Les Carences en Oméga-3

Omega-3 deficiencies

Jan 25, 2024

Omega-3, these fatty acids with numerous health benefits , play an essential role in the optimal functioning of our body. However, with today's often fast-paced lifestyles, it is not uncommon to encounter omega-3 deficiencies , which can have repercussions on well-being .

What can these deficiencies be due to and what solutions can be found? Immerse yourself in the complex world of omega-3 with our article!

What you need to know about omega-3

What is omega-3?

Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids , a type of fat that the human body cannot produce on its own, but is nevertheless essential. This is why it is important to obtain them from the food given to the body.

Moreover, you should know that there are three main types of omega-3 , which are as follows: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) , eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). . And depending on the foods consumed, it will not necessarily be the same type of omega-3 that will be provided to the body.

Their importance for the human body

Omega-3s, like vitamin C or iron, are among the elements considered essential for the proper functioning of the human body, at different levels.

  • Heart health : in fact, omega-3s are known for their benefits on cardiovascular health. They can help reduce triglyceride levels in the blood, lower blood pressure, or even have anti-arrhythmic effects. Which ultimately can help prevent heart disease.

  • Brain function : Omega-3 (especially DHA) also plays an important role in brain development in infants and is essential for maintaining optimal brain function throughout life. Adequate levels of omega-3 are associated with better cognition, memory , prevention of neurological disorders.

  • A reduction in inflammation: omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties. They can thus help prevent diseases linked to inflammation, such as autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammatory diseases.

  • Vision: among the different types of omega-3, DHA is an essential component of the retina of the eye. Thus, it plays an important role in eye health , and adequate levels of omega-3 help maintain optimal vision.

  • The immune system: Finally, omega-3s can help strengthen the immune system by influencing the production and activity of immune cells.

Food sources of omega-3

Omega-3s are found in various foods, mainly in fatty fish, seafood, some seeds and vegetable oils. Here are some common sources of omega-3:

Marine oily fish are among the best sources of omega-3, particularly EPA and DHA. Here we think of salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and even trout.

In addition to fatty fish, other seafood can also provide omega-3, such as oysters, mussels, and also shrimp.

Furthermore, seeds and nuts are also part of the food sources rich in omega-3. Between flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and nuts, there's plenty to do!

And in connection with the previous elements, vegetable oils (flax, rapeseed, walnuts, hemp, but also algae) are rich in omega-3.

Finally, today there are eggs enriched with omega-3 , coming from hens fed with foods rich in omega-3, and dairy products enriched with omega-3 (such as milk or yogurt).

Omega 3

Omega-3 deficiencies

What can cause omega-3 deficiencies?

As with any other type of deficiency, omega-3 deficiencies can result from various factors: diet, lifestyle choices, medical conditions, food preferences, etc. Here are some possible explanations to help you see things more clearly:

  • An unbalanced diet: if a person does not consume enough foods rich in omega-3 (oily fish, nuts, vegetable oils, etc.), they may develop a deficiency.

  • Low fish consumption: as said above, fatty fish are among the best sources of EPA and DHA. If a person has a low fish intake, due to dietary preferences, diets, or other reasons, they may be at risk for an omega-3 deficiency.

  • Digestive diseases: Certain medical conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease or other digestive disorders, can affect the absorption of nutrients, including omega-3s.

  • Excessive intake of omega-6: Omega-6 is also an essential fatty acid, but excessive consumption of omega-3 can disrupt the healthy balance. And this imbalance can then contribute to omega-3 deficiencies.

  • Special lifestyles: Some people, due to their specific food choices, dietary restrictions or lifestyle, may not get enough omega-3.

What solutions to overcome omega-3 deficiencies?

Having omega-3 deficiencies is not incurable, it is entirely possible to remedy this problem. And this, in different ways. The first thing to do is to start by including foods rich in omega-3 in the diet . To do this, you need to think:

  • with fatty fish,
  • with flax seeds or
  • with nuts to name just a few examples.

This without forgetting that today there are also foods enriched with omega-3 that can be chosen, such as eggs, cereals or dairy products. And among the foods to include on the plate, seaweed is also on the menu. It is indeed an interesting vegan source of omega-3.

It is also possible to consume omega-3 supplements , such as fish or algae oils depending on the diet.

But nowadays we also find omega-3 supplements in the form of capsules that are easy and quick to ingest, such as this food supplement made in France based on fish oil . These options are recommended especially for people who have difficulty getting enough omega-3 from their diet.

In addition, it is important to ensure that your intake of omega-3 and omega-6 is balanced . If necessary, it is therefore advisable to reduce the consumption of foods rich in omega-6 (vegetable oils for example). In this case, cooking with omega-3 rich oils for cooking is a wise choice.

Finally, nothing beats the advice and expertise of a health professional. If you suspect an omega-3 deficiency or if you are considering significant changes to your diet, it is first of all recommended to consult a doctor. In fact, a nutritionist or dietitian will be best able to provide you with personalized advice based on your personal situation.

In short, omega-3s prove to be essential players for health. They influence various aspects of well-being, from cardiovascular health to strengthening the immune system. And this is why, whether through a balanced diet or through the consumption of supplements , today there are different ways to guarantee adequate levels of omega-3 and thus prevent (or cure) deficiencies!

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