Exploring the Different Types of PureBulk Essential Fatty Acids

February 08, 2024

Exploring the Different Types of PureBulk Essential Fatty Acids

The two main types of essential fatty acids (EFAs) are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are polyunsaturated fats that the body cannot produce on its own and must obtain through diet. EFAs facilitate several crucial physiological functions in the body, including maintaining cell structure, supporting brain function, and regulating inflammation.

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids support several areas of well-being. They are cardioprotective and enhance heart health by boosting endothelial function and improving cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They’re also crucial for brain development, cognitive function, and eye health—particularly during retina development. They also have anti-inflammatory effects that may help manage inflammatory conditions. There are several types of omega-3 fatty acids, but the three most important ones are:

  • Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA). ALA is a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid found in certain plant oils (flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil), flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and green leafy vegetables. The body can convert ALA into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), but this conversion is not very efficient. ALA supports a healthy heart and immune system.
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA). EPA comes primarily from marine sources, especially fatty fish. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are particularly rich EPA foods. EPA has anti-inflammatory properties and supports cardiovascular health.
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). DHA is another omega-3 fatty acid found in marine sources. Like EPA, DHA is abundant in fatty fish. Fish oil is another rich DHA source. DHA supports cognitive function.
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What are Omega-6 Fatty Acids?

Like omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6s perform critical functions in the body. They’re also essential, meaning the body must obtain them from dietary sources. Omega-6 fatty acids help form cell membranes, contributing to their structure and function. They also help synthesize hormones and signaling molecules that help regulate inflammation, the immune response, and blood clotting.

  • Linoleic Acid (LA). LA is the primary omega-6 fatty acid found in plant-based sources. Vegetable oils such as soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil are typical omega-6 food sources. The body can convert LA into other omega-6 fatty acids, including arachidonic acid. It does so more efficiently compared to converting ALA to EPA/DHA. It is a cell membrane component and participates in the immune response. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). CLA is an omega-6 fatty acid isomer that may support weight loss efforts and increase lean muscle mass. Several human studies noted that participants experienced significant fat loss during the first six months of CLA supplementation.
  • Arachidonic Acid (AA). AA comes from animal-based sources, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. It is particularly abundant in the phospholipids of cell membranes and contributes to their structure and fluidity. It’s also responsible for synthesizing inflammation and immune response signaling molecules.

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Balancing Omega-3 and Omega-6 Intake

Maintaining a balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is essential for long-term well-being. Modern Western diets often have an imbalance, overemphasizing omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3s. There is a strong association between this imbalance, inflammatory conditions, and chronic diseases. Omega-6 fatty acids are precursors to eicosanoids, which are signaling molecules involved in the inflammation and immune responses. While inflammation is a natural and necessary part of the immune system's function, an imbalance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids may contribute to chronic inflammation. Supplements can help ensure a good balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. [23, 24]

PureBulk Essential Fatty Acids

PureBulk carries fish oil softgels that are rich in EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. We also offer conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) softgels, an omega-6 fatty acid isomer.

Research and References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4190204
  2. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional
  3. https://www.europeanreview.org/article/8446
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22317966
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18789910
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18522621
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257651
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20439549
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950146
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2936751
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29436473
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10428978
  13. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002822304004316
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9270977
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11110851
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22261578
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16924272
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17449580
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6860743
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17305573
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3575932
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6052663
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25149823
  24. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.3181/0711-MR-311?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub++0pubmed&

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