You are probably aware that omega-3 fatty acids are something that you should include in your diet regularly. In fact, these compounds are incredibly important to your overall health, offering numerous benefits for your body and brain. Omega-3s have been studied thoroughly and found to be helpful for many health conditions and goals. Some of the benefits they offer include:
- Reduced inflammation. One of the main reasons that so many people seek out omega-3 supplements is to reduce inflammation and, in turn, pain. Omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit the production of molecules linked to inflammation.
- Help with autoimmune diseases. If you have an autoimmune disease, it means that your immune system will attack your healthy cells, mistaking them for foreign invaders. Omega-3s can help with conditions such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, and psoriasis.
- Help for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease and age-related mental decline can wreak havoc on a person’s life. However, there are several studies, such as this study from the National Library of Medicine, that have shown that a higher intake of omega-3s can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
- Asthma relief. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Omega-3 consumption may lower the risk of asthma in children and young adults, according to studies such as this one.
- Reduction of fat in the liver. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a common disorder – in fact, the most common cause of chronic liver disease. Adding an omega-3 supplement to your diet may reduce liver fat and inflammation, thereby reducing symptoms.
- Better bone and joint health. Arthritis and osteoporosis are two common disorders that can have a significant impact on your skeletal system. Omega-3s may increase bone strength, leading to a lower risk of developing these conditions.
These are just a few of the many advantages of taking an omega-3 supplement regularly. However, did you know that there are different types of omega-3s and that they all matter? To get the most benefit, it’s essential to understand the different types. While there are many different important types of omega-3s, let’s focus on the most important: ALA, EPA, DHA, and ETA.
While the two forms of omega-3s discussed next – EPA and DHA – often steal the spotlight, plant-derived ALA tends to be largely ignored. However, ALA is the most common omega-3 in most Western diets. It is found in nuts, vegetable oils, flaxseed oils, leafy vegetables, and sometimes, animal fat – particularly in grass-fed animals. In general, the human body uses ALA for energy.
ALA offers some unique and valuable benefits, including cardiovascular effects, protection for the brain, help with autoimmune diseases, and reduced inflammation. Nonetheless, ALA has been overlooked as EPA, and DHA gets far more attention from scientists and consumers alike. There’s no question that EPA, DHA, and ETA are essential for your brain, heart, immune system, and joint health – and that ALA, being plant-derived, does not share all these same benefits. However, ALA has uniquely important physiological functions.
The body must convert ALA into EPA, which it does at a rate of about eight to 20 percent, and DHA, at around 0.5 and nine percent. Incidentally, women of reproductive age can convert ALA to EPA at a greater rate than men by 2.5 times. This conversion contributes to the body’s stores of EPA and DHA, which provide numerous health benefits, including cardiovascular protection. However, the contribution is not great, and that’s why it’s important to ensure that your diet includes more bioavailable forms of omega-3, such as ETA (more on that below). Furthermore, your body cannot produce this form of omega-3, so consuming enough of it and other omega-3s through food and supplements regularly is non-negotiable.
While EPA and DHA are probably the two most well-known omega-3s, they do different things, so both are important. The ultimate goal of consuming omega-3 fatty acids is to reduce cellular inflammation. EPA is extremely helpful in reducing inflammation for several reasons. First, it inhibits the enzyme that produces pro-inflammatory compounds, choking off the supply of prostaglandins, leukotrienes, minimizing inflammation, and more. DHA does not inhibit this enzyme.
Also, EPA competes with omega-6 fatty acids for specific enzymes needed to release this omega-6s from the membrane phospholipids where they are stored. Corticosteroids work in the same way – by inhibiting this enzyme. If there are adequate levels of EPA, you can experience many of the benefits of corticosteroids without their unpleasant side effects. The various enzymes that produce inflammatory compounds do not interact with DHA in the same way they do EPA, which means that DHA has little effect on cellular inflammation. In contrast, EPA’s effect on inflammation is powerful.
Finally, because high levels of EPA do not exist in the brain, many people assume that EPA is not important for neurological function. EPA plays a crucial role in reducing neuroinflammation. However, once it enters the brain, EPA is oxidized rapidly, but this is not the case with DHA. Maintaining high levels of EPA in the blood is the only way to control cellular inflammation in the brain, which explains why research on depression, ADHD, and other mental disorders have shown EPA to be superior to DHA.
It may sound at this point as though DHA is more or less useless, but the opposite is true. That’s because although DHA can’t do many of the things EPA does, DHA does many things that EPA can’t. For example, DHA has some unique spatial characteristics that allow it to perform certain functions that EPA can’t. DHA is larger and takes up more space than EPA in the cell membrane. This has the effect of making the membrane more fluid as the DHA sweeps out more volume in the membrane than EPA can. This increased fluidity allows receptors to rotate more efficiently, improving the transmission of signals from the outside of the membrane to the inside of nerve cells. That’s why DHA is such a vital component of these fluid parts of the nerves. On the other hand, very little DHA is found in the myelin, which is essentially an insulator.
This sweeping ability of DHA also causes lipid rafts in the membrane to break up. The disruption of these relatively solid lipid rafts makes it harder for cancer cells to thrive and more difficult for inflammatory cytokines to initiate the activation of inflammatory genes. Also, the larger size of DHA can help increase the size of LDL particles more effectively than EPA can.
As a result, DHA can help keep these enlarged LDL particles from entering the muscle cells that line the arteries, thus lowering the risk of developing atherosclerotic lesions. The increased area swept out by DHA also helps make certain regions of the membrane more fluid and enlarges the lipoprotein particles, all good news even though DHA is not as effective as EPA at directly reducing cellular inflammation.
What EPA and DHA Have in Common
Unsurprisingly, for all their differences, EPA and DHA do have some things in common. For example, both omega-3s are equally effective at lowering triglyceride levels, which is probably because of the roughly equivalent activation of PPAP alpha. This gene transcription factor prompts the enhanced synthesis of certain enzymes that oxidize fats in lipoproteins. Also, there appears to be relatively equal activation of PPAR-gamma, the anti-inflammatory gene transcription factor. Both seem to be effective at producing potent anti-inflammatory eicosanoids called resolvins. Finally, while neither EPA nor DHA appears to have a direct impact on total cholesterol levels, they can increase the size of LDL particles, thus lowering the risk of lesions.
It’s clear that EPA and DHA do different things, which is why you need them both in your diet, particularly for the brain. If your goal is to reduce inflammation, then EPA may be a little more important than DHA for you. However, everyone needs both Omega-3s to cover all the bases and receive optimal health benefits. That said, ALA, EPA, and DHA still don’t tell the whole story. There is another type of omega-3 fatty acid that is even more powerful than the first three, and it is known as ETA.
ETA, or eicosatetraenoic acid, is found in green-lipped mussel oil, including that used in GLX3. ETA is truly the superstar omega-3 in all green-lipped mussel oil supplements. While the name might be a mouthful, this omega-3 is essential to know about for anyone who wants to maximize the relief of their pain and inflammation. Like other omega-3s, ETA is anti-inflammatory, inhibiting the release of an inflammation-causing omega-6 fatty acid known as ARA (arachidonic acid). In fact, not only does ETA restrict the release of ARA, but it redirects the enzyme that generally produces ARA to convert it to EPA instead.
Rare in nature, ETA appears to have the ability to block both short-term inflammation and pain and long-term immune attacks. This omega-3 is found exclusively in green-lipped mussels, which help control leukotriene, an amino acid involved in regulating immune responses such as inflammation and histamine release.
The ETA found in New Zealand’s green-lipped mussel oil provides unmatched anti-inflammatory benefits, which you’ll notice in reduced joint inflammation and pain. One of the biggest problems associated with NSAIDs is that they can affect the mucous membranes and moisture levels in the sinuses and the colon. This reduction in moisture can lead to side effects such as dehydration, frequent nosebleeds, and constipation. ETA and the lipids in green-lipped mussels do not inhibit mucus production in the same way, which means that they can help minimize pain and inflammation without any uncomfortable side effects.
The easiest and most convenient way to benefit from regular consumption of ETA is to take a green-lipped mussel oil supplement such as GLX3. The New Zealand mussels used in the production of GLX3 contain so much ETA that you can get the same benefit from fewer pills as you get from higher doses of the EPA commonly found in regular fish oil supplements.
Of course, before adding any supplement to your diet, it’s always advised to speak with your doctor. However, GLX3 is a safe and effective supplement that’s also affordable and easily available. There’s also no risk to you; if you aren’t satisfied with the results you get from GLX3 and return the empty bottles within 90 days, we’ll provide a full refund. When you add a supplement to your daily routine, all you have to do is remember to take it – and give it time to work. An overall healthy lifestyle will work together with your GLX3 supplement to help you feel better and get back to the activities that you enjoy.
How Much EPA, DHA, and ETA are in Green-Lipped Mussel Oil?
When it comes to beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, what’s important is that you get the most effective amount and full-spectrum variety – not merely the highest number of milligrams. Many fish oil supplements out their levels of EPA and DHA, and there’s a good reason: EPA and DHA are all they have. While traditional fish oil contains just these two fatty acids, GLX3 contains all 18 beneficial fatty acids.
Another factor to consider is whether your omega-3s are indeed bioavailable or not. Bioavailability refers to how effectively your body can absorb and use the nutrient in question. In the case of fish oil, your gut must break down the fatty acids using enzymes and acids to convert them to a bioavailable form. The problem is that the human body does this at only around 10% efficiency. The green-lipped mussel oil in GLX3, on the other hand, is immediately available with no need for conversion. That means that green-lipped mussel oil is many times more effective than fish oil – and in smaller doses, making GLX3 the most convenient and most potent omega-3 supplement that you can take.
The bottom line is that your body needs lots of omega-3s to function at its best. ALA is good, EPA and DHA are better, and ETA is definitely the best – and only available in green-lipped mussel oil supplements such as GLX3.
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