Are there different kinds of omega fatty acids

Yes. Omega-3 fatty acids are one type of polyunsaturated fatty acid. A second type is called omega-6. Monounsaturated fatty acids are from the omega-9 family of fatty acids. Only omega-9 fatty acids can be synthesized by our bodies. We must obtain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from the foods we eat. The following table shows different families of fatty acids and their food sources.

Family Name Omega-9



Common Name Oleic acid

Linoleic acid Arachidonic acid

Alpha-linolenic acid Eicosapentaenoic acid Docosahexainoic acid


Canola, olive, and peanut oils, animal products, avocado

Corn, safflower, soybean, cottonseed, and sunflower oils animal products

Canola and soybean oils, some nuts, flaxseed fish fish

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential. This means that they are necessary for our bodies to be able to function, as they should. The body cannot produce these fatty acids by itself. Therefore we need a daily supplement of Omega-3 fatty acids. The Omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish are especially important. These are the ones the body can utilize best.

The U. S. National Library of medicine has this to say about omega 3; "Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fat that the body derives from food. Omega-3s (and omega-6s) are known as essential fatty acids (EFAs) because they are important for good health. The body cannot make these fatty acids on its own so omega-3s must be obtained from food. These different types of acids can be obtained in foods such as cold-water fish including tuna, salmon, and mackerel. Other important omega 3 fatty acids are found in dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseed oils, and certain vegetable oils. Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be beneficial for the heart. Positive effects include anti-inflammatory and anti-blood clotting actions, lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and reducing blood pressure. These fatty acids may also reduce the risks and symptoms for other disorders including diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, some cancers, and mental decline."

If you do not like fatty fish, or for other reasons cannot or do not wish to eat as much fish as necessary, and few of us eat nearly as much fish as would be required, you can meet your needs by taking a supplement of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 is the name of a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The two most important of these are called EPA and DHA and are made by plankton. Fish eat plankton; so Omega-3 fatty acids are stored in the fat of the fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are primarily found in fatty fish such as herring, mackerel and salmon. Lean types of fish such as cod and flounder contain few Omega-3s.

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