Understanding Omega Fatty Acids
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are fatty acids necessary to carry out many essential body functions. The body uses fatty acids to synthesize prostaglandins. These molecules help regulate different functions in our bodies including tissue protection and inflammatory response. These fatty acids are not produced in the body and can only be obtained through food and supplements.
Omega-3 fatty acids:
There are 3 types of Omega-3 fatty acids: DHA, EPA and ALA.
ALA (Alpha-Linoleic Acid) is the Omega-3 fatty acid that is associated with dry eye relief. Omega-3 ALA is not produced by the body. Omega-3 ALA can only be obtained through foods and supplements. Flaxseed Oil is one of the richest sources of Omega-3 ALA fatty acids.
Omega-3 DHA and Omega-3 EPA are found in Omega-3 fish oil. The Omega-3s found in fish oil are different from the Omega-3 ALA and do not have the same benefits for Dry Eye Syndrome as Omega-3 ALA.
Omega-6 fatty acids:
Omega-6 contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA). There are two types of Omega-6 fatty acids: good and unhealthy. Too much unhealthy Omega-6 has a negative effect on our bodies and can promote inflammation. Good Omega-6 GLA helps to reduce inflammation and produces a specific prostaglandin that helps manage Dry Eye Syndrome.
Most people eat a diet that is too high in unhealthy Omega-6 and low in the good Omega-6. It is the correct combination and balance of Omega-6 GLA and Omega-3 ALA that is required for adequate tear, oil and lubrication production to relieve Dry Eye symptoms.
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