Omega 3: How to choose them, when and how to take them
What are omega-3s? What are their benefits? How to choose them? When and how to take them? Nutrimuscle answers your questions.
What are omega 3 ?
Omega 3 essential fatty acids are lipids mainly derived from fish fats. Cod liver oil is probably the best known source of omega 3. Oily" fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, etc.) are the richest in omega 3.
The active omega-3s are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). As they cannot be synthesised by the body, it is essential that they are provided by our diet.
The recommended minimum intake for health is 250 mg of EPA and 250 mg of DHA per day.
On the other hand, it has been observed that there is a great imbalance in our modern diet between omega 6 and omega 3. In fact, we do not eat enough omega 3 and too much omega 6. Hence the interest in supplementing with omega 3 in order to restore a good balance (one omega 3 for five omega 6).
What are the differences between fish omega 3 and plant omega 3?
The great advantage of fish omega 3 is their very good assimilation rate. It is higher than that of plant omega 3. This means that for an equal concentration of EPA and DHA, these will be better absorbed with the fish form of omega 3 than with the vegetable form. So the quantities of EPA and DHA in the body will be greater in the case of fish omega 3 supplementation.
The other advantage of fish omega 3 is that they do not contain omega 6 as it is the case for vegetable omega 3. However, the interest of a supplementation in omega 3 is to restore the balance between omega 3 (deficit) and omega 6 (surplus).
What are the benefits of taking omega 3 for athletes and for sedentary people ?
Omega 3s have benefits for both health and sports performance.
Considerable health benefits
Omega 3 :
- Promote cardiovascular health;
- Strengthen bones;
- Protect nerve cells from neuro-inflammation;
- Helps combat depression (significant deficiencies of omega 3 are generally found in depressed people);
- Serve as a building material for the cell membranes of the eye.
The best natural anti-fat products
During a low-calorie diet, supplementation with essential fatty acids is essential. Omega 3s provide the following benefits:
- Reduced appetite. Omega 3s increase the secretion of appetite-suppressing hormones such as leptin. During a meal, the intake of essential fatty acids is assessed by sensors that are placed in the digestive system. If the intake of omega 3 is insufficient, the brain encourages us to eat more to supplement this intake.
- Increased fat burning. Omega 3s are thermogenic micronutrients. They stimulate the metabolism and thus make it easier to burn calories.
- Inhibition of fat growth. A good intake of omega 3 has a slimming effect by taking the place of saturated fats which promote the expansion of fatty tissue.
A reduction in muscle catabolism
Regular intakes of omega 3 help to reduce the inflammatory reactions caused by cytokines (produced by the muscles during intense contractions). Thus, omega 3s reduce the intensity of muscle soreness and promote recovery, which allows the athlete to carry out training sessions less frequently.
An anabolic action with better muscle protein synthesis
Omega 3s double anabolism when amino acids and insulin are present in the blood. This anabolic stimulation by omega 3 is explained by the activation of an enzyme called mTOR (mammalian Target of Rapamycin). This enzyme plays a role in increasing muscle mass. Thus, by promoting the activity of the mTOR enzyme, omega 3s allow for faster muscle growth.
Improved cardiovascular health
Omega 3 helps the heart to beat more consistently, reduces the heart rate and blood pressure. They also improve the fluidity of blood circulation.
For athletes, the advantage of omega 3 is that it reduces the cardiac stress caused by repeated training. Daily intake of omega 3 helps to reduce the heart rate during intense exercise. Thanks to this reduction, omega 3s help to delay cardiac fatigue and therefore optimise athletic performance.
How to choose your omega 3s
Which omega 3 to choose? We guide you by indicating which crucial information it is necessary to know to judge the quality of omega 3.
Check the extraction method
To go from fish to fish oil, the fatty acids that contain the omega 3's must be extracted by removing the proteins and water. There are several ways to remove the fatty acids:
- High temperature cooking, this process is inexpensive, but it degrades some of the omega 3.
- Cold extraction, this method is similar to the one used for the extraction of olive oil. However, for fish oil, this process is not very efficient.
- Low temperature extraction (below 100°). This process eliminates microbes while preserving the omega 3.
Nutrimuscle has chosen quality, our omega 3 are extracted at low temperature.
Ethyl ester or triglycerides ?
In their natural form, omega 3 are triglycerides, that is to say that three molecules of omega 3 are coupled with a molecule of glycerol. However, in order to concentrate the polyunsaturated fatty acids, the producers remove the glycerol molecules and replace them with ethyl esters to eliminate the other forms of lipids.
After this concentration phase, there are two possibilities: to leave the omega-3s as they are, or to remove the ethyl esters and put the glycerol back in to obtain omega-3s in the form of triglycerides. The second, more expensive option is the best for obtaining quality omega 3.
Nutrimuscle omega 3s are bound to triglycerides, in their natural form and not in the form of ethyl esters.
What is the expiry date?
Pay attention to the use-by date of your omega 3, if it is strangely close to the date you bought them, it means that they come from a batch of doubtful freshness.
At Nutrimuscle, we source the freshest batches possible. We publish on our product sheets the certificates of analysis of the producers to attest the freshness of our omega 3.
The EPA/DHA balance
Some omega 3 supplements contain mostly EPA while others contain more DHA. This is not good, as each has different benefits, making them both complementary.
Nutrimuscle omega 3s respect the EPA/DHA balance in order to obtain a complete intake.
The TOTOX quality indicator
The main quality index of omega 3 is called TOTOX (TOTal OXydation). It measures the total oxidation of omega 3, i.e. their degradation. The higher the TOTOX index, the worse the quality of the omega 3. The maximum TOTOX level is set at 26.
A high TOTOX level means that a large proportion of the omega 3s will oxidise easily and thus be destroyed before they are even consumed. Worse still, the oxidised molecules that are toxic will take the place of the healthy omega 3 molecules. In short, if the TOTOX of your omega 3 is high, you will consume a less important dose than indicated on the label and you will absorb omega 3 of bad quality.
The TOTOX index of Nutrimuscle omega 3 is 2 for the batch currently on sale, thus well below the maximum limit of 26. Moreover, our omega 3s are stored in cold storage.
When and how to take Nutrimuscle Omega 3
We advise you to take Nutrimuscle Omega 3 preferably with meals. This will allow you to spread the doses of omega 3 over the day, which is better for the digestive system and also better for making the most of the benefits on cardiovascular health.
We recommend taking 2 to 4g of omega 3 daily. We recommend taking Nutrimuscle Omega 3 with a meal that contains fat to ensure optimal absorption.