Last year was a solid one for Omega 3,6 and 9 and was also marked by positive news, in the form of a health claim for Omega 3’s. The new qualified health claim given to Omega 3 was the positive connection between EPA and DHA and reduction in blood pressure.
In 2018, the global Omega 3 market size was estimated at USD 2.29 billion and looking ahead, is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 7.4% from 2019 to 2025. As further scientific research shows even more benefits of the Omega 3 fatty acids, we expect 2020 to be a huge year for this supplement.
What are Omega 3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 is a family of fats that are important for health. Omega-3 fats come in different forms:
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) – This fatty acid helps reduce inflammation and improves mood by producing chemicals called eicosanoids.
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) – A fatty acid that is crucial for normal brain function and development. It makes up to 8% of brain weight.
- Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA) – The body mainly uses this 18-carbon fatty acid for energy.
What’s the difference between the different Omega fats?
Though omega-3, 6 and 9 are all unsaturated acids with many health benefits, they are all different from each other with respect to the position of their chemical structures – double bonds – and therefore, also differ in their properties and health benefits.
Omega-3 and 6 are polyunsaturated fatty acids – “Poly”, which means many and “unsaturated” indicating double bonds. Omega-3 refers to the position of the final double bond in the chemical structure and it is three carbon atoms from the “omega” molecular chain.
Omega-6 is different from omega-3 as the last double bond is six carbon atoms from the omega end of the fatty acid molecule.
Omega-9 are monounsaturated fatty acids which means that they have only one double bond. It is located nine carbon atoms from the omega end of the fatty acid molecule.
While Omega-3 and 6 cannot be made by our body and are called essential fats, omega-9 can be produced by our body.
What are the benefits of Omega 3,6,9?
The three Omega fatty acids have their own individual benefits:
- Forms a vital part of cell membranes
- Supports mental health
- Improves heart health
- Supports health weight management
- Shown to reduce inflammation
- Supports infant brain development
- Promotes brain health
- Shown to reduce nerve pain
- Supports bone health
- Shown to decrease blood pressure
- Shown to lower heart disease risk
- Shown to help alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
- Shown to reduce cardiovascular disease risk
- Acts as a substitute in case of low levels of Omega 3 and 6.
Why Omega-3 6 9 Fatty Acid Supplements?
The health benefits conferred by Omega 3,6, and 9 are important throughout our lifespan. In early life, these fatty acids play an essential role in growth and development, including development of the eyes and brain. Increased intake of Omega 3,6,9 fatty acids during pregnancy has been associated with decreased maternal depression, reduced rates of preterm birth and reduced allergies and asthma in children. In adults, greater consumption of these fatty acids has been associated with cardio-protective effects.
However, Omega 3,6,9 fatty acid intake in the Western diet is typically low compared to recommended intakes. Omega-3 6 9 supplements encompass the benefits provided by all individual fatty acids, and provide a balanced amount of all three acids. These supplements can help maintain health cholesterol levels, keep skin healthy, improve mood, enhance brain function, maintain cardiovascular health and support healthy growth and development.
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*Claims for food supplements mentioned in this article are not meant for general public, but are purely for information of food supplement industry professionals. Please note that the claims are not authorised by European Food Safety Authority for use on labels or marketing materials.