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Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids

Due to their biological roles, omega 3 fatty acids are used in food for sports dogs, ageing cats and dogs, and animals suffering from chronic inflammatory disorders (osteoarthrosis, chronic renal failure, inflammatory diarrhoea, skin diseases).

A little background information

Omega 3 fatty acids form a specific family in the class of polyunsaturated fatty acids. This family is derived from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a fatty acid containing 18 carbon atoms and three double chemical bonds. Two other longer but very important fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are derived from ALA.

Its role in the body

The essential functions of omega 3 fatty acids make them interesting in many respects :

  • they are anti-inflammatory agents, inhibiting the synthesis of certain chemical inflammation mediators;
  • they improve brain oxygenation (especially in old animals) and enhance the performance of dogs active in sports ;
  • they stimulate the learning capacity of puppies.

Natural sources

Some vegetable oils (linseed, rapeseed, soy) contain a non-negligible quantity of EPA/DHA precursor ALA. EPA and DHA are only found in concentrated form in fish oil (the actual concentration differs according to the fish) and in algae.