All You Need to Know About Omega-3 & Omega-6

All You Need to Know About Omega-3 & Omega-6

Differences between Omega 3 and 6

◉ Both are types of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids

Essential polyunsaturated fatty acids are those that pets cannot produce on their own and must be obtained from their diet.

The difference between these two fatty acids lies in the position of the double bond in their structure, impacting their metabolism and functions within a pet's body.

◉ Omega-3 Functions and Food Sources

☑ Functions:

Anti-inflammatory properties
Regulation of blood cholesterol
Lower blood pressure
Regulate Immune system

☑ Food Sources:

Commonly found in salmon, mackerel, sardines, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, walnuts

Generally obtained less in daily diets compared to Omega-6

◉ Omega-6 Functions and Food Sources

☑ Functions:

Pro-inflammatory responses
Stability of cell membranes
Maintenance of metabolism
Hair growth

☑ Food Sources:

Widely available in various foods
Commonly obtained from sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, nuts, and seeds


Optimize Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio

◉ Imbalance of unsaturated fatty acids could lead to negative effects

We have heard about the importance of supplementing Omega-3 because in our daily diets, we typically get enough Omega-6 but very few foods contain Omega-3. If there's an excess or deficiency of either in the body, it increases the risk of inflammation. Being attentive to supplementing Omega-3 in our daily routine helps maintain an appropriate balance between the two, contributing to heart health, brain development, and the immune system.

◉ Recommended ratio by the NRC (National Research Council of the United States)

▻ Omega-6: Omega-3 = 26 ~ 2.6:1

The range is broad because different breeds and health conditions of pets require different ratios.

◉ Recommended ratio for generally healthy adult dogs and cats

▻ Omega-6: Omega-3 = 10 ~ 5:1

Currently, there's no research proving specific ratios required for pets. Evaluation of each individual is necessary to ensure nutritional balance and optimal benefits.

◉ For dogs and cats that require special care (with skin or heart problems)


Recommended Omega-3 intake

Not all components within Omega-3 have health-maintaining effects. The primary beneficial nutrients are EPA and DHA.

◉ Recommended amounts for EPA & DHA vary for dogs and cats

✧ Recommended for dogs:
50-75mg / day per kg

✧ Recommended for cats:

25-50mg / day per kg


Omega-3 Dosage

◉ Supplementing with fish oil is an effective way to increase Omega-3 levels

Products on the market often highlight high proportions or percentages of EPA & DHA in the supplement. This percentage indicates the concentration of EPA & DHA in that supplement—the higher the percentage, the higher the concentration of EPA & DHA.

◉ Tips for choosing fish oil:

1. Higher concentration of EPA & DHA

2. EE, TG, and rTG

rTG form typically has higher concentration and absorption rates

Opt for sources from smaller fish species to reduce concerns about heavy metals.

Additionally, there's an international third-party organization called IFOS that tests and certifies fish oil. They evaluate concentration, heavy metals, contaminants, and stability. IFOS certification serves as an indicator of the safety and effective concentration of fish oil. So, pet owners can look for this certification when considering fish oil supplements.

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