Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9

Fatty acids are differentiated into saturated fatty acids, mono unsaturated fatty acids, and poly unsaturated fatty acids. This differentiation is based on the existence of double bond in the molecule structure of the fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids are the fatty acids without double bond in the molecule structure. The kind of saturated fatty acids which are often to be found in food are palmitic acid, stearic acid, miristic acid, and lauric acid.

The other kind of fatty acid is monounsaturated fatty acid. Omega-9 or oleic acid is the one of the member of monounsaturated fatty acids. While omega-3 and 0mega-6 are the member of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). The term of “omega” showing the position of double bond that is closest to the methyl group in the edge of the molecule structure of fatty acids.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The kind of omega-3 fatty acids that seem most familiarly known is alpha-linolenic acid. In the body, this fatty acid can be altered into its derivate that having long chain, which is EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA or docosahexaenoic acid. Alpha-linolenic fatty acids are the most common to be found in the green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, or lettuce. In the small amount, alpha-linolenic acid can be found in seeds, poultry, and meat lipids. Physiological function of omega-3 fatty acids had been observed to be having significant role in the development of nerve cells, brain, and also sight sense. The lacking of omega-3 in baby and children will disturb the development of their nervous system. This disturbance can spread to the other system (such as vision system, immune system, their remembering ability and also their mental ability) and disturb it.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids
The most familiar kind to be known is linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is the precursor of the formation of arachidonic acid (AA). This fatty acid can be found in foods from plant and its processed products, such as soy oil and sunflower oil. The function of this fatty acid is to help the formation of hormone-like compound and also to help in delivering the stimulation and command from one cell to another, including brain. Together with DHA, omega-6 fatty acids had been proven to help baby’s brain development process.

Omega-9 Fatty Acids
This kind of fatty acid can be found in bean, palm oil, olive oil, candlenut oil, and also meat. Omega-9 having a role in maintaining blood-cholesterol balance.


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