Are there different types of omega-3 fatty acids ?
There are three major types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid, DHA or docosahexaenoic acid and ALA or alpha-linolenic acid. After consumption, ALA is converted by the body to EPA and DHA that can be used more readily by the body
Is flaxseed oil a good source of omega-3 fatty acids ?
Flaxseed oil is a dietary source of ALA, a precursor of EPA & DHA. ALA can be converted to EPA & DHA in the body, but the extent of this conversion is slow and inefficient so it cannot be relied upon as the principal source of omega-3 fatty acids. Hence, Fish Oil which is a direct source of EPA & DHA, is a preffered source of omega-3 fatty acids over Flaxseed Oil.
Are omega-3 fatty acids better than omega-6 fatty acids
Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids work together to promote health. But it is important to maintain correct balance of Omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in diet. The main dietary sources of omega-6 fatty acids are vegetable oils like sunflower oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, palmolein oil and corn oil. Grains, processed foods, meat, milk, eggs ... all contain omega-6 EFAs.
The ideal ration of Omega-6: Omega-3 is 5-10:1 for optimal health benefits. The imbalanced consumption of the two families of EFAs contributes to a range of diseases. Most Indians eat a diet of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids in a ratio of 30-70:1 Hence, in order to maintain optimum balance, one should take omega-3 fatty acids as a supplement as most of us are unaware of the lack of omega-3 fatty acids in our diet.
Do Omega-3 fatty acids have any side effects ?
Omega-3 fatty acids are generally safe to consume; rarely, they may have some side effects including allergic reaction, diarrhea and bloating
Advisory: This is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of medical complaints. It is for information purposes only.