Fatty acids

What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fat, one of four basic types of fat that animals and humans derive from food (the others being cholesterol, saturated fat and monounsaturated fat). All polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3s, are increasingly being recognized as important for good health. Some doctors and scientists believe that consuming too many foods rich in saturated fats contributes to the development of degenerative diseases, including heart disease and even cancer. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, however, are healthy for animals and humans. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found primarily in cold-water fish, fall into this category, along with omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in grains, most plant-based oils, poultry and eggs.

Why are omega-3 fatty acids important?

Omega-3s (and one omega-6) are considered important fatty acids because they are critical for good health. They are essential building blocks that your dog and cat needs for a healthy heart and a strong immune system. Grizzly Salmon Oil provides a variety of different omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA, making it the best source of these nutrients.

There are different types of omega-3 fatty acids

Key omega-3 fatty acids include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), both found primarily  in oily cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. Aside from fresh seaweed, plant foods rarely contains EPA or DHA.

A third omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found primarily in dark-green leafy vegetables, flaxseed oil and certain vegetable oils. ALA is not readily accessible to animals, which have to use several enzymatic steps in their metabolism to convert it into a useful configuration such as EPA. Thus, scientists estimate that only a small fraction of ALA benefits dogs, while cats lack one of the metabolic enzymes for utilizing ALA. And some dogs are also extremely poor at utilizing ALA, especially if large amounts of metabolically "competitive" omega-6 fatty acids are present. These poor dogs constantly suffer with skin problems unless their food is supplemented with EPA from e.g. salmon oil.

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