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Omega-3


Omega-3 - essential fatty acids in diet
The long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids DHA and EPA are popularly called omega-3. Supplementary intake of omega-3 is recommended in the western world, due to generally low dietary intake and omega-3’s health-promoting benefits. Benefits attributed to omega-3 include reduced risk and improved treatment outcomes regarding cardiovascular disease and inflammatory joint diseases. Better brain and central nervous system development, improved cognitive functioning, and improved skin health are additional benefits. Research indicates that even more omega-3 benefits for individuals will be identified and that greater intake can lead to better general health in western, industrialized cultures.

Antarctic krill – an important source of Omega-3
Ako3™ is extracted from the krill Ako3 species Euphausia superba, which is rich in omega-3. Moreover, the omega-3 in krill oil is mainly in the omega-3 phospholipid form, which research suggests is a preferred dietary supplement when compared to omega-3 in triglyceride form. Marine omega-3 in dietary supplements is mostly derived from fish, such as fish body oil and cod liver oil, which provide omega-3 in triglyceride form. The omega-3 obtained from eating fatty fish such as salmon also provide some omega-3 in the phospholipid form.

Fatty acids in the body — more than energy storage
The human body contains large amounts of fatty acids. A general distinction can be made: Phospholipid fatty acids are key structural and functional components of cells throughout the body, whereas specialized adipose tissue cells — the body’s energy storehouses —store triglyceride fatty acids. Because omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids cannot be synthesized in the body, dietary intake of these essential fatty acids influences their relative concentration in adipose tissue storage.

Phospholipids — key structural and functional roles
Phospholipid fatty acids are key structural components of human cells and cell organelles and play a vital role in membrane functioning. Systemic transport pathways and, especially, the transport of molecules across cell membranes and sub-cellular membranes involve phospholipids. Thus, the functioning of the body’s cells, tissues, and organs is affected by the bioavailability of various phospholipid fatty acids.

 



Changes in the Western diet - reduced intake of phospholipids
Food sources and their nutrient values have changed tremendously over the past century in western cultures. In fact, while the human genome most likely has changed insignificantly over the past 10,000 years, the foods eaten in industrialized countries are a far cry from the staples consumed when mankind evolved. Reasonable assumptions are that “primitive” diets provided phospholipids in greater abundance than the current Western diet and that humans evolved such that phospholipids are the preferred source of omega-3. The current Western diet provides only small amounts of phospholipids; dietary phospholipids represent only 5 percent of total lipid intake, of which very little is in the form of omega-3 phospholipids.

 

 
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