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Omega 3 and scientific findings

In recent years, omega-three has gained tremendous popularity. It is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) type, which implies that it contains double bonds in its structure. Thus, the predominant forms of omega-3 include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It is important to note that our body has metabolic pathways capable of converting ALA into EPA and DHA, although this conversion to DHA is less efficient. Therefore, plasma concentrations of EPA and DHA are directly related to the intake of source foods, with fish oil being the highlight. Next, we will present scientific findings about omega-3. 



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Studies on the use of omega-3

Omega 3, an essential fatty acid, plays a role in our health. It is present from memory and cognition to skin health and insulin sensitivity; its beneficial properties are vast. Additionally, it plays a vital role in modulating inflammation, a critical factor for global health.

A study carried out in Canada involving 49 participants aged between 55 and 80 years who still had a smoking habit or had done so in the past provided concrete evidence about the benefits of omega 3. Participants were subjected to a consistent supplementation of 2.4 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 1.2 grams of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day for six months.

The results were remarkable, and individuals who received omega 3 experienced a significant drop in plasma levels of CRP (C-reactive protein) and E2 prostaglandins, indicating a notable reduction in the inflammatory process. Furthermore, it was found that the increase in DHA in the red blood cell membrane was directly correlated to the decrease in prostaglandins E2, highlighting the direct influence of the fatty acid on the anti-inflammatory process.

It is also noteworthy that, throughout the study, a drastic reduction in the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio was observed after three months and six months of omega-three supplementation. This finding reinforces the effectiveness of higher doses of this essential fatty acid as an effective intervention in controlling inflammation, further consolidating its importance in promoting health and well-being.

Protein synthesis and omega-3

From a biochemical perspective, it is observed that EPA and DHA can improve the fluidity of muscle cell membranes, increasing the absorption of amino acids. This, in turn, contributes to increased muscle protein synthesis (SPM). However, it is essential to note that although studies corroborate this relationship, research also indicates the opposite. In the case of adults and older people, studies that associate omega-three supplementation with an increase in muscle protein synthesis have significant limitations.


Clinical Practice

When choosing a high-quality Omega 3 supplement, it is essential to consider the purity of the product, considering some critical criteria. The concentration of EPA and DHA is a crucial indicator of the purity of the compound; the higher this concentration, the better the quality of the supplement. Furthermore, the absence of heavy metals is a fundamental point to be checked to ensure the supplement's safety. This information is generally available in the manufacturer's reports and should be consulted carefully.

An international program recognized for its excellence is The International Fish Oil StandardsTM (IFOS), which establishes the highest standards of purity, oil freshness, and concentration of EPA and DHA in Omega 3. Check if a supplement has certification. IFOS is an additional guarantee of quality and reliability, contributing to choosing a product that meets the highest international standards.

References

ELISIA, Ingrid; YEUNG, Michelle; KOWALSKI, Sara; WONG, Jennifer; RAFIEI, Hossein; DYER, Roger A.; ATKAR-KHATTRA, Sukhinder; LAM, Stephen; KRYSTAL, Gerald. Omega 3 supplementation reduces C-reactive protein, prostaglandin E2, and the granulocyte/lymphocyte ratio in heavy smokers: an open-label randomized crossover trial. Frontiers In Nutrition, [S.L.], v. 9, p. 1, 1 Dec. 2022. Frontiers Media SA.

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