By Eric, CN Customer Service Specialist + Shift Lead
For the first time in 40 years, my knees don’t crunch. I am 56 years old, and my knees feel better than they did when I was 20. This is a brand new development; my knees have only been flexible and healthy since I began working at Cambridge Naturals a year ago. What’s my secret? Is it basking in the friendly glow of my coworkers? Is it the huge quantity of our high-end organic, fair trade chocolate that I consume daily? Perhaps, but I think a much more likely reason is the healthy oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids that I’ve been taking every morning.
Omega-3s are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids that our bodies can’t make. We need them for cell membrane formation as well as for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, the contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation.
Every morning, I eat a capsule containing a modest amount – 500mg – of omega 3 fatty acids. If I were addressing a specific condition I might take more, based on the advice of my doctor. In my case, I take omega-3s because I am a vegetarian and I know they are deficient in my diet. While fish eaters get a nice dose of omega-3s naturally, I take Ovega-3, a plant-based omega-3 supplement.
There are three types of Omega-3 fatty acids important to human physiology: ALA, EPA and DHA. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is abundant in nuts and seeds. To a limited degree, your body converts ALA to the essential EPA and DHA forms of Omega-3, but this conversion is thought to decrease in efficiency as you age.
It’s the EPA and DHA Omega-3s that I take my Ovega-3 supplement for. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is widely recognized to offer cognitive support and support for the developing brains of children. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is thought to offer, among other benefits, support to your body’s response to inflammation. It’s the DHA that I suspect is helping with my formerly crunchy knees.
When customers approach the Omega-3 oil section of the store, they may be overwhelmed with the choices we offer. All of the brands are well-sourced. I always advise people to follow the advice of their healthcare practitioner when contemplating dosage, and then to consider whether they would prefer a liquid or capsules, and in the case of a liquid, whether added flavor is important. In addition to the fish and krill oils, there is a selection of plant-based Omega-3 supplements, which are derived from marine algae. Below those on the shelf, as well as in our refrigerated section near the probiotic supplements, are flax and other plant oils that may provide ALA or other healthy oils, but not EPA and DHA.
As a daily part of my job, I am frequently squatting to straighten and re-shelve products. I am continuously thankful for my healthy knees. And, I am living proof that your joints don’t have to get crunchier and stiffer when you age; with proper care, they may end up feeling better than they ever did when you were a crunchy 20-year-old.
This blog series is for general health information only. This website is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Users of this website should not rely on information provided on this website for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.