Jedwards International is a leading bulk wholesale provider of vegetable oil and fish oil based products as a source of Omega-3, as well as, fish oils in capsule form. Jedwards is also a supplier of bulk krill oil. Krill oil is obtained from a small crustacean found in the world’s oceans. As discussed by Dr. Mercola, Krill oil has recently been recognized as a valuable source of Omega−3 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants. Of interesting note, the reddish-pink color of other crustaceans such as lobster and shrimp, are a direct result from the consumption of krill. Although fish oil is the leading source of Omega-3 consumption, plant-based sources such as canola oil, flax seed oil, walnut oil, and hemp seed oil are also sources of Omega-3.

Omega-3 oils are polyunsaturated fatty acids providing an important energy source for the human body, as well as supporting a healthy immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered “essential” fatty acids, and necessary for human health, however, the body does not produce them: you have to get them through a food, or supplement source. The term “essential” fatty acids was coined over 50 years ago when researchers found that they were essential to the normal growth in young children and animals.

Omega 3 Versus Omega 6

The two critical Omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic, referred to as EPA and docosahexaenoic, or DHA. To add a dose of confusion, plant sources of Omega-3 such as walnuts and flaxseeds contain alpha-linolenic acid called ALA, however, the body must convert to form EPA and DHA. Both EPA and DHA are the fundamental building blocks for the hormones that initiate and control immune function, cell growth, and blood clotting. Omega-6 is also required to support healthy body development and function with linoleic acid being the sole essential fatty acid. In contrast to somewhat limited natural sources for Omega-3, sources of Omega-6 are numerous, particularly in the American diet being found in the oils of many seeds and nuts, and refined vegetable oils such as soybean oil. Found in processed foods such as crackers, cookies, snack/fast foods, soybean oil is reported to represent over 22 percent of the calories consumed by the American diet. Omega-6, being more prevalent and easily refined, is a less costly and therefore, favored essential fatty acid of the processed food industry.

It is important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 in the American diet. Scientists and medical practitioners alike have been increasingly concerned and critical of the Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio in Western diets. As the ratio of Omega-6 increases, research in general has shown a correlation in an increased incidence of several diseases, and cancer. Omega-6 fatty acids, when metabolized by the body, are prone to produce inflammatory inducing arachidonic acid. Ironically, one of the drugs used to treat inflammation does so by inhibiting this same acid.

Research into our archeological ancestors suggests that the Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio of our forefather’s diet was close to 1:1; today that ratio has jumped to more than 15:1. Although a specific or healthy ratio has not been suggested, most experts within the medical and dietary communities suggest a desired Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio of 4:1.