The Biology of Omega-3 fatty acids: (Just a little science:)
When fish, flax-seeds or Brussels sprouts pass through the intestine, pancreatic enzymes transform the fat to free fatty acids. These acids are quickly taken up by the cells. Once in the cell, these fatty acids enter the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and cytosol–places that you might recall because your mom helped you make a Cell sponge cake in 7th grade Biology.
In the cells, the Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, DHA and EPA) exert their healthy influence in three major ways:
- in the control of chemical messengers;
- in the flux of ions—cell electricity;
- in the smoothness and health of the cell membrane.
That’s enough about cells.
How do these (good) fats help our bodies?
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce Inflammation:
–Omega-3s get in the cellular (not phone) mix and end up competing with chemicals that cause inflammation—medical people say they antagonize bioactive mediators of inflammation.
–Newly-discovered by-products of Omega-3s are important in the resolution phase of inflammation. Biochem people call these chemicals, resolvins. All you have to remember here is this: to resolve (inflammation) is heart-healthy.
–When omega-3s are incorporated into the membranes of cells they do a lot of good: things like making the membrane more fluid and less sticky. For some reason, they even block genes that induce hardening of the arteries. (Genomic effects.)
Omega-3s benefit the heart: They… Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*