Understanding LCPs: Omega-3 and Omega-6
What are LCPs?
Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPs) help the body function normally1. They are important for both your own health and your child’s development.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are two families of LCPs that have been named essential fatty acids because the body is unable to make them. They can only be obtained through your diet1.
Omega-3: supporting child’s heart, brain and vision
Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce risk factors of developing heart disease2. This type of fatty acid also plays an important role in the development of your child’s brain, nervous system and eyes, and contributes to normal cognitive development, which enables your child to think and learn.
Omega-6: getting a healthy balance
Like Omega-3 fatty acids, the Omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable oils are beneficial in supporting heart health and positively impact blood cholesterol1.
LCPs and your diet
While you are most likely already getting sufficient amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids, many people, aren’t consuming enough Omega-3 fatty acids3.
Oily fish such as salmon, sardine and mackerel are some of the richest sources of Omega-3. It’s recommended that you eat 2 portions per week for a healthy intake. Any more than this and you might be exposed to the high mercury content in these fish.
Vegetarian sources of Omega-3 include walnuts, Omega-3-enriched eggs, and flax seeds.
DHA is a type of Omega-3
DHA forms essential building block for your child’s brain and eye development. They are essential fatty acids because they can only be obtained from our diet. Supplementing DHA-enriched milk to your child’s daily diet can be a convenient option in ensuring your child gets sufficient DHA without compromising the taste.
Have you check your child’s milk DHA content level?
Click to learn how to check if your child’s milk DHA content is suffice to support their growth and development.
1. British Nutrition Foundation. N-3 fatty acids and health [Online]. 2000. Available at: http://nutrition.org.uk/attachments/156_n-3%20Fatty%20acids%20and%20health%20summary.pdf [Accessed June 2018]
2. NHS UK. Fish and shellfish [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/fish-shellfish.aspx [Accessed June 2018]
3. Simopoulos AP. The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomed Pharmacother 2002;56(8)365-379.