Essential fats, or essential fatty acids (EFAs), are so called because we are unable to make them ourselves. They are necessary for good health and must be delivered to the body through our diet. This makes them essential components of our daily nutritional intake, but unfortunately not everyone is consuming adequate levels from their regular diet.
Omega 3 and omega 6 fats are both considered essential; however, the standard Western diet is already booming with Omega 6 fats (particularly linoleic acid, which is found in high concentrations in seed oils such as sunflower, safflower, soy, canola, corn, and others). Omega 3 is highest in oily fish, flax and chia seeds, and in exclusively grass-fed meats making it less prevalent in the average diet. For most people Omega 3 oils must be supplemented in order to achieve the levels that are associated with good health.
Omega 3 EFAs have a number of roles within the body from regulation of inflammation and pain to improved cardiovascular health, but a key area of influence for these fats is in our brains. Brain tissue is predominantly fatty and research has shown that Omega 3 fatty acids, namely EPA and DHA which are found in fish oils, have a positive effect on cognition, focus, and memory! We are all students of life and as such we can all benefit from optimal levels of EPA and DHA at every age, but these oily nutrients are even more applicable to children, adolescents, and adults who are actively studying or learning new skills and information. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should absolutely maintain a good Omega 3 EFA intake as EPA and DHA are recognized by Health Canada as being supportive for the “development of brain, eyes, and nerves in children up to 12 years of age” [which is not to say that the oils are less necessary after the age of 12, merely that beyond 12 years old people are no longer defined as “children”!]
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are similar enough in shape and structure that they compete for both absorption and for processing by the body down various metabolic pathways. In order to optimize levels of these two families of fats within the body it may be necessary for some to reduce consumption of foods high in Omega 6 fats while supplementing with additional good quality Omega 3 fats.
One common issue with supplementation of fish oil is compliance. Poor options in the past have literally left a bad taste in the mouths of consumers! Fish oil supplements may be too “fishy” in flavor for regular use, or the concentration of oil in the digestive tract may lead to “fishy burps” which can be off-putting. Imagine then, having a fish oil supplement that children and adults alike WANT to take on a daily basis! That supplement is Omegalicious by Botanica.
Omegalicious uses fish oil from anchovies and sardines that are certified sustainable by Friend of the Sea, an NGO (non-government organization) committed to conservation of the marine habitat. The oils are molecularly distilled to remove potential impurities such as dioxins and heavy metals. This clean, pharmaceutical grade oil is then emulsified to create a smoothie-like texture that is pleasing to the palate, and naturally flavoured to improve the appeal. The emulsification process not only improves the texture by making it less oily, but it also eases the burden on the digestive tract so that belching is avoided.
Flavours include Lemon Meringue, Peach-Mango, and Coconut-Pineapple at the regular strength. An Ultra high potency is available in Key Lime flavor. The final product is a creamy and delicious supplement that packs a good dose of EPA and DHA. Kids ask for their daily dose of fish oil! Have you had your Omegalicious today?
van de Rest O, Geleijnse JM, Kok JF, van Staveren WA, Dullemeijer C, OldeRikkert MGM, Beekman ATF, de Groot CPGM. 2008. Effect of fish oil on cognitive performance in older subjects: a randomized, controlled trial. Neurology 71(6):430-438.
Freund-Levi Y, Eriksdotter-Jonhagen M, Cederholm T, Basun H, Faxen-Irving G, Garlind A, Vedin I, Vessby B, Wahlund LO, Palmblad J. 2006. omega-3 fatty acid treatment in 174 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease: omegAD study. Archives of Neurology 63(10):1402-1408.
Fontani G, Corradeschi F, Felici A, Alfatti F, Migliorini S, Lodi L. 2005a. Cognitive and physiological effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in healthy subjects. European Journal of Clinical Investigation 35(11):691-699.