Your Pet Needs Omega 3 Oils Too

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are a requirement in everyone’s diet, for both human and animal. However, the body cannot produce EFAs on its own, so it must be added to the diet each day. The two most commonly known fatty acids are omega 3 (linoleic acid) and omega 6 (alpha-linoleic acid). The diets of our pets, like people, tend to include more omega 6 fatty acids rather than omega 3. This is an imbalance that needs to be improved upon.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential as they help with the proper formation of cell membranes, cardiovascular functions, nourish the lining of the digestive tract, and work to keep your pet’s skin and coat smooth, soft and shiny. Another essential function of omega 3 fatty acids is that they work to reduce inflammatory problems in the body. If you find your pet’s coat is dull and brittle or if he/she tends to have dry skin and scratch a lot, it may be due to a lack of this particular fatty acid.

There are different types of essential fatty acid supplements that are available, however which kind you choose to supplement your dog or cat’s diet can be a bit of a dilemma.

Pure plant oils such as flax oil, evening primrose oil, safflower oil or a blend of plant oils is a good alternative to fish omega-3 fats. These should be “cold-pressed” oils, as opposed to oils that are typically extracted with chemical solvents. The problem with plant oils is that animals have a harder time converting the fatty acids to a form best used by the animal’s system.

Fish oils, such as salmon oil, halibut liver oil, or cod liver oil are more easily converted and used by an animal’s body. The downside is that fish oils often contain deadly toxins, including high levels of dangerous PCBs, dioxins and detectable levels of mercury. Farmed salmon is the worst for contamination and contains less omega 3 acids than wild salmon. At present nearly 30% of all fish are farmed, with salmon being in the 90% farmed range. As well, farmed salmon are often carriers of disease and parasites. When supplementing your pet’s diet with fish oils, choose oils that come from wild sources, not farmed.

There are also blended fish and plant oil supplements available. These often include a mixture of salmon or cod liver oil and flax, safflower or other such oils that provide a mixture of 3 to 4 parts omega 3 oils to 1 part omega 6 oils. Giving your animal a combination fish/plant supplement may be a good alternative to consider, as they should contain fewer toxins since they are not strictly fish oils, yet still should be better assimilated by the animal’s body than straight plant oils.

Omega 3 Fats Are Essential

Have you ever wondered if what you know about omega 3 is accurate? Consider the following paragraphs and compare what you know to the latest info on omega 3.

Adding fats to your diet is essential if you want to live a healthy lifestyle that results in feeling and looking great, but it has to be the right kind of fats. Essential fatty acids fall within this category and are a crucially important addition to anyone’s diet.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are made up of two components: DHA (which stands for docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

The best source of DHA and EPA are fish, especially salmon, seaweed, shellfish and algae. Furthermore, you can also get omega-3’s from unrefined whole grains, dark; leafy greens and certain nuts and seeds like walnuts, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds. This second group contains ALA (alpha linolenic acid) which your body then converts to EPA and DHA.

Your best bet, however, is to get your omega-3’s from seafood because your body converts only about 15 percent of dietary ALA to EPA and much less to DHA.

What do you do if you don’t like, and absolutely refuse to eat, seafood? Well, fortunately you can get omega-3’s in capsule form. Not everyone’s stomach can handle these capsules, but try them out for one month. It’s an extremely convenient way to add omega-3’s to your diet.

When purchasing omega-3’s in pill form, you’ll notice some products also contain the other two components of essential fatty acids: omega-6 and omega-9. Stick with the products that contain only high amounts of omega-3’s. Most people already get high amounts of these two fatty acids from their diet, and it’s this lack of omega-3’s that is potentially the culprit behind many health problems today.

Think about what you’ve read so far. Does it reinforce what you already know about omega 3? Or was there something completely new? What about the remaining paragraphs?

When adding omega-3’s to your diet through pills, look for 1,000 mg pills and take 3-9 per day with food depending on your current health status and healthy living goals. Your Doctor or physician should be able to consult with you about this.

Solgar Vitamins have some very good omega 3 products available at www.solgar.co.uk

So now you have a good introduction into omega-3 fatty acids and the different ways to add them to your diet, but what are the health benefits associated with them?

Plenty! Here’s a quick list and you can also easily do some research by searching for “benefits of omega-3” in your favorite search engine.

– stabilizes blood sugar levels and lowers insulin levels
– boosts your immune system
– encourages your body to burn fat and decreases appetite
– improves your mood and attention span
– reduce inflammation
– improve your skin tone and radiance

If the above doesn’t get you excited about this proven, inexpensive and easy-to-get fatty acid supplement, then check your pulse!

It’s an addition to your diet that will help improve your health by leaps and bounds.

I hope that reading the above information was both enjoyable and educational for you. Your learning process should be ongoing–the more you understand about any subject, the more you will be able to share with others.

Healthy Omega 3 Supplements

Our bodies require a well-rounded diet, which includes essential fatty acids. However, our bodies can only manufacture 1 of the 3 essential fatty acids we need, which is Omega 9. Our bodies cannot manufacture the essential fatty acids we need, so we have to make sure that the many sources available are included in our diets. Seeing that our diets are so high in Omega 6 already, and many doctors are suggesting that the Omega 3:Omega 6 ratio is anywhere from 1:20 to 1:40, where it should be at 1:1, the easiest way to increase your Omega 3 intake is with supplements.

Below is an explanation of the three types of Omega 3 supplements available on the market today.

Flax Oil

Flax oil is a non-marine source of Omega 3 and contains the Omega 3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body needs and cannot make for itself. Several other sources of ALA do exist, most notably walnuts and hemp seed. However, because flax only yields ALA, which then must be converted into EPA and DHA by the body, it is not an effective source of Omega 3 for the following reasons:

·Converting ALA into EPA and DHA is not very efficient, especially as one gets older
·Bodily conversion of ALA results in low levels of EPA and DHA
·Flax oil contains no DPA, the third main component of Omega 3
·Flax oil is high in Omega 6, something our bodies do not need

The estimated rate of ALA to EPA and DHA conversion ranges from 5% to 25%. This means in order to make sufficient amounts of EPA and DHA, one would need to consume 5 to 6 times more ALA than you would if you were to use fish oil alone.

Fish Oil

Whether you are eating fish or taking fish oil supplements, fish has been known to contain numerous health benefits, especially fatty species that are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Proven benefits range from lowering triglycerides and blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, to the more subtle effects of reducing chronic inflammation. Fish oils provide a direct source of EPA and DHA. There are, however, some problems with fish oils:

·High in Omega 6
·Low levels of DPA
·Fish are susceptible to chemical pollutants and dioxins in the water

Seal Oil

Seal oil is one of the best and most direct sources of EPA, DHA and DPA, the third component of Omega 3. While DPA is present in some fish and fish oils, the levels are much lower than seal oil, about 1/5. Seal is oil has been determined to be the best source of Omega 3 for the following reasons:

·Seal oil contains the highest levels of DPA (up to 10 times more than fish oils)
·It is chemically similar to the Omega 3 found in our bodies
·Seals can filter out chemical impurities better than fish

Unlike both flax and fish oil, seal oil has only traces of omega 6, and may be one of the best Omega 3 supplements to reduce the imbalance of Omega 3:Omega 6.

How Omega 3 Benefits Your Health

Thinking about adding Omega 3 to your daily diet? There is no doubt about Omega 3 offering benefits to a lot of people, we will get into more about that later.

The essential fatty acids in Omega 3 have long been known for their many health benefits. Many clinical studies have proven that the biggest benefits come from DHA and EPA, these fatty acids are only found in fish oils, although you would still get some health benefits when taking Omega 3 from plant sources, it is recommended that you include Omega 3 from fish oils, either from eating fatty fish at least 3 times per week, or buying an Omega 3 supplement.

Of the two essential fatty acids mentioned above, DHA offer the most benefits, most supplements however, contain much more EPA than DHA, so when shopping for a supplement, be sure to choose one with as much DHA as possible.

Another thing you should be aware of when looking for an Omega 3 supplement is toxins (PCB’s), ask the manufacturer about the levels of PCB’s and heavy metals in their product, also ask if they can supply you with test data on the purity of their product.

Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of including Omega 3 in your daily diet, these have all been proven in clinical studies.

* Fish oils, rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) have been shown to significantly reduce deaths from heart disease.

* Clinical studies have shown improvement for people who suffer from depression.

* Lower aggression in teenagers.

* Improved memory.

* Lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

* When taken by mothers during pregnancy, it may help protect babies from allergies.

* Improves the body’s immune system.

* If you have, or are in danger of developing type II diabetes, research has shown Omega 3 helps regulate blood sugar levels, and decrease insulin resistance.

* People suffering from skin disorders like psoriasis have shown improvements when taking fish oils.

As you can see, Omega 3 offers benefits both for those who just want to be proactive, as well as it can help those who already have developed some types if illnesses.

If you decide to eat more fatty fish, or take an Omega 3 supplement, remember to check the purity and levels of DHA in your chosen source.