Although the efficiency of marine sourced Omega-3s is well established, vegetable sourced Omega-3s have not been sufficiently studied. However, we know with certainty that only marine sources supply a direct source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the two fatty acids responsible for the therapeutic benefits of Omega-3s.
Vegetable sources, however, they contain alpha-linolenic acids (ALA), substances that the body transforms into EPA and DHA, although the action is limited (the conversion rate of ALA into EPA and DHA is less than 1% in humans). Diabetes, excessive use of alcohol, smoking and stress may all lead to difficulty or the inability to transform ALA.
About balanced Omega-3 / Omega-6 ratios
Consuming fish is less popular and industrial products containing Omega-6s have increased, thereby creating unbalance between the Omega-3/Omega-6 ratios. As both compete with each other, excessive Omega-6 is detrimental to the maximum efficiency of Omega-3 in the body. In order to be metabolized, Omega-3s and Omega-6s must compete for different enzymes, vitamins (vitamins B3, B6, C, E) and minerals (magnesium and zinc).
Excess consumption of Omega-6s can actually block the benefits of Omega-3s, notably on a the cardiovascular protection level. Too much Omega-6 may also provoke pain and inflammatory diseases such as asthma or arthritis.
It is estimated that the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 in the occidental diet is generally from 10/1 to 30/1 when it should ideally be between 1/1 and 4/1. Supplements containing Omega-6 should therefore be avoided.
Do all omega-3s have the same properties?
Beware of other Omega-3 supplements. Most of them contain higher artificial ratios of EPA/DHA and boast about higher omega-3 levels. This means that chemical solvents and very high temperatures were used during fabrication in their laboratories. This intervention has detrimental effects because the natural molecular structure of the fish oil is destroyed. These artificial oils clog up our liver because our body must process them before using them. Many people develop an intolerance to these types of artificial oils that lead to eczema, digestive problems, etc. In conclusion, look for fish oils with a natural ratio of 18 % and 12 % EPA/DHA.
A higher quantity of omega-3 is not proof of quality!