Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are incorporated into every cell of the body, and are key structural, metabolic, and regulatory components of cells. EFAs must be consumed through diet because the body is unable to manufacture them, and without them, we can not live. They improve and regulate cellular function, reduce inflammation, modulate immune response, optimize health and well-being, and help prevent chronic disease. AIMega is an organic seed oil blend that delivers an important source of healthful and essential omega-3, -6 and-9 fatty acids.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs)
Just like other essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals obtained through the diet, dietary sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs) are absolutely necessary for optimal health and well-being. EFAs (essential fatty acids) are the main structural component of every cell, and every cell requires them for healthy cell growth and division. EFAs keep the membranes of our cells fluid, and allow entry of important nutrients into the cells, as well as the removal of toxins (cellular waste).
Additionally, certain EFAs are metabolized into longer-chain fatty acids which are, in turn, converted to hormone-like compounds known as eicosanoids, including a group of mediators called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are the critical components that effect physiologic functions such as cell growth and division, platelet aggregation (blood clotting), inflammatory responses, vasoconstriction and vasodilation of blood vessels, blood pressure, and immune function. EFAs restore energy, help us digest our foods, transport nutrients throughout the cells, contribute toward healthy hormone balance, and help us to maintain healthy blood lipid levels.
AIMega® offers a healthy ratio of omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids
Optimal health and well-being depends upon an adequate intake of EFAs from healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). These â€˜good fatsâ€™ with their essential fatty acids must be supplied in the diet as the body is not able to manufacture them. AIMegaâ„¢ is an organic seed oil blend that combines healthy EFAs from organic flax, sesame, olive, and sunflower oils, with mediumchain triglycerides (MCTs) for additional health benefit. This formula offers a healthy ratio omega-3, -6, and-9 from “good” sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, providing the daily nutrition needed to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
Why are EFAs so important?
The inadequate intake of EFAs is one of the most widespread nutritional deficiencies in the modern diet. EFAs cannot be made by the body and their availability is totally dependent upon dietary sources. The body’s immune system cannot be efficient without EFAs and the prostaglandins they produce. Without EFAs, continual and cumulative damage occurs to the cell membranes, which erodes our health, weakens our immunity, accelerates aging, and contributes toward disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and the omega-6 fatty acids in the form of linoleic acid (LA) are critically important for good health. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids affect growth, vitality, and mental state. They are involved in converting food substances into usable energy, and play a role in cardiovascular health, as well as maintaining overall health and well-being for virtually every body system. Consuming these fatty acids through the diet allows the body to make all the essential fats it needs to support healthy cellular and immune function. The omega-9 (oleic fatty acids) are monounsaturated and not essential to the diet because the body can make them from other fatty acids, although they are recommended for overall good health and to prevent disease.
Flax oil is a good source of omega-3 (ALA)
Flax seed oil is one of the best sources of omega-3 (ALA) essential fatty acids. ALA must be consumed through the diet as the body is unable to manufacture it. Flax oil typically contains double the amount of omega-3 (ALA) found in an equal quantity of fish oil. (Flax oil contains 50-55% ALA). Flax oil also contains omega-6 (LA) for good health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important to promote cardiovascular health and immune system function, as well as kidney function, and hormone synthesis. ALA can help to decrease the risk of arrhythmias, heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, and blood clots; it helps modulate blood lipid levels, decrease high triglycerides; and helps decrease high blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) can be useful in managing arthritis, as well as reducing inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, as well as eczema, lupus and fibromyalgia.
Strong evidence suggests that ALA has a protective effect on coronary heart disease. In the 10-year Nursesâ€™ Health Study, the risk of heart attack was reduced by 45% in individuals consuming a high intake of ALA. The Health Professionals Follow Up Study found a similar decrease in risk for men who increased their ALA intake by 1%. Similarly, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study found a decreased risk of up to 70% in women with high intakes of ALA (0.96 g ALA per day).
Strong scientific evidence also supports the use of ALA (omega-3) as a protective measure against certain types of cancer. In one study, it was found that women with high levels of ALA in their adipose breast tissue had a 60% lower risk of breast cancer than women with low levels of ALA. (Eur J Cancer 2000, 36: 335-340). Additionally, a portion of ALA is metabolized by the body into the longer-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, and these fatty acids are well-known to support brain and cognitive function, and are important for good mental health, especially as we age.
Omega-6 and -9 included for a balanced ratio of good fats
When consuming good fats, we need to ensure that we are getting the right balance of omega-3 and omega- 6. While there is a wide range of opinion about the optimal ratios of fat, virtually all experts agree that North Americans consume too much omega-6 (as well as omega-9) from hydrogenated oils and processed foods. In addition to flax oil, which is an excellent source of omega-3 (also includes omega-6), the AIMega® blend includes olive oil, which is a good source of omega-6 and an excellent source of omega-9. Omega-6 content from healthy sources, such as olive oil, is lacking in the average diet. Olive oil has been found to decrease blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attack, decrease high lipids, and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The AIMegaâ„¢ formula also includes sunflower and sesame seed oil to further enhance the optimal ratio of good fats in the diet for omega-6 and -9.
How to use AIMega®
The AIMega® organic seed oil blend contains omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids derived from flax, sesame, olive, and sunflower oils. These fatty acids are unsaturated, beneficial fatty acids which are important for optimal health and well-being. A healthy ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is required for proper fat metabolism and cellular function. Increasing the healthy unsaturated omega-9 fatty acids in the diet can provide enhanced benefits, in part, by counteracting the high dietary intake of trans and saturated fats from hydrogenated (processed) oils, which are common in the North American diet. Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) with tocotrienols/tocopherols have been added for additional health benefit.
A typical serving* of 3 softgel AIMega® capsules contains:
- 1,140 mg omega-3 fatty acids
- 570 mg omega-6 fatty acids
- 600 mg omega-9 fatty acids
*Based on estimated product development values.
It is recommended to take 2 to 3 capsules twice daily with meals for the maintenance of good health.
Q & A
Who should take AIMega® organic seed oil blend?
Individuals who wish to increase their energy, maintain cellular function, improve cardiovascular and immune system health, and balance inflammatory processes in the body can take this balanced blend of good fats and essential fatty acids.
How is the omega-3 in flax oil different than fish oil?
ALA found in flax oil is the parent fatty acid in the omega-3 family. A portion of ALA may be converted to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are longer chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. On its own, ALA appears to have unique physiologic benefits apart from its conversion to EPA and DHA. ALA is especially useful to support heart health and the immune system. For vegetarians and individuals who prefer not to take fish oil, AIMegaâ„¢ offers a healthy alternative. How does ALA decrease risk of heart attack?
Consumption of ALA-rich oils has been found to:
- decrease the tendency of blood platelets to clot
- improve blood flow and circulation (compliance of blood vessels)
- lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
- reduce atherosclerosis
- decrease inflammation
What are the benefits of consuming monounsaturated fatty acids and MCTs?
Monounsaturated fats are the healthy fats found in oils such as olive oil. Along with polyunsaturated fats, they aid in maintaining a healthy heart and reducing the risk of high triglycerides, heart attack and stroke. It is important to have high amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet to balance the high amounts of trans and saturated fats often consumed. Medium chain triglycerides or MCTs are easily digested and absorbed fatty acids that are used for energy and may promote fat-burning (thermogenesis). MCTs have also been used in various digestive disorders and as a nutritional support in individuals suffering from chronic disease. MCTs may complement the beneficial effects of other fats such as ALA, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Why are rosemary extract and tocotrienols/ tocopherols included in the capsules?
Rosemary extract and tocotrienols/tocopherols are potent antioxidants which help ensure the stability and quality of the oil within the capsules. They may also provide additional health benefits due to their strong protective and antioxidant activities.
Do vegetarians need more ALA?
Vegetariansâ€™ diets tend to be low in ALA, and total requirements for omega-3 may be higher for vegetarians than non-vegetarians. The AI (adequate intake) for ALA, released by the National Academies in their Dietary Reference Intakes Report for Energy and Macronutrients, is 1.6 g for men and 1.1 g for women per day, aged 19 to > 70 years. Other recommendations include the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Working Group which recommends an AI of 1% of calories for ALA, and Health Canada, which recommends an intake of ALA of 0.5% of calories. Vegetarians may require an intake of ALA in the range of 1-2% of total calories.
Is there anyone who should not use AIMega® oil blend capsules?
As with any natural health product, individuals taking oral medications or blood thinners, or who have blood clotting disorders or gallbladder disease, should consult their health care practitioner for specific supplement recommendations. Additionally, those who are pregnant or nursing are advised to consult a health care practitioner.
What other ingredients are in the AIMega® oil blend product?
AIMega® oil blend capsules contain only the active oil and antioxidant ingredients, along with ingredients that make up the capsule. The capsule contains gelatin, glycerin, purified water and carob, a natural coloring agent. The carob provides a darker shell to the capsule which protects the softgel capsules against damage from exposure to light.