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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Our current daily diet now contains more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids and this has increased over time and is considered negatively when considering the human diet.  Both DHA and EPA are omega-3 fatty acids but it is the DHA that is the more important of the two.  DHA is a major building block of the human brain.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also precursors of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins.  Prostaglandins help to control inflammation in the body. DHA plays a particular role in maintaining the heart’s health, helping to protect against ventricular fibrillation.  DHA is also important for visual development in children, as well as being important for the growing brain.Fish body oils contain relative high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids but our diet suffers from a low intake.  There has therefore been an increase in omega-3 supplied in capsule form and increased quantities are used in the human food chain including dietetic formulations.Omega-3 is now incorported into food applications such as margarine, gel capsules and UHT milk to suppliment dietary intake.

Recommended omega-3 dietary intake on a daily basis is:

250 mg EPA+DHA per day adults ( World Health Organisation , EFSA European Food Safety Agency)

1.00 mg EPA+DHA per day (CVD) AHA (American Heart Association)

Refined fish oils containing omega-3 fatty acids utilise bleaching earth during the process cycle. AMC bleaching earth is used in the processing of fish oils to reduce colour,trace metals and stabilise the finished oil against further oxidation so increasing the shelf life with minimal retention of oil to the spent clay.

 

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