Omega Fatty Acids, at a Glance
By Ann Nix
Omega-3s, -6s, -7s, and -9s. What's the difference, and why do we need them? Here's a breakdown.

Omega-3s are essential, meaning they must be obtained through the diet. They’re found in three main forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). DHA and EPA are found mainly in fish. ALA is a vegetable source that can be found in walnuts, vegetable oils such as canola and soybean oils, and flax and chia seeds. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, and have been shown to benefit the heart, including decreasing risk of stroke, arrhythmias, and atherosclerosis, as well as aid in memory, mood, and general mental performance.


Garden of Life RAW ORGANICS Super Omega 3 Organic Chia Seed adds a mild, nutty flavor and raw, plant-source omega-3s to foods including salads, cereal, yogurt, and smoothies.
NutriGold-Triple-Strength-Omega-3 NutriGold Triple Strength Omega-3 GOLD is a premium fish oil that provides 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA essential fatty acids in each softgel—three times more than many other brands.

These essential fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, metabolism, reproductive health, and skin and bone health. Most omega-6s in the diet come from vegetable oils, such as linoleic acid (LA)—not to be confused with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid. Good sources: nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils such as soybean, safflower, sunflower, or corn oils. Linoleic acid is converted to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in the body. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid found mostly in plant-based oils such as evening primrose and borage oils. Research shows that GLA promotes the production of beneficial prostaglandins that naturally balance a woman’s hormones.



Nordic Naturals Omega Woman supports positive mood, and radiant skin and hair with a blend of potent omega-6 fats from evening primrose oil, and a touch of DHA and EPA for balance.

Omega 7 fatty acids are nonessential, meaning our body can make them. They’re also found in cold-water fish, macadamia nuts, and sea buckthorn berries. Omega-7s benefit the skin (combatting wrinkles and dryness, boosting collagen production, and shielding against sun damage), as well as heart and gastrointestinal health, and weight maintenance.



New Chapter Supercritical Omega-7 combines sea buckthorn oil with antioxidant herbal extracts including calendula and rosemary.

Omega-9 fatty acid, or oleic acid, is a nonessential monounsaturated fat and can be produced by the body in small amounts. However, dietary intake is beneficial, especially for heart health; omega-9s help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, and lower risk of stroke and heart disease. Good sources: olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, avocado, and nuts.



Flora Health 7 Sources oil derives omega -3s, -6s, and -9s from seven different land and sea plants—flax, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, evening primrose, algae, and coconut.

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