You may have heard of Omega fatty acids before, but do you know why they are so important for your health?
Omega fatty acids have become popular buzzwords in the health supplements industry recently. As a result, Omega fatty acid supplements of various kinds are widely available. One supplementary form to hit the shelves is omega 369 or triple omega.
Does this mean you should take Omega 369, or is there a better alternative? Discover the answers, and our reasons for them, in our guide below.
What Is Omega 3 6 9?
Omega 3-6-9 supplements contain three different types of fatty acids: Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9.
Two of these, Omega-3 and Omega-6, are essential (Omega-3 is particularly beneficial to our health). To give you a more thorough understanding of the role these fatty acids play, let’s examine each one.
Three different Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for your body’s functioning and good health. These are:
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
- Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA)
Essential fats are those the body cannot produce on its own but must get from food. Omega 3 fats (sometimes called n-3 fats) are one type of essential fat.
Dietary Sources Of Omega 3 fatty acids:
Fish is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can obtain Omega-3 from nuts such as walnuts, seeds such as pumpkin, flax or chia seeds, algae oil, leafy vegetables, and a variety of soy products.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for cardiovascular health and the reduction of inflammation in the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids also provide various other health benefits, including help with premature ageing, menstrual difficulties, diabetes, eye disorders, osteoporosis, liver disease and even asthma.
You can learn more about the benefits of omega 3s in our recently published guide.
There are four Omega-6 fatty acids that your body needs for healthy functioning. They are:
- Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
- Dihomo-Gamma-Linolenic Acid (DGLA
- Arachidonic Acid (AA)
- Linoleic Acid (LA)
The first three can be produced by the body; LA, however, is not produced by the body and therefore is considered essential.
Dietary Sources Of Omega-6:
Foods such as tofu (a soy product) and walnuts are excellent sources of both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 can also be obtained from oils like safflower, sunflower and avocado.
Omega-6 fatty acids are crucial for the structure and functioning of cell membranes. They also play a role in cellular gene activity, brain development, and healthy blood clotting.
Omega-6 has been found to alleviate nerve pain associated with diabetic neuropathy and reduce LDL or bad cholesterol.
Omega-9 is another group of fatty acids but is not seen as essential. This is because your body can create Omega-9 from saturated fat. They are the most abundant fats in most of your body’s cells. The most common monounsaturated Omega-9 fatty acid found in the diet is Oleic Acid.
Therefore, Omega-9 does not have to be supplemented in the diet. There are, however, many sources of Omega-9 in the western diet.
Dietary Sources Of Omega-9
Omega-9 can be found in meats like beef, chicken or pork. It is also found in cheese, sunflower oil, and, most notably – olive oil.
Omega-9 fatty acids are necessary for the control of blood sugar levels and for reducing inflammation in the body. Omega-9 has also been cited as essential for helping with asthma, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and lowering the risk of certain cancers.
Pros And Cons Of Omega 3-6-9
If all the Omega fatty acids play a role in healthy body functioning, doesn’t it make sense to take them all together in one supplement? It may seem like that on the surface, but bulking nutrients together is not always the right way.
Let’s examine the pros and cons of Omega 3-6-9 supplements.
The health benefits of the Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids are clear. For example, omega-3 offers countless benefits to sufferers of chronic illnesses (see above) and also combats inflammation.
Omega-6 ensures the healthy functioning of all your cells. And Omega-9 supports the immune system and maintains heart health.
While a healthy diet should provide ample quantities of many fatty acids, supplementation is necessary for adequate stores of Alpha-Linolenic Acid and Linoleic Acid. An Omega 3-6-9 supplement can fulfil this function.
None of these fatty acids are considered to be particularly harmful. However, an Omega 3-6-9 supplement offers all three of these fatty acid groups together, which may not actually all be lacking in your diet (which means that it is not necessary to take the supplement as a whole).
Also, to be sure that you reap the benefits of each, the ratio of these Omega fatty acids to each other is crucial.
That being said, some side effects have been reported when using Omega 3-6-9 fish oils. The effects are primarily gastrointestinal in nature, including nausea, diarrhoea, constipation and sometimes vomiting.
Fish oil supplements are more commonly associated with a less serious, but no less unpleasant, side effect, which is a fishy smell. Fish oil is also associated with aggressive fishing, which puts a strain on the environment.
A vegan 3-6-9 alternative is preferred as it is usually produced from algae or flaxseed oil.
Fish Oil Or Flaxseed Oil?
Aside from the unpleasant taste and smell that these have, 3-6-9 fish oils have also been found to cause more unpleasant side effects, most notably gastrointestinal issues.
While fish oils are often used as 3-6-9 supplements, they can produce unwanted effects and are also not suitable for vegans and some vegetarians. Flaxseed oil, however, is a convenient alternative to fish oil as it contains essential Omega fatty acids and is vegetarian and vegan friendly.
The caveat is that flaxseed is rich in ALA but not in EPA and DHA. The human body generally converts ALA into energy; conversion into EPA and DHA is very limited.
Omega 3-6-9 Supplements – Our Verdict
We believe that 3-6-9 is not the optimal choice, as the western diet is already packed full of Omega-6 yet severely lacks Omega-3s. Therefore, we would encourage high-quality Omega-3 supplements, especially the plant-based kind.
This can redress the Omega 3/6 fatty acids ratio imbalance caused by poor dietary choices.
A Better Alternative
These Vegan Omega 3 DHA soft gels are the perfect choice for your health and the environment, as the Omega-3 is not only sustainably sourced but has a high bioavailability rate as well.
This means that your body will be able to utilize the maximum potency of this essential fatty acid in a pure and gentle form.
Have you been diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease, or is there a family history of these conditions? Do you suffer from menstrual irregularities? Are you at risk for osteoporosis or age-related vision loss?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, we strongly suggest you consider our Omega-3 supplements for safe and scientifically-backed health support.
The best way to nurture your health is through good nutrition. Unfortunately, this may not always be possible due to the average western diet and the imbalance of nutrients.
Modern farming methods, environmental issues and other factors can also impact the nutrient density of our foods.
This is why high-quality plant-based supplements like Omega-3 and other nutritional supplements are vital for your continued health.