further support for the need for adequate DHA intake during and following pregnancy. Although high in non-soluble fibre and lignans (which have been linked to certain health benefits including the prevention of certain forms of cancer), numerous other studies confirm that flaxseed and flaxseed oil convert their short-chain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) into EPA (and DHA) rather poorly (in the ratio of 30:1) so supplementation with this source of Omega-3 is now considered not as effective as was once thought.

15-10--2005, 10:40 AM
thanks for the info Jon :) gonna post a link to this thread on parenting aswell

15-10--2005, 06:15 PM
I have a very minimal amount of knowledge regarding Omega 3 & 6 and I know nothing regarding long-chain and short-chain and the effect on pregnancy. What I have read is that having mixed seeds and oils in the diet does balance out into what the body needs. I keep repeating this on my posts but grinding a seed mix is a really good way of getting most amino-acids (think there are 22 essential - need to check that) So mix pumpkin, sesame, hemp, sunflower and linseed and grind them up, store in an airtight jar in the fridge (can go rancid otherwise) you only need 1-2 tsp a day. There's also a link from the Vegetarian Society (http://www.vegsoc.org/info/omega3.html) for basic info.

15-10--2005, 06:26 PM
There's also a link from the Vegetarian Society (http://www.vegsoc.org/info/omega3.html) for basic info.

Thanks ... it's all so complicated:cry:

I'm waiting for the day when we don't have to eat food at all and can get all the nutrients and energy we need from a pill:rolleyes:

...mmmm, pills on toast...

15-10--2005, 06:44 PM
I've also heard that omega 3 is present in increased amounts in organically produced dairy products.

15-10--2005, 07:47 PM
Thanks ... it's all so complicated:cry:Awww poor ickle 'met's brain!!! :harhar:

I'm waiting for the day when we don't have to eat food at all and can get all the nutrients and energy we need from a pill:rolleyes:

...mmmm, pills on toast...LOL, have you ever met a breatharian? Crazy people think we're evolved to the point of living on air alone. There was a case of a woman reading a book about it - she went up some mountain somewhere (prob'ly the Himalyas) with no food or water and either died or became very very ill....crazy people. I met a guy recently who believed in it totally, then when asked if he was a veggie he said no he was too conditioned to give up meat!!! Glastonbury twat. :rolleyes:

Check out this link for stories......... (http://www.rickross.com/groups/breat.html)