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Omega-3 - origin and mode of action


The omega-3 fatty acids belong to the group of unsaturated fatty acids. If all carbon atoms in a fatty acid are saturated with hydrogen atoms, it is called “saturated” fatty acids. These are mostly of animal origin and can increase our cholesterol levels and cause changes in our blood vessels, which is why they should only be consumed in moderation. If, on the other hand, at least two neighboring carbon atoms are connected by double bonds, it is called an “unsaturated” fatty acid. If there are several of these double bonds, they are referred to as “polyunsaturated fatty acids”.

Omega“ as the last letter of the Greek alphabet stands for the last carbon atom within the fatty acid chain at the methyl end. The first double bond at this end is on the third carbon atom, which explains the number “3” in the name.

The most important omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • The triple saturated alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in linseed, rapeseed and walnut oil
  • The 5-fold saturated eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which comes from the fat of cold water fish such as. comes from salmon
  • The 6-fold saturated docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is found in fish oils and some algae

Omega-3 fatty acids (also called linolenic acid) are among the “essential fatty acids” that the body cannot produce itself from other nutrients. In addition to Omega-3, v.a the omega-6 fatty acid, also known as linoleic acid. While there is usually no shortage of omega-6 fatty acids in our diet, the situation is different when it comes to omega-3: according to the 12th. According to a nutritional report from the German Nutrition Society (DGE), the recommended amounts of fish, namely 80-150 grams of low-fat sea fish and 70 grams of high-fat sea fish per week, are significantly undercut by both men and women. On average, men only consume 250 mg of EPA/DHA per day, and women only consume 150 mg. This underlines the importance of dietary supplements in providing omega-3 fatty acids.

In addition to the absolute amount, the optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is also important. According to nutritionists, this would be 3-5 to 1. In fact it is 20:1. Too much omega-6 fatty acid (especiallya Arachidonic acid) for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism and arthritis. The EPA fatty acid displaces the arachidonic acid within the metabolism and thus counteracts inflammation. In order to benefit from the benefits of omega-6 fatty acids without harming the body elsewhere, a balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is relevant.

Benefits and mode of action

DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function and vision, provided that at least. 250 mg can be taken. In addition, EPA and DHA contribute to normal heart function if they are consumed in an amount of 250 mg daily. Replacing saturated fatty acids with monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels.

With regard to infants, the intake of DHA (100 mg daily) contributes to the normal development of vision up to 12 months of age. Maternal intake of DHA (an additional 200 mg daily) contributes to the normal development of the brain and eyes in the fetus and breast-fed infant.

Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and normal blood pressure (these include 2 and 3 g daily required).


The US government's National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the world's largest biomedical research institution and has published a comprehensive overview of the current research on omega-3 fatty acids on their website:

It says u.a: “People who eat fish and other seafood have a lower risk of various chronic diseases […]."

On the current study situation regarding. The following topic areas are mentioned regarding the influence of omega-3 fatty acids on health:

Cardiovascular disease: Many studies show that eating fatty fish and other types of seafood as part of a healthy diet helps keep the heart healthy and protects against some heart problems. If more EPA and DHA are consumed from foods or dietary supplements, for example triglyceride levels reduced. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people with heart disease consume about 1 g of EPA and DHA per day, preferably from fatty fish.

Infant Health and Development: During pregnancy and breastfeeding, eating 8-12 ounces of fish and other seafood per week can improve baby's health. However, it is important to choose fish that are higher in EPA and DHA, such as: Salmon Some studies also show that taking omega-3 supplements can slightly increase a baby's weight at birth and the length of time the baby is in the womb. Both can be beneficial. Breast milk also contains DHA.

Cancer Prevention: Some studies suggest that people who consume more omega-3 fatty acids have a lower risk of breast cancer and possibly colon cancer. However, a large clinical trial found that omega-3 supplements did not reduce the overall risk of cancer or the risk of breast, prostate, or colon cancer. Further ongoing clinical trials will help clarify whether omega-3 fatty acids affect cancer risk.

Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive function: Some - but not all - research shows that people who consume more omega-3 fatty acids from foods such as fish may have a lower risk Alzheimer's disease, dementia and other problems with cognitive function. More research is needed on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the brain.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults. Studies suggest that people who get higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from the foods they eat may have a lower risk of developing AMD. But once someone has AMD, taking omega-3 supplements will not prevent the disease from worsening or slow vision loss.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): RA causes chronic pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in the joints. Some clinical studies have shown that taking omega-3 supplements in combination with standard RA medications and other treatments may help treat RA. For example, people with RA who take omega-3 supplements may need less pain-relieving medication, but it's not clear whether the supplements reduce joint pain, swelling, or morning stiffness.

The effect of omega-3 fatty acids on heart health has been intensively researched for several decades. There are v.a DHA and EPA in focus. In a US meta-study, for example 18 randomized clinical trials and 16 prospective cohort studies were examined. When looking at risk groups, omega-3 fatty acid intake resulted in a 16% reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease in participants with elevated triglyceride levels (>= 150 mg/dl), and a 14% significant decrease among participants with high LDL cholesterol levels (>= 130 mg/dl). The results from the cohort studies were even clearer: they showed a decrease of even 18% when taking omega-3 fatty acids. (see. Alexander, Dominik D., et al., A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials and Prospective Cohort Studies of Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Coronary Heart Disease Risk, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, January 2017, Volume 92, Issue 1, p. 15 – 29.)

A meta-study from 2016 based on 19 clinical studies from 16 countries with a total of ~46.000 participants postulated that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, i.e.H DPA and EPA, which increase chances of survival after a heart attack: Those participants in whom the most omega-3 was detected were 25 percent more likely to survive a heart attack than the test subjects with the lowest omega-3 -Content in blood. However, it could not be significantly confirmed that omega-3 fatty acids also reduce the likelihood of a heart attack occurring. The scientists only found that DPA reduced the risk of a heart attack by six percent, although this was not statistically significant.

Qidosha products

The decisive factor for the effectiveness of omega 3 fatty acids is the proportion of EPA and EHA - both components are in the QIDOSHA product with 50 and 25% is particularly high. DHA is particularly important for brain performance and, when optimally available in the body, can support learning and thinking skills. EPA, on the other hand, particularly supports physical exertion and can have a positive effect on the mood.

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