Before we dive in, let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Omega-3 fatty acids are a necessity for every human being, regardless of their age, health condition, and gender. However, today we’re switching our focus to women’s health, as there are particular aspects in which omega-3s are truly essential.
Aside from their enormous impact on overall human health, omega-3s have been recognized as vital when it comes to female reproductive health, pregnancy, fetal development, as well as breastfeeding. Therefore, we will dig into each of these roles separately, while also discussing some additional benefits.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Overview
When it comes to fats, our body is usually able to manufacture most of them, utilizing raw material or other fats. However, that’s not the case with omega-3s, as they belong to the category of essential fats - meaning that they cannot be produced naturally. So it is safe to say that we are responsible for providing our bodies with a sufficient amount of these fatty acids from quality sources.
Exactly what are the roles these fatty acids perform in our bodies? First and foremost, omega-3s are known to be cell receptors, as well as vital components of cell membranes. What’s more, they have been found to contribute to the production of hormones responsible for blood clotting, artery wall contractions and relaxation, as well as inflammatory processes. These fatty acids are in fact polyunsaturated acids, divided into 3 primary groups: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and finally alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
In regards to the categorization of omega-3 fatty acids, ALA seems to be largely present in modern diets, whereas the same cannot be said for EPA and DHA. Namely, EPA and DHA are mostly obtained from marine sources, hence the recommendation of algae-based omega-3 supplementation.