Omega-3, 6, and 9 all contain essential fatty acids that are necessary for good health. Are they also good for our eyes? You had better believe it. This report will tell you exactly how.
Omega-3 contains alpha-linolenic acid ( ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-6 contains linolenic acid (LA), gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), dihomogamma linolenic acid (DLA), and arachidonic acid (AA). Omega-9 contains oleic acid (OA). Now you're probably saying, why do I need to know this? The answer is, you don't, but when we use letters, you can look back and see what we're talking about.
Omega 3's two most important fatty acids are EPA and DHA. These are important for pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children, because they are responsible for healthy development of the brain and vision. EPA is most important for everyone else. The efficient functioning of the brain and the body at the cellular level is the job of EPA. The omega-3s protect against cardiovascular disease and have anti-inflammatory properties. The eyes can certainly benefit from this as any type of vascular disease can affect the vessels in the eyes.
Omega-6 with GLA helps the bloating and pain associated with PMS. Healthy skin, hair and nails are another huge bonus, along with hormonal and emotional balance. Any husbands reading this will probably want to get some for their wives.
Omega-3 and omega-6 interact with each other and the balance between is crucial for good health. The functions of the body at a cellular level, depends on hormonal type messengers called eicosanoids.
Omega-9s main component is preventative. OA helps reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Any one of these three can affect the vessels and blood flow to the eyes, causing serious damage. Borage oil contains both omega-6 and omega-9 and is one of the best sources of GLA. Pure EPA contains a blend of EPA, GLA and OA making it an excellent choice of all three omega supplements.
The omega fatty acids are polyunsaturated and are much healthier than saturated fats. They have many metabolic functions. Omega-3 and omega-6 are EFAs, essential fatty acids. They must be consumed in out diet as our bodies cannot manufacture them. Omega-9 fatty acids are not essential. We need them but our bodies can manufacture them from other sources.
Omega-6 EFAs compete for enzymes with omega-3 EFAs, so the two have to be properly balanced. Beginning research indicates that one omega-6 EFA is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. This may have even more heart health benefits than omega-3 oils. Although omega-9 is not an essential fatty acid, it is thought to be necessary for healthy immune system functioning.
DHA is heavily involved in retinal function because retinal tissues are rich in long chain fatty acids. Up to 50% of the phospholipids are most likely DHA and vision would be impossible without DHA. See, I told you that you needed to know what the letters meant.
There has been a study that shows that infants, who receive additional essential fatty acids in their milk, had better visual acuity than other infants of the same age. As we age, our retinas continue to need an adequate supply of fatty acids that make up it cellular structure. Sufficient supplies of omega-3 can reduce the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness today.
There is definitely a distinction between the recommended amounts for the general population of healthy people and the recommended amount for addressing a specific health issue.
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