More Omega 3 fats can benefit your eye health in several ways.

There is a steadily growing list of studies attesting to the health benefits of increasing the amount of Omega 3 essential fatty acids in your diet. A whole range of health conditions, it seems, may well be amenable to a little more of the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA in your diet.

The Omega 3 essential fatty acids are found most commonly in fish, and a good way to increase your intake of the Omega 3 fats is to increase your intake of fish, or as is now more common, through taking quality fish oil supplements.

It is quite clear now that increasing your intake of the Omega 3 fats reduces your risk of death, because it reduces your risk of heart attack which can cause death.

Less commonly understood is that the Omega 3 fats DHA and EPA are prevalent in your eyes.

It is now becoming apparent that babies and infants should be getting plenty of the essential fatty acids in their diet to help improve the development of their visual accuity.Retinitis Pigmentosa and Omega 3

And it is also clear from a number of studies that more Omega 3 can help people at the other end of life.

There is an eye condition called macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is characterised by a slow degeneration of vision, and can ultimately lead to total blindness.

In fact macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in elderly people. Fortunately it now seems, as a result of a number of studies, that the progression and onset of macular degeneration can be slowed by a diet high in Omega 3 fats.

And it now seems that there are other eye diseases which can also be beneficially impacted by getting more Omega 3 fats in your diet. One of these is a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa.

This is a hereditary condition which, it is estimated, affects somewhere around one in 4000 people. Often it’s affects are discovered early in life, and can affect the sufferer throughout their life leading to tunnel vision and worse, including blindness.

Currently there is no known cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa. However there is encouraging evidence about the impact that increasing your intake of Omega 3 may have on slowing the gradual progression of the disease.

Studies are showing that, when used in conjunction with vitamin A, more Omega 3 in the diet may reduce the rate at which eye deterioration is observed.

As there is no cure for the disease this is good news, firstly because anything which slows the progression of the disease has to be good, as well as because there is always the likelihood of a cure being discovered, and if one is discovered it’s better for sufferers if they are less progressed along the path to visual deterioration.

Whether or not you suffer from Retinitis Pigmentosa there are powerful health reasons for increasing the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. It is commonly accepted amongst health professionals that more Omega 3 fats are very good for your heart, veins and much more, and a reduction in the risk of dying from a heart attack has to be good for anyone.

Sometimes it can be a little problematical getting more Omega 3 in the diet. Sources which were higher in Omega3 in the past, such as beef and eggs, are now not so high in Omega 3 because of modern farming practices, and in particular because of the low Omega3 foods now commonly eaten by our livestock.

And whilst fish are an excellent source of Omega 3 fish are becoming extremely expensive, and many of them are now contaminated with various industrial chemicals leading to warnings by our government about how much we eat.

The most common way to get more Omega 3 in your diet is by taking high quality Omega3 supplements, though not all Omega 3 supplements on the market are high quality.

There’s a host of reasons why you should be increasing your intake of DHA and EPA, the essential fatty acids known as the Omega 3 fats. That’s independent of whether you have Retinitis Pigmentosa or not.

Written by - Benefits of Fish Oil

The Omega 3 fats in flax seed oil aren’t as healthy

The health benefits of fish oil are becoming more and more well-known. Sales of fish oil supplements have exploded faster than any other nutritional supplement in history, and for good reason. More and more people understand that adding some fish oil to your diet daily is extremely good for your health.

However there are different forms of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids, and today we wanted to talk about the differences between these, and why fish oil is a better source of the Omega 3 fats than some other popular sources such as flax seeds.

There are a number of different fatty acids known as the Omega essential fatty acids. There are the Omega 3 fatty acids, for example but there are also Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids as well.

It is the Omega 3 fatty acids that are the most beneficial to your health, in fact some of the others are not beneficial at all. But even amongst the Omega 3 fats there are different types.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) are the 2 most important of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids. DHA in particular is extremely important to overall good health as well as to mental function. A large portion of your brain is made up of fat and a large portion of that fat is DHA.

DHA is important to both the development of the brain as well as to brain function throughout life.DHA Vs ALA

The best source of DHA and EPA is fish, and in particular oily fish as these fats are found in the oil.

However there are other sources of DHA and EPA as well. Unfortunately these are now not as effective as they once were.

Grass fed beef is a good example. The essential fatty acids come from grasses. And so a cow raised on grass also has the Omega 3 fats DHA and EPA. In fact that’s where the DHA and EPA found in fish comes from. It comes from seagrass which the fish eat, then passes up the fish food chain.

However almost all our beef is now grain fed, and there are no Omega 3 fatty acids in grain, and hence very little in beef now. The same applies to other food sources such as chicken and eggs.

Some people seek to get their Omega 3 fats from plant sources. Flax seeds for example are promoted as a good source of Omega 3 fats, however many people are unaware that the form of Omega fats found in plant sources such as flax is a different form.

It is neither DHA or EPA, it is in fact called ALA, and is not nearly as effective for improving your health as the other 2.

In fact the primary health benefits of ALA is that it can be converted in the body into DHA and EPA, however only a small percentage of it is actually converted.

So for this reason fish, and in particular oily fish, are streets ahead. And if you can’t eat lots of oily fish then high quality fish oil capsules are the best alternative source.

Fish is expensive, however it is much more cost-effective to take superior quality fish oil capsules every day than it is to eat fish, and of course you’re not subjecting yourself to the risks of Mercury contamination from eating too much fish if you’re taking quality fish oil capsules which are free of contaminants.

However not all fish oil capsules available on the market are high quality, and some have been found in the past to contain industrial toxins like Mercury.

We hope that has enlightened you a little more to the differences between the different types of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, and the best way to incorporate the health benefits of fish oil into your diet.

Nutrition education and additional information on healthy food choices are available through the Benedictine University online nutrition and wellness graduate degree program.

Written by - Benefits of Fish Oil