Here’s why Ahiflower is one of the best plant-based sources of omega fats ever discovered

Fatty acid deficiency is a health issue that’s not as frequently discussed as other nutrient deficiencies. But having inadequate levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, particularly the essential ones – i.e., alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA) – has serious consequences for your physical and mental health.

Some of the common signs and symptoms of fatty acid deficiency are excessive thirst, dry skin, thinning hair, brittle nails, poor vision, memory and attention problems, and difficulty sleeping. [1] Being deficient in omega-3s can also cause fatigue, joint pain and leg cramps, as well as more serious concerns like heart problems and mental disorders. [2]

In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that people with low blood omega-3 levels are more likely to suffer from heart-related issues, such as irregular heartbeat, than people who get enough omega-3s from their diet. The study specifically focused on the intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EHA), two omega-3s that can only be obtained from supplements or fatty fish. [3]

More recent studies suggest that the cardioprotective effects of omega-3s are due to their wide range of beneficial biological functions. According to Harvard researchers, having healthy levels of DHA and EPA can positively affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood circulation, blood pressure and blood vessel function. [4]  

Similarly, a study published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease suggests that omega-3s can support optimal mental health. People suffering from mood or anxiety disorders are typically omega-3 deficient. This suggests that omega-3s play a significant role in human brain function. [5] 

The biological functions of omega fatty acids* 

As highlighted by numerous studies, the accumulation of DHA in fetal brain tissue during pregnancy is essential to normal brain formation. [6] DHA deficiency during brain development causes an enduring dysregulation of brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, which are involved in mood regulation. This is why infants born with low DHA often develop behavioral issues during childhood, and mood and anxiety disorders during adolescence.  

Aside from normal brain development, omega-3s are also needed for maintaining brain health throughout your life. According to research, optimal brain function depends on three things, all of which require an adequate supply of DHA and EPA. These three factors are brain structure maintenance, good blood circulation and proper immune regulation. [7]

To help maintain brain structure, DHA confers membrane fluidity to nerve cells so they can communicate, support existing nerve connections or form new ones efficiently. [8] At the same time, DHA and EPA help keep blood vessels healthy, ensuring optimal blood flow to different brain regions.

DHA and EPA also support the normal functions of immune cells residing in the brain. This is crucial because it helps protect your brain from the damaging effects of abnormal immune responses. [9] DHA and EPA’s ability to support optimal immune regulation also helps keep your immune system healthy. [10]

In addition, DHA and EPA plays an important role in the maintenance of healthy bones. According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, certain immune cells produce molecules that activate osteoclasts, which are cells that degrade bone. But DHA and EPA can positively influence the activity of these cells to favor the growth and development of healthy bones instead. [11]

DHA and EPA are not the only omega fats you need or that offer health benefits. ALA is another omega-3 that has been shown to support a healthy heart. In fact, studies show that it exerts similar cardiovascular effects to DHA and EPA, likely due to the fact that it’s a dietary precursor to both in the human body. [12][13]

ALA is a short-chain fatty acid that’s naturally produced by many edible plants. Although humans are incapable of producing ALA – making it an essential nutrient – our bodies can convert it into long-chain fatty acids like DHA, EPA and the lesser-known but structurally similar docosapentaenoic acid (DPA). But due to many factors, such as poor diet and lifestyle, the average conversion efficiency of ALA is very low. [14]

According to a study published in the journal Lipid Technology, only 21% of ALA is converted into EPA in healthy women, and only 9% and 6% is converted into DHA and DPA, respectively. Meanwhile in healthy men, only about 8% is converted into EPA and DPA, and none is converted into DHA. [15] This is why increasing your intake of these omega-3s either through nutritious foods or supplements is absolutely necessary.

Besides supplying you with long-chain omega-3s and keeping your heart healthy, ALA can also support healthy brain function. According to an international study, supplementing with ALA can help you maintain healthy brain neurons and optimal levels of BDNF, a protein that’s crucial for learning and memory. [16]  

Another essential fatty acid you need to be aware of is linoleic acid. Like ALA, this omega-6 can’t be produced by your body, but maintaining healthy levels of LA brings substantial benefits. For instance, LA helps keep your skin’s lipid barrier intact, which protects against external threats. Experts believe that replenishing your LA stores also helps keep your skin soft and smooth. [17]

Meanwhile, clinical trials show that LA can do wonders for your heart health. As reported by a study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, replacing the saturated fats and carbohydrates in your diet with LA can help you maintain healthy blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range. [18]

As an added benefit, LA can also support optimal sugar metabolism. According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism, a diet enriched in LA can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels that are already within the normal range. [19]

Another omega fatty acid that offers the same benefits is the omega-9, oleic acid (OA). In fact, numerous studies have found that increasing your intake of monounsaturated fats like OA not only supports healthy blood vessel function and blood pressure, but also healthy blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range. [20][21][22]

In addition, OA plays an important role in your body’s immune defenses. As reported by a study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, OA supports the functions of various immune cells, thus ensuring optimal immune cell responses. [23] 

Sources of omega fats: Plant-based vs animal-based 

Omega fatty acids can be found in a variety of foods, but some of them have very limited sources. DHA and EPA, for instance, are found mainly in seafood, with their richest sources being fatty fish. [24] ALA, on the other hand, can only be obtained from plant-based foods, such as flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and soybeans. [25]

In contrast, OA and LA are more widely distributed, occurring in both animal- and plant-based foods. OA can be sourced from meat, poultry, cheese and eggs, as well as plant oils like olive oil, sea buckthorn oil and safflower oil. [26] Meanwhile, LA can be found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, meats and eggs, with soybean oil being its number one source in the typical American diet. [27]

When it comes to choosing the best sources of omega fats, research clearly favors plant-based ones (even for supplements). As in the case of OA, plant-based sources are preferable to animal sources because most animal products contain high amounts of saturated fats, which are considered unhealthy, especially for non-organic and non-free range animals. [28] Studies have also found that conventionally raised (grain-fed) meat, which dominates the market, contains very low levels of omega fatty acids. [29]

For DHA and EPA, the verdict is the same. Alternative sources of these omega-3s, such as algal oil or ALA-rich plant oils, are deemed better by experts than fish sources because they’re cleaner and more efficient at providing omega-3s. Farmed fish have also been found to contain lower levels of omega-3s than wild-caught fish. [30] But because of industrial pollution, even wild-caught fish contain mercury and are not always safe to eat. [31]   

Although early reports suggest that ALA conversion is an unreliable source of DHA and EPA, a large cohort study published in 2010 says otherwise. After following over 14,000 people with different diets for 4 years, researchers found that the bodies of non-fish-eaters naturally adapt to their diet by enhancing the conversion of ALA to DHA and EPA to meet their nutritional needs. [32]

This means that vegans and vegetarians can rely on ALA-rich plant foods to meet their daily omega-3 requirements. Alternatively, they can get them from a purely plant-derived supplement that provides more than just one type of omega fatty acid. 

Ahiflower oil: A new, reliable plant-based source of healthy fats 

Ahiflower oil is an omega-rich oil derived from the seeds of the Buglossoides arvensis plant. Native to Europe and Asia, this flowering plant has now spread across North America and is also known as corn-gromwell, field gromwell and bastard alkanet. [33] Although ahiflower oil is a relatively new discovery, it is fast becoming a popular alternative to fish oil and flaxseed oil, thanks to its incredible abundance of omega fatty acids. [34]

One of ahiflower oil’s advantages over flaxseed oil is it contains biologically advanced plant omegas, most notably the omega-3, stearidonic acid (SDA), and the omega-6, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Very few sources of these plant-based fats are known at present. Among established sources like borage, evening primrose and echium, only echium oil contains both SDA and GLA like ahiflower oil. But research shows that ahiflower oil delivers the richest overall balance of plant-based omega-3s and omega-6s. [35]

Here's the fatty acid profile of ahiflower oil, according to a study published in the journal Integrative Medicine (Encinitas):

  • ALA, 42-48%
  • SDA, 19-21%
  • LA, 9-15%
  • GLA, 5-8%
  • OA, 7.5%

Another advantage of ahiflower oil over other plant-based oils is its high SDA content, which allows it to supply more EPA and DHA. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, the body can convert SDA into EPA more efficiently than ALA. In fact, SDA has been shown to increase the levels of EPA in red blood cells by up to 30%. This is why SDA is often referred to as a pro-EPA fatty acid. [36]

SDA can also help raise DHA levels, albeit indirectly. According to a study by Canadian researchers, the body can convert substantial amounts of EPA into DHA following supplementation. [37]

Like SDA, the GLA in ahiflower oil is also converted by the body into a useful chemical, namely, dihomo-y-linolenic acid (DGLA). [38] This long-chain fatty acid is a precursor to prostaglandin, a lipid that supports healthy immune responses. [39] Optimal immune function is important for your mobility as dysregulated immune responses can damage your bones and joints. [40]

GLA also offers benefits for your heart. Research shows that together with DHA and EPA, GLA can support healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range. [41] Since ahiflower oil contains all of these healthy fats and more, supplementing with this plant-based oil regularly can help keep your heart in top shape.

To recap, here are the awesome benefits omega-rich ahiflower oil has to offer:

  • Supports a healthy cardiovascular system
  • Supports a healthy brain
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Supports healthy bones and joints
  • Supports healthy blood sugar levels that are within the normal range
  • Supports a positive mood 

Where to get clean, lab-verified ahiflower oil supplements 

Today, the market is saturated with health products that are either contaminated with toxins or contain questionable ingredients. In the case of omega fatty acid supplements, many commercial ones, regardless of their sources, offer only one or two types of omega fats at a time. But in order to maximize their benefits, studies recommend that you get omega fats from your diet in a perfectly balanced ratio.

To help you meet your omega fatty acid requirements, the Health Ranger Store is bringing you Chief Originals Ahiflower Oil 90 Softgels – Plant-based Omega-3-6-9. This premium supplement boasts a well-balanced combination of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, as well as biologically advanced plant omegas like SDA and GLA. Our high-quality ahiflower oil softgels can support healthy DHA and EPA levels, as well as optimal immunity, vitality and overall wellness.

The omega-rich oil in Chief Originals Ahiflower Oil 90 Softgels – Plant-based Omega-3-6-9 is derived from the seeds of ethically and sustainably grown Buglossoides arvensis plants in the UK. We also use patented extraction methods here in the U.S. to ensure that our product can deliver all the health-supporting fatty acids found in the richest non-fish source of omega fats on the planet.  

Chief Originals Ahiflower Oil 90 Softgels – Plant-based Omega-3-6-9 are vegan, non-GMO, Crop Assured 365® and lab verified for cleanliness and purity. Like every product offered by the Health Ranger Store, this supplement is also meticulously lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology, making it one of the best plant-based omega fatty acid supplements on the market. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases. 

References

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[6] https://www.mdpi.com

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[12] https://www.mountsinai.org

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[14] https://lpi.oregonstate.edu

[15] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com

[16] https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com

[17] https://thedermreview.com

[18] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu

[19] https://journals.physiology.org

[20] https://www.pnas.org

[21] https://diabetesjournals.org

[22] https://www.sciencedirect.com

[23] https://www.frontiersin.org

[24] https://ods.od.nih.gov

[25] https://www.healthline.com

[26] https://www.sciencedirect.com

[27] https://academic.oup.com

[28] https://medlineplus.gov

[29] https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com

[30] https://www.sciencedirect.com

[31] https://chhs.source.colostate.edu

[32] https://academic.oup.com

[33] https://gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org

[34] https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com

[35] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

[36] https://academic.oup.com

[37] https://academic.oup.com

[38] https://academic.oup.com

[39] https://link.springer.com

[40] https://www.health.harvard.edu

[41] https://www.mountsinai.org
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