Friday, September 07, 2018 by RJ Jhonson
In the near future, you could be taking your omega-3 fatty acids from marine invertebrates. This is after a promising discovery that the heart-friendly, “good” fat can be found not just in fish and photosynthetic microorganisms, but also in a wide range of marine animals.
Dr. Oscar Monroig, a lecturer at the University of Stirling and the lead author of the study, calls the effect of the research a “significant paradigm shift.”
Indeed, up until the study, it was thought that omega-3 produced primarily by marine microbes, particularly, by microalgae and bacteria, aside from fish. The authors discovered that marine invertebrates, such as mollusks, corals, crustaceans, and worms, possess enzymes called “desaturases” that enable them to manufacture omega-3.
“Under specific culture conditions, these organisms may exhibit enhanced biosynthetic capabilities to enable or increase omega-3 production,” Monroig said.
The discovery is not seen to have as much impact on the scientific community as on the public, where interest in the health benefits of omega-3 is spurring hours of research. Its main effect has to do with an increased variety of omega-3 sources, which also means variety in health benefits.
“Invertebrate oils are different to fish oil,” said Monroig. He explained that depending on the origin species, the resulting product might have a different fatty acid profile compared to fish oil. Some may have higher or lower concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the fatty acids known as omega-3.
Dr. Monroig stresses that despite this, omega-3 oils from invertebrates are high-quality. In fact, they may even have fewer “heavy metal and bioxin pollutants” compared to those taken from conventional sources.
The study was published in Science Advances.
Contrary to what was previously believed, fat isn’t always bad for the body. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered good fats with plenty of health benefits backed by actual science. Here are some of them:
Learn of the other ways omega-3 fatty acids are good for your health at Nutrients.news.