The Wonders of Omega-3
Ronald Ladrillo Amigo BS in Food Technology III University of the Philippines Visayas
Outline of the Presentation
What are Essential Fatty Acids
Nomenclature and Terminology Food Sources Classifications
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Chemistry List of n-3 Fatty Acids Biological Significance Health Benefits Health Risks Dietary Sources How to take it?
What are Essential Fatty Acids?
Also known as EFAs They are fatty acids that cannot be constructed within an organism from other components by any known chemical pathways; and therefore must be obtained from the diet.
Nomenclature and Terminology
Fatty acids are straightchain hydrocarbons possesing a carboxyl (COOH) group at one end. The carbon next to the caboxylate is known as α, the next carbon is β, and so forth.
Nomenclature and Terminology
The last position is labeled ω. Physiological properties of unsaturated fatty acids largely depend on the position of the first unsaturation relative to the end position (not the COOH). It is signified as ω minus n.
Almost all the polyunsaturated fat in the human diet is from EFA
The essential fatty acids start with the short chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (SC-PUFA): ω-3 fatty acids:
α-Linolenic acid or ALA (18:3)
ω-6 fatty acids:
Linoleic acid or LA (18:2)
They form the starting point for the creation of longer and more desaturated fatty acids, which are also referred to as long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA): ω-3 fatty acids:
eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA (20:5) docosahexaenoic acid or DHA (22:6)
gamma-linolenic acid or GLA (18:3) dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid or DGLA (20:3) arachidonic acid or AA (20:4)
ω-6 fatty acids:
Points to Ponder
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids cannot be synthesised by humans, as humans lack the desaturase enzymes required for their production. ω-9 fatty acids are not essential in humans, because humans generally possess all the enzymes required for their synthesis.
The term n−3 (also called ω−3 or omega-3) signifies that the first double bond exists as the third carbon-carbon bond from the terminal methyl end (n) of the carbon chain.
n−3 fatty acids which are important in human nutrition are: α-linolenic acid (18:3, n−3; ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5, n−3; EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6, n−3; DHA).
List of n-3 Fatty Acids
Common name Lipid Name 16:3 (n−3) Chemical name all-cis-7,10,13-hexadecatrienoic acid
α-Linolenic acid (ALA)
Stearidonic acid (STD) (ETE)
18:4 (n−3) 20:3 (n−3)
all-cis-6,9,12,15-octadecatetraenoic acid all-cis-11,14,17-eicosatrienoic acid all-cis-8,11,14,17-eicosatetraenoic acid
Eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA) 20:4 (n−3)
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), Clupanodonic acid Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (Nisinic acid)
22:6 (n−3) 24:5 (n−3) 24:6 (n−3)
all-cis-4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic acid all-cis-9,12,15,18,21-docosahexaenoic acid all-cis-6,9,12,15,18,21-tetracosenoic acid
Clinical studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in treating a variety of health conditions. These include the following:
High Cholesterol High amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish, also tend to have increased HDL cholesterol and decreased triglycerides (fatty material that circulates in the blood)
High Blood Pressure Several clinical studies suggest that diets or supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure significantly in individuals with hypertension.
Heart Diseases Clinical evidence suggests that EPA and DHA found in fish oil help reduce risk factors for heart disease including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. In fact, eating at least 2 servings of fish per week can reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 50%.
Diabetes Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can help lower triglycerides and apoproteins (markers of diabetes), and raise HDL.
Arthritis Omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduce tenderness in joints, decrease morning stiffness, and allow for a reduction in the amount of medication needed for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Depression People who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids or do not maintain a healthy balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in their diet may be at an increased risk for depression.
The omega-3 fatty acids are important components of nerve cell membranes. They help nerve cells communicate with each other, which is an essential step in maintaining good mental health.
Bipolar Disorder In a clinical study of 30 people with bipolar disorder, those who were treated with EPA and DHA (in combination with their usual mood stabilizing medications) for 4 months experienced fewer mood swings and recurrence of either depression or mania.
Menstrual Pain In a clinical study of nearly 200 Danish women, those with the highest dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids had the mildest symptoms, such as hot flashes and increased sweating, during menstruation.
There are also evidences that omega-3 fatty acids may also prove helpful in protecting against the following: Weight loss Osteoporosis Schizophrenia Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Eating disorder Burns
Skin disorder Asthma Muscular degeneration Colon cancer Breast cancer Prostrate cancer
The USFDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition noted that known or suspected risks of EPA and DHA n-3 fatty acids may include the possibility of:
Increased bleeding if overused (normally over 3g/day) by a patient who is also taking aspirin or warfarin.
Hemorrhagic stroke (only in case of very large doses) Oxidation on n-3 fatty acids forming biologically active oxidation products Reduced glycemic index control among diabetics
Suppression of immune and inflammation responses, and consequently, decreased resistance to infections and increased susceptibility to opportunistic bacteria. An increase in concentration of LDL cholesterol in some individuals.
World's Healthiest Foods ranked as quality sources of: omega 3 fatty acids World's Healthies t Foods Rating excellent very good excellent very good excellent very good very good very good good
Food Flaxseeds Cloves, dried, ground Walnuts Oregano, dried, ground Salmon, chinook, baked/broiled Cauliflower, boiled Mustard seeds Cabbage, shredded, boiled Romaine lettuce
Serving Size 2 tbs 2 tsp 0.25 cup 2 tsp 4 oz-wt 1 cup 2 tsp 1 cup 2 cup
Cals 95.3 14.2 163.5 9.2 261.9 28.5 35.0 33.0 15.7
Amount (g) 3.51 0.20 2.27 0.12 2.09 0.21 0.20 0.17 0.08
DV ( % ) 146.3 8.3 94.6 5.0 87.1 8.8 8.3 7.1 3.3
Nutrient Dens ity 27.6 10.6 10.4 9.8 6.0 5.5 4.3 3.9 3.8
Brussel sprouts, boiled
1 cup 1 cup 4 oz-wt 1 cup 4 oz-wt 1 cup
60.8 80.0 86.2 36.0 158.8 49.4
0.26 0.34 0.36 0.15 0.62 0.18
10.8 14.2 15.0 6.3 25.8 7.5
3.2 3.2 3.1 3.1 2.9 2.7
good good good good good good
Winter squash, baked, cubes
Tofu, raw Summer squash, cooked, slices Halibut, baked/broiled Collard greens, boiled
Kale, boiled Soybeans, cooked
1 cup 1 cup
Turnip greens, cooked
Cod, baked/broi led Strawberri es Green beans, boiled Snapper, baked/broi led Scallops, baked/broi led Tuna, yellowfin, baked/broi led Raspberrie s Miso
4 oz-wt 1 cup 1 cup
119.1 43.2 43.8
0.32 0.11 0.11
13.3 4.6 4.6
2.0 1.9 1.9
good good good
1 cup 1 oz
World's Healthiest Foods Rating excellent very good good DV>=75% DV>=50% DV>=25% OR OR OR
Rule Density>=7.6 Density>=3.4 Density>=1.5 AND AND AND DV>=10% DV>=5% DV>=2.5%
Fish Oil Capsules
How to take it?
As macronutrient, fats are not assigned Recommended Daily Allowances or RDAs. Only AI (Acceptable Intake) AMDR (Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range) For a macronutrient , the range of intakes that the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) considers healthful.
AI (Acceptable Intake) 1.6 grams per day for men 1.1 grams per day for women AMDR (Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range) 0.6% to 1.2% of total energy
United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) Recommendations 3 grams per day for fish 2 grams per day for nutritional supplements
Thank You Very Much