What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids belong to the group of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are a component of biomembranes of body cells and precursors of biologically active substances (eicosanoids). Omega-3 fatty acids include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a fatty acid essential for life.

ALA cannot be produced by the body itself and must therefore be ingested through food.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are also essential omega-3 fatty acids. They can be produced in the body from ALA, except in infants. An excellent dietary source of EPA and DHA is fatty marine fish such as mackerel, herring, tuna, or salmon.

For vegans, DHA-rich oils from various microalgae (Schizochytrium, Ulkenia. ALA is found primarily in some vegetable oils (for example, canola, walnut, and flax oils), nuts, green leafy vegetables (e.g., lamb’s lettuce) chia seeds.

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy and vital in small amounts. They improve blood flow, inhibit blood clotting, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and positively affect triglyceride metabolism.

0.5 percent of omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) in relation to daily calories is appropriateā€¦ For an adult (2400 kilocalories), about 1.3 grams of ALA are contained in one tablespoon of rapeseed oil.