Both Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA) and Omega 6 fatty acids (GLA) play crucial roles in maintaining optimal health. While EPA is generally recognized for its cardiovascular applications, and DHA is known to support brain development and learning, EPA and DHA occur together in fish oil, and should always be taken in tandem for their synergistic benefits. GLA (from borage oil) is a good complement to fish oils because they help reduce the synthesis of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.
Nutritionists call omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids “essential” fats for good reason. The human body needs them for many functions, from building healthy cells to maintaining brain and nerve function. Our bodies can’t produce them. The only source is food.
These polyunsaturated fats are important for another reason. There’s growing evidence that they help lower the risk of heart disease. Some studies suggest these fats may also protect against type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and age-related brain decline.
Omega-6 mostly comes as linoleic acid from plant oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil, as well as from nuts and seeds. The American Heart Association recommends that at least 5 to 10 percent of food calories come from omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3s come primarily from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, as well as from walnuts and flaxseed in lesser amounts.
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