Many studies have reported that certain lipids from fish and other marine sources can have a beneficial effect on our overall health when they should be part of our diet on a routine basis.
It is acknowledged by the medical fraternity around the world that the western diet provides more Omega-6 PUFA's than Omega 3 PUFA's. This leads to our cellular membranes becoming rich in Omega 6's such as arachidonic acid. This acid is a percurser to certain molecules that can cause inflammatory processes associated with arthritis, psoriasis and asthma to name a few.
Valuable Lipids (PUFA'S)
In recent years interest has increased regarding lipid compounds which have evolved as valuable nutritional substances. One group of these are the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA's). These fatty acids are named by identifying the number of carbon atoms in their molecule and indicating the number of their double or unsaturated bonds. For instance scientists call a PUFA with eighteen carbons and three double bonds as 18:3. Some well known sources of PUFA's are the unsaturated cooking oils such as sunflower, canola and soybean oil. Fish oils which have been researched for their ability to reduce cholesterol and improve health of the heart and circulatory system also contain PUFA's.
Omega-6 & Omega-3 PUFA's Two basic categories of PUFA's which have received a lot of attention relative to human nutrition are the Omega 6 and Omega 3 PUFA's. Omega 6 PUFA's are contained in all vegetable oils. Omega 6's are almost totally made up of linoleic acid (18:2) and its derivatives. Some of the Omega 6's are considered more valuable, such as GLA (gamma linolenic acid, 18:3) found in evening primrose and borage oils. Omega 3's are found to a limited degree in some plants but are contained in all fish and shellfish. For instance, canola and flax oils contain alpha linolenic acid (18:3). The Omega 3 PUFA's contained in fish are considered to be five to ten times more powerful in their biological activity than those found in plants.