Omega-3s are one of the most popular nutrients you find in dietary supplements, and for good reasons! They are among some of the most important nutrients in our diet to support our long-term health, but what are omega-3 fatty acids? What do they do? And how do you make sure that you’re getting the right type of omega-3s?
Omega-3s are a group of nutrients called fatty acids, which play a number of important roles in our body and support a variety of functions. Our body cannot make enough of these nutrients internally which means that we must get omega-3s from the food we eat.
You can find omega-3s in different foods such as fatty fish (like salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel etc), flax seed, chia seeds and walnuts. For people who don’t eat much of these foods, an omega-3 supplement is an effective way to ensure you’re getting enough from your diet.
Types of Omega-3
The three most important types of omega-3 are ALA, EPA and DHA.
ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) is the most abundant type of omega-3 in the diet and the majority of people get enough of this omega-3. Your body uses ALA for several processes, including for energy. Your body can also make EPA and DHA (see below) from ALA, but the process is highly inefficient with less than 10% being converted to EPA & DHA.
EPA & DHA (Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic acid) can only be obtained in significant amounts from marine sources, like eating fatty fish. That’s why most international health authorities, such as the World Health Organisation and the European Food Safety Authority, recommended getting 250 mg of EPA & DHA a day, which is equal to about 2 servings of fatty fish per week. Unfortunately, most people do not get enough EPA & DHA omega-3s, since the body’s conversion rate from ALA to EPA & DHA is so low, and fatty fish tends not to be widely consumed on a regular basis.
EPA and DHA omega-3s are key structural components of all our body’s cells in the brain and eyes, and help keep our vital organs healthy like the heart, liver, brain and eyes.
An estimated 97% of the world population have insufficient levels of omega-3 (EPA & DHA), with some of the lowest levels in North America, Central Europe and many parts of Asia, indicating a lack of dietary intake.
There can be many reasons that we don’t get enough omega-3s from our diet, such as accessibility to fresh fish, religious reasons, family preferences, lifestyles choices like vegan and vegetarianism, or perhaps you just don’t eat enough fish on a regular basis.
In these cases, a dietary supplement containing the right omega-3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) would be a good choice.
The best way to get EPA & DHA omega-3 is from marine sources, like krill oil or fish oil.
Krill oil is a natural source of omega-3s delivering essential nutrients to the body. It contains both omega-3 and choline for a healthy heart. It also naturally delivers the antioxidant astaxanthin. This antioxidant serves as a natural stabilizer for the omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil, therefore no added antioxidants are necessary to preserve the oil.
Swisse Clinical Strength Deep Sea Krill Oil is a premium quality and sustainably sourced formula from the Antarctic front. It is formulated with 1000 mg of Superba Krill oil, and is clinically proven to assist with the relief of knee pain in mild to moderate osteoarthritis. From supporting a healthy heart and brain function to improving joint mobility and promoting radiant skin, krill oil is the perfect addition to your daily routine.