The first thing that you need to understand that omegas 3, 6 and 9 are three different fatty acid groups, all of which offer great health benefits.
Omega 3 is good for the heart and brain, omega 6 is good for hormone production, and omega 9 benefits the heart and arteries. While each omega offers a benefit, omega 3 is arguably the most beneficial fatty acid in this group.
Often, rather than an omega 3, 6, 9 supplement, you will find an omega 3 supplement alone.
Some doctors claim that you don’t need anything but omega 3 in supplementation form. A big reason for this is that an omega 3 deficiency is much more common than an omega 6 or 9 deficiency. These doctors do not dismiss the benefits of omega 6 or 9, however.
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Is It Better to Get My Omega Fatty Acids From Food or From Vitamins?
Most things that your body needs to function correctly are best obtained by eating certain foods.
For whatever reason, your body tends to absorb the necessary vitamins from your food better than it does from capsules. This is also the case with omega fatty acids.
The good news is that omega 3, 6, 9 supplements in the form of gels or liquids are also absorbed nicely into the body.
The downside is that omega 3 gels and liquids tend to taste like fish! Many people complain that they taste fish all day once they take omega 3 supplements.
Another problem that you will face in terms of getting the foods that you need to get these fatty acids is that each omega comes from a different food source. For example, the best source for omega 3 is cold-water fish, for omega 6 it is turkey, and for omega 9 it is olive oil.
For many people, supplementing their omegas is the best way to get an adequate amount of each one.
Is It True That Omega 6 Is Not Good for You?
There is a mixed message out there regarding omega 6. Omega 6 is an essential nutrient, as is omega 3. You need to consume it in order to get what your body needs.
However, too much omega 6 can be detrimental to your health according to Optimal Heart Health.
In small doses, omega 6 is excellent for your health, benefiting the heart and the brain as well as reducing your response to allergens. This means reduced sneezing and negative reactions when exposed to something that you are allergic to.
In large doses, omega 6 can cause heart attacks, strokes, and even support the growth of cancer in the body. The biggest problem is that most people get far too much omega 6 in their diet and they don’t need to supplement it at all!
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I Don’t Hear a Whole Lot About Omega 9 — Do I Really Need It?
Omega 9 is not essential for the body to function. However, this doesn’t mean that the body can’t use it. Omega 9, like omega 3, is beneficial for the heart. It can help reduce cholesterol levels and even reverse artery hardening.
There is some belief that omega 9 can help improve your general health. There isn’t any scientific data to support this belief. Omega 9 may also help to regulate blood sugar, which could prove beneficial for people with diabetes.
As with omega 6, too much omega 9 can cause serious health risks including heart attack and stroke. An omega 9 deficiency is rare, so it is important to know whether or not you need omega 9 before you start taking a supplement.
What Are the Biggest Differences Between Omega 3, 6, and 9?
Other than what each omega can offer you, they are different fatty acids. Both omega 3 and omega 6 are polyunsaturated fatty acids while omega 9 is a monounsaturated fatty acid.
Omega 3 is a combination of alpha linolenic acid (ALA or LNA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega 6 is a combination of linolenic acid (LA), gamma linolenic acid (GLA), and arachidonic acid (AA). Omega 9 includes oleic acid, mead acid, and erucic acid.
Now, for most people, this won’t mean a whole lot, but in essence, these different acids are what provide the benefit to the human body. You can find individual fatty acids, such as LNA or EPA, but it is the combination together that will provide you with the maximum benefit.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I have to take omega supplements?
Unless your doctor has instructed you to take certain supplements, you do not have to take them.
Are omega 3,6, 9 supplements safe?
Whether or not dietary supplements are safe to take depends on a number of factors. Learn more about the safety of supplements here.
What supplements do I need to take?
No one can answer that aside from your doctor. To learn more about the various supplements that doctors commonly recommend, check out this article.
Good nutrition should be paired with a regular exercise routine for optimal health. Go PRO today for a routine that will help you reach your health and fitness goals.