Why are Omega-3s so vital to health?
While fats in general have multiple uses in the body, their most significant roles involve the brain, cell membranes, and a host of hormone-like substances that act like thermostats in the body: either raising or lowering a variety of metabolic functions in order to maintain health.
The brain is made of fat, especially the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, so obtaining sufficient omega-3 is crucial for cognitive functioning and mood.
All the cell membranes in the body are made of cholesterol and fat. Part of the membrane must be sturdy so the cell can maintain its shape. For this purpose, the body uses cholesterol and saturated fatty acids that are straight and can be stacked tightly together.
The rest of the membrane must be flexible and porous, so that nutrients can enter the cell and waste products can leave. To accomplish this, the body uses unsaturated fats because they are bent.
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