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Omega-3 fatty acid


Omega-3 fatty acids—also called ω-3 fatty acids or n-3 fatty acids—are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) with a double bond (C=C) at the third carbon atom from the end of the carbon chain. The fatty acids have two ends, the carboxylic acid (-COOH) end, which is considered the beginning of the chain, thus "alpha", and the methyl (-CH3) end, which is considered the "tail" of the chain, thus "omega"; the double bond is at omega minus 3 (not dash 3). One way in which a fatty acid is named is determined by the location of the first double bond, counted from the methyl end, that is, the omega (ω-) or the n- end. However, the standard (IUPAC) chemical nomenclature system starts from the carbonyl end.

The three types of omega-3 fatty acids involved in human physiology are α-linolenic acid (ALA) (found in plant oils), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (both commonly found in marine oils). Marine algae and phytoplankton are primary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Common sources of plant oils containing the omega-3 ALA fatty acid include walnut, edible seeds, clary sage seed oil, algal oil, flaxseed oil, Sacha Inchi oil, Echium oil, and hemp oil, while sources of animal omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids include fish oils, egg oil, squid oils, and krill oil. Dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids does not appear to affect the risk of death, cancer or heart disease. Furthermore, fish oil supplement studies have failed to support claims of preventing heart attacks or strokes.


Common name Lipid name Chemical name
Hexadecatrienoic acid (HTA) 16:3 (n-3) all-cis-7,10,13-hexadecatrienoic acid
α-Linolenic acid (ALA) 18:3 (n-3) all-cis-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid
Stearidonic acid (SDA) 18:4 (n-3) all-cis-6,9,12,15-octadecatetraenoic acid
Eicosatrienoic acid (ETE) 20:3 (n-3) all-cis-11,14,17-eicosatrienoic acid
Eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA) 20:4 (n-3) all-cis-8,11,14,17-eicosatetraenoic acid
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 20:5 (n-3) all-cis-5,8,11,14,17-eicosapentaenoic acid
Heneicosapentaenoic acid (HPA) 21:5 (n-3) all-cis-6,9,12,15,18-heneicosapentaenoic acid
Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA),
Clupanodonic acid
22:5 (n-3) all-cis-7,10,13,16,19-docosapentaenoic acid
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 22:6 (n-3) all-cis-4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic acid
Tetracosapentaenoic acid 24:5 (n-3) all-cis-9,12,15,18,21-tetracosapentaenoic acid
Tetracosahexaenoic acid (Nisinic acid) 24:6 (n-3) all-cis-6,9,12,15,18,21-tetracosahexaenoic acid
Grams of omega-3 per 3oz (85g) serving
Common name grams omega-3
Flax 11.4
Hemp 11.0
Herring, sardines 1.3–2
Mackerel: Spanish/Atlantic/Pacific 1.1–1.7
Salmon 1.1–1.9
Halibut 0.60–1.12
Tuna 0.21–1.1
Swordfish 0.97
Greenshell/lipped mussels 0.95
Tilefish 0.9
Tuna (canned, light) 0.17–0.24
Pollock 0.45
Cod 0.15–0.24
Catfish 0.22–0.3
Flounder 0.48
Grouper 0.23
Mahi mahi 0.13
Orange roughy 0.028
Red snapper 0.29
Shark 0.83
King mackerel 0.36
Hoki (blue grenadier) 0.41
Gemfish 0.40
Blue eye cod 0.31
Sydney rock oysters 0.30
Tuna, canned 0.23
Snapper 0.22
Eggs, large regular 0.109
Strawberry or Kiwifruit 0.10-0.20
Broccoli 0.10-0.20
Barramundi, saltwater 0.100
Giant tiger prawn 0.100
Lean red meat 0.031
Turkey 0.030
Cereals, rice, pasta, etc. 0.00
Fruit 0.00
Milk, regular 0.00
Bread, regular 0.00
Vegetables 0.00
Common name Alternative name Linnaean name % ALA
Kiwifruit seed oil Chinese gooseberry Actinidia deliciosa 63
Perilla shiso Perilla frutescens 61
Chia seed chia sage Salvia hispanica 58
Flax linseed Linum usitatissimum 53 – 59
Lingonberry Cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea 49
Fig seed oil Common Fig Ficus carica 47.7
Camelina Gold-of-pleasure Camelina sativa 36
Purslane Portulaca Portulaca oleracea 35
Black raspberry Rubus occidentalis 33
Hemp Cannabis sativa 19
Canola   9 – 11
Common name Linnaean name % ALA
Flaxseed Linum usitatissimum 18.1
Hempseed Cannabis sativa 8.7
Butternuts Juglans cinerea 8.7
Persian walnuts Juglans regia 6.3
Pecan nuts Carya illinoinensis 0.6
Hazel nuts Corylus avellana 0.1

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Wikipedia

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