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.

Reference:

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.