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Why Omega-3s
Global Omega-3 Deficiency and the Importance of Essential Fatty Acids




Essential Fatty Acids are nutritional cornerstones of human health. Two major families of fats are comprised under this designation, omegas 3 and 6. They are deemed 'essential' because we need them for proper health—much like certain vitamins and minerals—but cannot produce them on our own. We must therefore consume these fats through diet or supplementation.

Most people associate omega-3s with cardiovascular health, but their benefits go far beyond the heart. The two main omega-3s EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) promote the body's natural anti-inflammatory response, a normal function that is behind the relief of many chronic conditions but that is too often inhibited by poor nutrition.* Extensive research has documented the health benefits of EPA and DHA which include not only a healthy heart, but brain and cognitive function, joint mobility, eye health, pregnancy and lactation, healthy skin and hair, and a normally functioning immune response.*

Despite the great health benefits of omegas, individuals around the world suffer from omega–3 deficiency, a little–known problem to most people, but one that is counted as the 8th leading cause of preventable death in the US, among dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors.1 Omega–3 deficiency stems in large part from the growing unavailability of foods rich these nutrients—principally fish—and because of the increasing popularity of the Western diet worldwide. While most diets prior to the 20th century contained a relative balance of omega–3 and omega–6 rich foods, the typical Western diet today contains far more of the pro–inflammatory omega–6s. In fact, Americans have the lowest intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids of any developed country—the typical American diet contains 14–25 times more omega–6s than omega–3s! Through science and education, Nordic Naturals is committed to delivering both increased awareness and quality omega nutrition in order to address this global health concern.

1Danaei G, et al. The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary, Lifestyle, and Metabolic Risk Factors. PLoS Med 2009;6(4)

2Raffaele De Caterina, n-3 Fatty Acids in Cardiovascular Disease, New England Journal of Medicine 2011; 364: 2439–50

Omega-3s for the Heart

There is more scientific evidence behind the cardiovascular benefits of fish oil than any other nutritional supplement. Thousands of clinical studies have shown that increased intake of EPA and DHA—the omega-3 essential fatty acids in fish oil—enhance overall cardiovascular function.* The American Heart Association recently released an updated statement recommending that healthy adults eat fish at least twice a week, patients with heart disease to take 1 gram EPA+DHA per day, and individuals with high triglycerides, 2-4 grams per day.2

The research-backed benefits of fish oil include:
• Supports circulation and healthy blood vessel function*
• Promotes the metabolism of dietary fat and cholesterol*
• Supports a healthy heart rhythm*
• Promotes healthy triglyceride levels in healthy individuals*
• Supports the body's natural anti-inflammatory response*
• Is natural and safe for long-term use

Omega-3s for the Brain & Mood

A large and growing body of scientific evidence indicates that fish oil benefits mental health and brain function in all stages of life. EPA and DHA, the omega–3 essential fatty acids in fish oil, are particularly concentrated in the brain—an organ composed of nearly 60% fat—and the nervous system, where they provide necessary building blocks for healthy cells and tissue.* DHA, for example, constitutes 20% of the total fatty acids in the cerebral cortex, the outermost layer of the brain responsible for sophisticate information processing like memory and attention.

The research-backed benefits of fish oil include:
• Supports healthy brain function*
• Promotes positive mood and well-being*
• Supports memory and learning ability*
• Supports focus and attention*
• May help slow the progression of age-related memory loss*
• Protects nerve and brain cells from oxidative stress and damage*
• Is natural and safe for long-term use

Omega-3s for Eyes

A large body of scientific evidence indicates that supplementing with fish oil benefits eye health in people of all ages. Why? Because fish oil is the best source for EPA and DHA, the omega-3 essential fatty acids that are among the most important nutrients for the development, function, and maintenance of eye tissue throughout life. DHA is particularly important for the eyes, and attains its highest concentration within eye tissue, where it accounts for approximately 30% of the total fatty acids. *


The research-backed benefits of fish oil include:
• Promotes healthy eyes and vision*
• Supports healthy tissue moisture and tear production*
• Protects against age-related oxidative damage*
• Maintains fluid and flexible eye cells and tissues*
• Can help alleviate dryness and redness by supporting the body's natural anti-inflammatory response*
• Is natural and safe for long-term use

Omeaga-3s for the Back and Joints

Back and joint pain often have many different causes, but typically have one underlying factor—inflammation. Normally a protective mechanism, inflammation can produce many negative health effects when it becomes a long-term or chronic condition—including chronic pain and the breakdown of cartilage and tissue. A large body of scientific evidence indicates that fish oil supports the body's natural anti-inflammatory response and the internal repair systems that operate in response to inflammation. Studies show that EPA and DHA, the omega-3 essential fatty acids in fish oil, support the production of natural anti-inflammatory molecules that help alleviate back and joint pain.*

The research-backed benefits of fish oil include:
• Promotes back and joint health*
• Supports the production of natural anti-inflammatory molecules*
• Promotes joint mobility and flexibility*
• Supports internal repair systems that operate in response to inflammation*
• Is natural and safe for long-term use

Omega-3s for Immunity

The ratio of omega–3 to omega–6 essential fatty acids that a person consumes directly impacts the health of their immune and inflammatory responses. Similarly, the ratio of fatty acids within their cell membranes directly influences whether the immune response synthesizes proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory molecules. When the immune system is triggered—for example by injury, allergy, or infection—fatty acids are released from the cell membranes. These fatty acids are converted into molecules as part of the body's natural healing response. EPA and DHA, the omega–3 essential fatty acids in fish oil, support the body's natural anti–inflammatory response because they are converted into anti–inflammatory molecules. A large body of scientific evidence indicates that fish oil helps to naturally regulate the immune response and support the internal repair systems that operate in response to inflammation.*

The research-backed benefits of fish oil include:
• Promotes a healthy immune response*
• Helps reduce the synthesis of proinflammatory molecules*
• Supports the production of natural anti-inflammatory molecules*
• Supports internal repair systems that operate in response to inflammation*
• Is natural and safe for long-term use

Omeaga-3s for Pregnancy & Lactation

EPA and DHA—the omega-3 essential fatty acids in fish oil—are crucial throughout life, but especially during pregnancy, when a woman's demand for DHA in particular increases substantially. DHA comprises approximately 20% of the fatty acid in the brain's cerebral cortex. That's why DHA is among the most important nutrients for pregnant and lactating women. The DHA consumed by expectant moms sets the foundation for her baby's developing brain, eyes, and nervous system. DHA also provides mood and nerve support for new mothers in the difficult weeks following her baby's birth. Omega–3 fish oil is a safe, pure, and effective way to promote the health of both moms and babies, and is endorsed by the American Pregnancy Association.*

The research-backed benefits of fish oil include:
• Promotes the healthy development of the fetal brain, eyes, nervous system*
• Promotes positive mood and well-being for mothers*
• Supports healthy birth weight and gestational length*
• Promotes attention and focus in infants and children*
• Supports healthy immune system development*
• Is natural and safe for long-term use

Omega-3s for Hair, Skin & Nails

Skin is the largest organ in the human body and is often the first visual indicator of an essential fatty acid deficiency. EPA and DHA, the omega–3 essential fatty acids in fish oil, along with GLA, the essential fatty acid found in borage and evening primrose oils, are crucial nutrients for skin health and function. These essential fatty acids (EFAs) reside in the membranes that surround skin cells, where they regulate a large number of cellular processes that directly impact skin health.*

The research-backed benefits of fish oil + GLA include:
• Nourishes skin, hair, and nails*
• Protects against age-related damage*
• Supports the body's natural anti-inflammatory response*
• Hydrates skin by retaining natural moisture*
• Protects against free radicals*
• Stimulates production of healthy skin cells
• Supports a clear and healthy complexion*
• Is natural and safe for long-term use

Omega-3s for Fitness

High–intensity exercise significantly increases the demand on the circulatory system to provide oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, lungs, and brain, and to remove metabolic waste like lactic acid. Omega–3 essential fatty acids from fish oil have been shown to support lung function, and to promote blood flow and oxygen delivery to active muscle by enhancing blood vessel function.* They have also been shown to support the body's natural anti-inflammatory response, an important part of recovery from physical stress.* These effects combine to enhance endurance and promote joint flexibility, mobility, and comfort.*

The research-backed benefits of fish oil include:
• Enhances cardiovascular function and circulation*
• Supports the body's natural anti-inflammatory response*
• Promotes joint flexibility and mobility*
• Supports optimal fat metabolism and body composition*
• Enhances exercise performance, endurance, and recovery*
• Is natural and safe for long-term use

Omeaga-3s for Digestive Health

Inflammation is implicated in a number of health conditions. Along with frequently–cited back and joint pain, gastrointestinal discomfort is also associated with excessive inflammation. As a documented natural anti–inflammatory, omega–3s hold promise as an adjunct to traditional therapies aimed at improving or maintaining digestive health. Evidence for this exists from both human and animal research models.

The research-backed benefits of fish oil include:
• Supports the body's natural anti-inflammatory response*
• Protects against free radicals*
• Supports digestive and gastrointestinal health*
• Is natural and safe for long-term use


Omega-3s for Kids

Among the many beneficiaries of omega–3 nutrition, children have the most to gain from these essential fats. From prenatal babies to adolescents, children rely heavily on EPA and DHA for visual, brain and immune system development, and for normal emotional and cognitive function.* Much of this has to do with the rapid growth of the brain in childhood. Essential fatty acids have been shown to positively impact children in a whole host of ways. Unfortunately, recent research has also shown that only 22% of children get adequate amounts of these essential fatty acids. Along with a healthy diet that includes fish and fresh green leafy vegetables, supplementing with a premium fish oil product is the best way to ensure that families begin to reverse this trend.

Research finds that:
• Omega-3 consumption in pregnancy may reduce the risk of allergies in children*
• Omega-3 consumption in pregnancy may reduce the risk of colds in infants*
• Omega-3 consumption may support learning*