My expertise of course is veterinary medicine, but since we share much of the same mammalian physiology as dogs and cats, as a biochemist and veterinarian I have long ago jumped on the omega-3-fatty bandwagon for my whole family, human and furry alike. Omega-3-fatty acids are found in high concentration in non-oxidized (more on this below) fish oils. They can be found in some vegetables but they are known to be only 10% as bioavailable as that found in fish. Bioavailability refers to the body’s ability to absorb and assimilate nutrients. In both human and veterinary medicine, the discovery of the health benefits of dietary omega-3-fatty acids has been hailed as a major advancement in nutritional science for preventative health care and management of disease.
Omega-3-fatty acids are an integral component to the cellular membrane which essentially is the protective barrier between the base unit of biological tissues that comprise the body’s organ systems and the outside environment. That barriers allows for selective transport of molecules in and out of the cell, while protecting the interior of the cell from free radical injury and invasion of viruses and bacteria. Thus, omega-3-fatty acids are invaluable in protecting and repairing cells.
Omega-3-fatty acids also block inflammatory biochemical processes that lead to inflammation. This occurs by diverting inflammatory reactions from resulting in harmful inflammatory compounds and instead producing inert, non-harmful substrates. The net effect is to reduce inflammation throughout the entire body. As a result, I commonly say to my clients that omega-3-fatty acids are a good natural adjunctive treatment for any “itis.”
This combination of beneficial aspects for omega-3-fatty acids makes them invaluable treating for:
- General wellness, tissue repair at the cellular level, and protection from oxidative injury and microorganism invasion
- Brain health
- Lower urinary tract disease
- Autoimmune disease
- Gastrointestinal disease
- Liver and kidney disease
- Cardiovascular disease
As I stated, any “itis!”
It is important to note that nutritional supplements are not FDA regulated and omega-3-fatty acids are no exception, which is I why earlier in this post I alluded to non-oxidized omega-3-fatty acids. This means that there is no regulatory agency that is assuring product quality, bioavailability, or and label integrity.
In my next post via the link below, I will discuss the differences in beneficial and bogus omega-3-fatty acids supplements and how choosing bogus product may not only be ineffective, but even harmful to your pet.
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and highly regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.