People, whose childhood was spent in the USSR, remember well the preparation “Fish oil”. One teaspoon every day … There were not many young admirers of this procedure – the oily liquid in pharmaceutical bottles had a very specific taste. However, the benefits outweighed the inconveniences, because even then everyone knew that fish oil contains omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids important for humans.
The same “Fish oil” can be bought now, but modern preparations with omega-3-PUFA have appeared. What is the difference between them, which is better and why all this is needed at all?
What are omega-3-PUFAs used for?
Omega-3-PUFAs (omega-3 fatty acids) are irreplaceable substances – that is, those that our body needs, but they are not produced by them. These acids are essential building blocks of cells and serve to prevent a range of diseases, from heart disease to asthma and depression.
Modern research reveals more and more aspects of the beneficial effects of omega-3-PUFAs on human health.
- A Fudan University study confirmed that omega-3-PUFAs support the cardiovascular system and reduce health risks in areas with high levels of air pollution.
- Doctors from the Jiangsu University Hospital have found that the combination of omega-3-PUFAs with sterols can correct disorders of glucose metabolism and thereby help fight diabetes.
- Researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark have found that omega-3-PUFAs can improve sperm quality scores in male infertility.
What is fish oil used for
The class of omega-3-PUFAs is quite extensive, but for humans, three of them are most important:
- alpha linolenic (ALA);
- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA);
- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Some land plants, such as flax and chia, are rich in alpha-linolenic acid. But only seafood can boast of a high concentration of the other two. True, the human body is able to produce EPA and DHA from ALA, but with low efficiency – no more than 5%. Therefore, it is important to get them ready-made in your daily diet.
The main source of the most beneficial omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA for humans is sea fish. By the way, fish, like us, do not produce omega-3-PUFA, but only accumulate this substance when they eat algae, shellfish and their less fortunate counterparts. Fish stores of EPA and DHA are concentrated in fat.
Thus, the best omega-3-PUFA dietary supplements are made from fish oil such as Omega-3 Complex . Vegetarian preparations based on seaweed will also work. But dietary supplements, where vegetable oils (flaxseed, sea buckthorn, mustard) are the source of omega-3-PUFAs, contain only alpha-linolenic acid and are much less effective.
What is the difference between fish oil and omega-3-PUFA
Fat is obtained from fish tissue. The best raw materials for production are species of fish with a short life cycle, in the body of which toxins do not have time to accumulate. Most often, the future preparation “Fish oil” undergoes only minimal purification, while it has a low content of omega-3-PUFA and a high concentration of impurities.
For modern preparations based on omega-3-PUFAs, fish oil undergoes further processing, as a result of which it is cleared of a large proportion of impurities. The output is a concentrate with a high content of EPA and DHA. Sometimes it is additionally enriched with vitamins and minerals. The active substance is packaged in a container convenient for taking – as a rule, these are capsules in a hard shell.
Which is better: omega-3-PUFA complexes or fish oil
Comparative characteristics of preparations with omega-3-PZhNK and “Fish oil” can be seen in the table.
|Preparations based on omega-3-PUFA||“Fish fat”|
|Contains only essential components. The Omega-3 Complex contains omega-3-PUFA and vitamin E.||Lots of unnecessary ballast substances, in particular saturated fats and impurities. May contain toxins if produced from cheap raw materials.|
|The capsules are hermetically sealed, their contents do not oxidize and retain their freshness and quality longer.||Upon contact with air, liquid fish oil gradually oxidizes and loses its beneficial properties.|
|The capsules have a tasteless shell that dissolves only in the stomach.||It has a specific fishy smell and taste that not everyone likes.|
|Convenient dosage: just take the number of capsules recommended by the manufacturer or doctor every day.||It is necessary to have a measuring spoon, it can be spilled when using, it is difficult to get rid of the odor on the dishes and table.|
|The cost is medium and high.||Low cost.|
|Availability: Available from a pharmacy or online store.||Availability: can be purchased at any pharmacy.|
It is easy to see that modern drugs have more advantages, and the advantages themselves are more significant. Plus, unlike Fish Oil, good supplements have a balanced omega-3-PUFA content. The daily requirement of Omega-3 Complex, which consists of 2 capsules, contains 240 mg of DHA and 360 mg of EPA.