You’ve heard about them, but what are the benefits of Omega-3 fats?

On this episode of Anti-Aging Hacks, dive into the juicy details.

What are Omega fats and why are they essential?

  • There are several fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6 are essential because our bodies cannot make them.
  • Omega-3 come primarily from the sea, starts off in the sea.
  • Made in the ocean by single celled organisms, then go up the food chain into the fish
  • We cannot make omega-3 or omega-6, but your body can make omega-9

What are the benefits of Omega-3 fats (and Omega-6)?

  • Fats are used to make cell walls of every cell in your body
  • Omega-3 fats can make cell walls more flexible. This is important for red blood cells which squeeze into tight capillaries to deliver blood, oxygen and nutrients
  • Cells can use omega-3’s in the membranes to make enzymes, mediators, prostaglandins, eicosanoids to regulate inflammation and many other positive effects in the body
  • Omega-3’s can reduce triglycerides in blood, can slightly reduce blood pressure and may also have effects on heart rate variability
  • Omega-3’s can also make blood thinner

Why Red Blood Cell Membrane Is A Good Marker Of Omega-3 Levels?

  • Red blood cells are made in bone marrow. The amount of saturated, poly and mono-unsaturated percentages are fixed.
  • Your diet doesn’t change the percentages based on your consumption of saturated or mono-unsaturated, but omega-3’s and omega-6’s seesaw in the membrane
  • Brain is very high in DHA

How Can You Tell If You Are Low On Omega-3 or 6?

  • Typical signs of deficiency are dry skin, dermatitis, dry eye
  • The other correlation is high triglycerides in your blood

How Does Your Body Metabolize Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s

  • The body does the conversions in the liver
  • Essential omega-6 starts with linoleic acid and gets converted to many others
  • The other important omega-6 is arachadonic acid
  • On omega-3, alpha linolenic acid in the main fatty acid, which comes from soybean oil and flaxseed oil
  • This metabolizes to EPA and DHA…but the conversions are very low in the range of 1-5%
  • These fatty acids are tightly regulated on the omega-6 side.

Do Omega 3 and Omega 6 Compete For The Same Enzymes?

  • Yes, they compete for the same enzymes
  • It is a complicated story because we don’t understand

How Would We Get Enough Omega-3’s in Diet?

  • First, start with testing. Get the omegaquant test to get the percentage of EPA and DHA in your red cell membranes.
  • Target range is 8-12% of EPA and DHA
  • High fish diets lead to these numbers
  • SMASH (sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, herring) – are high in omega-3
  • Eat these every day or every other day
  • Otherwise use EPA/DHA supplement 1-3g/day

How Can You Source Your Omega-3 and Omega-6?

  • Smaller fish have lower mercury from the ocean
  • Farm vs. wild: depends on the farm. Farmed atlantic salmon has a high EPA/DHA. Wild salmon can have a lower amount of fat because it is leaner.
  • There is no standard feed for farmed fish, so the omega 3 levels can go up and down
  • Also growing EPA and DHA from algae on land and feeding these fish the algae to increase levels of omega-3
  • Watch out for tuna, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, albacore tuna.
  • For vegans, can take algae. Flaxseed oil does raise your EPA, but not DHA.
  • 1500 mg per EPA or DHA. 50/50 or 60/40 percent of EPA/DHA is fine.

Are there absorption issues or types of supplements?

  • Ethyl ester form of supplements are not absorbed as well, and especially if you are taking them without food
  • Triglyceride form – can take with or without food
  • Phospholipid form – mainly made from krill oil. These are as well absorbed as the triglyceride form

What Are The Anti-Aging Benefits of Omega-3 Fats?

  • Higher the omega-3 index is, the longer people live
  • Higher omega-3 level at age 65 led to a lower mortality rate by age 75
  • Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory
  • Slower loss of telomere length
  • Omega-3’s can regulate mTOR

What Is The Omega Quant Test?

  • The test measures EPA and DHA as a percent of your cell membranes in red blood cells
  • Dr. Harris believes that the right percentage is between 8-12%
  • Can get the test at
  • Omega 6:3 ratio is all the omega 6 to omega 3.
  • Dr. Harris recommends eating more omega 3 than reducing omega 6.
  • AA:EPA ratio is arachadonic acid to EPA ratio, but this ignores DHA

To learn more about which foods can help you beat disease, live longer and defy aging – check out this interview with the author of Eat To Beat Disease.

Related Podcast
Holistic Tips for Improved Gut Health and Digestion, Energy, and Stopping Hair Loss

On part II of this episode of Anti-Aging Hacks, I continue my conversation with Dr. Stephen Cabral who is a Read more

How To Beat Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia With Electric Current To Your Brain

On this episode of Anti-Aging Hacks, Kelly Roman and Faraz Khan dive into the benefits of applying electric current to Read more