Vigorous Herbs

Omega – Rich fatty acids by Vigorous Herbs

Omega- Rich is used in the production of highly unsaturated fatty acids and eicosanoids of series 3. These substances have favorable effects on the composition of cell membranes as well as on many biochemical processes of the organism: regulation of blood pressure, the elasticity of vessels, immune and anti-inflammatory reactions, aggregation of blood platelets.

Among omega-rich, only alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is qualified as “essential”. This is because other omega-rich fatty acids can be synthesized by the body from ALA. It is particularly present in linseed and hemp oil and seeds, as well as in canola (rapeseed) and soybean oil.

Omega – Rich fatty acids by Vigorous Herbs

Our omega-rich needs

The omega-rich and their properties are the subjects of much research each year, resulting in rapidly changing and frequent updates in the nutritional recommendations about them. Here is a brief overview of the situation.

Several countries, as well as the World Health Organization , have issued recommendations regarding omega-rich intake, which can be summarized as 1  :

  • ALA: 0.8 g to 1.1 g / day
  • AEP + DHA: from 0.3 g to 0.5 g / day

In 2004, a committee of international experts set the ideal ALA intake  at 0.7% of daily kilocalories, or 1.5 g per day for a diet providing 2,000 kilocalories. These experts also recommend a minimum intake of 500 mg per day of EPA / DHA for the maintenance of good cardiovascular health 2 .

Food sources

To obtain 1.3 g of omega-rich of vegetable origin (ALA)To obtain 1.3 g of omega-rich of marine origin (EPA + DHA) 
½ tsp. (2 ml) linseed oil2 tbsp. (10 ml) crushed flax seeds.2 tbsp. chia seeds *1 C. (15 ml) canola oil¼ cup (60 mL) walnuts1½ tsp. (22 ml) soybean oil13 g of hemp seeds 50 g Atlantic mackerel65 g farmed Atlantic salmon80 g canned pink or red salmon80 g of Atlantic or Pacific herring130 g canned albacore or albacore tuna130 g canned sardines 

Sources: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

* Extenso

Note. In recent years, omega-rich eggs have been found on the market. They are laid by hens whose feed is enriched with flax seeds, which, compared to ordinary eggs, increases their omega-rich content tenfold: an enriched egg fulfills 25% to 35% of the daily omega-rich requirements.

As a dietary supplement, the benefits of omega-rich

Essential fatty acids are so named because the body cannot synthesize them on its own. They must be found in food, supplements, or food supplements. Typically omega-rich and omega-6 allow the proper functioning of the cardiovascular, cerebral, inflammatory, hormonal systems, etc. Also, each of its fatty acid families have properties, for example, omega-rich are good allies to reduce the level of triglycerides in the blood. The requirements for omega-rich (more precisely alpha-linolenic acid) are between 0.8 and 1.1 g / day. Regarding omega-6, their intake should be equivalent to 2% of the amount of kilocalories ingested per day.

Omega-6 fatty acids

The body uses omega-6s to make highly unsaturated fatty acids and series 1 and 2 eicosanoids . These substances play an important role in the proper functioning of the nervous, cardiovascular, immune systems, as well as in allergic and inflammatory reactions and healing wounds. Consumed in excess, omega-6 fatty acids can counteract the beneficial effects (especially cardiovascular). An excess of omega-6 can also cause pain and inflammatory diseases such as asthma or arthritis.

Our omega-6 fat needs

In 2004, a committee of international experts set the adequate intake of LA at 2% of daily kilocalories, or 4 g for a diet providing 2,000 kilocalories per day 

Various studies have also reported that it is necessary to consume between 1.2 and 2 g of LA per day to obtain the best effects in terms of prevention, in particular on the prevention of coronary heart disease 32-34 . Some researchers recommend a daily intake of AL at about 1% of daily calorie consumption, or about 2 g of AL for a diet equivalent to 2000 kCal per day 35 , 36 . An adequate intake of linolenic acid is therefore 2 and 4 g per day.

An essential balance, but very compromised

Until around 1920, the manufacture of edible oils was done on a small scale. The oils were cold pressed and were obtained in small quantities, as they did not keep for long. Indeed, omega-rich fats go rancid quickly when exposed to oxygen and light. The imperatives of mass food production have therefore pushed the industry to favor the most stable oils. These oils are also the least rich in omega-3, and they are refined … with a lot of refinement, further reducing their omega-3 content. In addition, while the consumption of fish has decreased, that of processed products rich in omega-6s has increased. The development of intensive agricultural techniques and livestock also led to the reduction of omega-3 in many foods such as green leafy vegetables, meat, eggs and even fish 7 .

Result: The omega-6 / omega-rich ratio in the Western diet is generally estimated to be 10/1 to 30/1, while it should ideally be between 1/1 and 4/1 1.7 . In addition, this excess of omega-6 interferes with the optimal use of omega-rich by the body. Indeed, in order to be metabolized, omega-rich and omega-6s compete for several enzymes and, to a lesser extent, for several vitamins ( vitamins B3, B6, C, E ) and minerals ( magnesium and zinc ).

An excess of omega-6 on the plate, therefore, prevents the body from adequately exploiting its sources of omega-rich. This imbalance induces, among other things, a physiological state conducive to cardiovascular diseases as well as allergic and inflammatory disorders 7. To top it off, if a disease interferes with fatty acid metabolism, the problem becomes more serious. Diabetes as well as too much alcohol, tobacco, or stress can cause difficulty or inability to convert ALA to EPA.

According to several experts, a return to a diet providing an adequate ratio of omega-6 and omega-rich would have a positive impact on the cardiovascular health of Western populations 8 , 9 and would also reduce inflammatory diseases 10 , 11 .

This table, taken from the book Santé la Gaspésie (p. 16), is reproduced with the kind permission of the authors.


Omega-6s are used to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer, as well as to fight hyperlipidemia (high levels of LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol).

Omega-Rich: marine or vegetable source?

Experts disagree on the conversion rate of plant-based ALA to EPA and DHA . According to some researchers, this rate varies from 5% to 10% 12-14 in the case of EPA and from 2% to 5% in the case of ADH. According to other experts, who question their colleagues’ method of calculation, these conversion rates are less than 1% 15-17 .

Although it is therefore much easier to get EPA and DHA from fish and fish oils 18 , experts still recommend varying the sources by regularly consuming fish, but also oils and oils. seeds rich in AAL 1 , 7 . Read More

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