Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) are necessary for proper human growth and development throughout all stages of life. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are found in equal amounts in our bodies at birth but both deplete as we age since they are used daily for our vital processes. Unfortunately, the human body does not naturally reproduce either; therefore, your diet must provide a steady intake of both.
EFAs are a source of energy; facilitate communication between and within cells; and aid in the maintenance of cells. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are the vital fatty acids of brain and nerve tissue. They promote heart and cardiovascular health and support optimum immune functioning. In addition, they are important for the reduction of inflammation and overall bodily health.
Ideally, Omega-3 and Omega-6 should be in balance as a 1:1 ratio. However, diet and lifestyle changes as populations moved inland from the coastlines have resulted in a loss of Omega-3. With only a reduction in the consumption of Omega-3, our modern diets are so high in Omega-6 that many doctors suggest the Omega-3/Omega-6 imbalance may be anywhere from 1:20 to 1:40.
Flax and flax seed oil is a non-marine source of Omega-3. However, flax yields alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which must be converted into EPA and DHA before becoming true Omega-3 (EPA, DHA and DPA). Bodily conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is problematic for a number of reasons:
Flax and flax seed contain no DPA, the third main component of Omega-3. In addition, flax and flax seed is high in Omega-6, something our bodies do not need. While flax has some known health benefits, it should not be considered as a source for Omega-3 EPA, DHA, and DPA fatty acids.
Fish oils, in contrast, provide a direct source of EPA and DHA. There are, however, some problems with fish oils:
Seal oil is the best, direct source of EPA and DHA. In addition, seal oil also provides a third major component of Omega-3 fatty acids - DPA. While DPA is present in some fish and fish oils, the levels are much lower than seal oil (about 1/5). Seal is oil is the best source of Omega-3 because:
Omega-3 seal oil is often referred to as a natural, balanced sourced of Omega-3.