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Plant-Based Omega Fatty Acids May Help Manage IBD- Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Are you experiencing nagging symptoms of Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, or other gut health issues? I have good news for you. Omega fatty acids can help you improve your gut microbiome and reduce inflammation. This means fewer flare-ups, fewer symptoms, and healthier life.

But what are omega fatty acids anyways? And what is the best type of omega fatty acids? Let’s get into it.


What Are Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. They are essential for your health. Since our body cannot make them on its own, we must meet our needs through diet (1, 2).

Chances are, you’ve heard about omega-3 fatty acids. They are the most commonly known and used omega fatty acids. They play an essential role in your body, providing a long list of health benefits, including reduced inflammation and a lower risk of chronic diseases. Researches suggest that plant-based omega fatty acids may help manage IBD- Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic (EPA).


ALA: The most common dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. It comes from plant sources, including flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, soybeans, and walnuts. When you consume ALA-rich foods or take an ALA supplement, your body can convert it into the biologically active forms of omega-3, DHA, and EPA (3, 4).


DHA: DHA comes from animal sources, including fish, meat, eggs, and dairy, as well as algae sources. DHA is critical for your brain health, your retina, and other areas of your health (5).


EPA: EPA comes from fish and algae sources. EPA is essential for reducing inflammation levels, heart health, and other areas of your health. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for your digestive health. Later in this article, you will learn why omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (6).


Other Omega Fatty Acids

You may not know this, but omega-3 fatty acids are not the only type of omega fatty acid. Other omega fatty acids include:


Omega 5 fatty acids: Omega-5 fatty acids or punicic acids can be found in pomegranate oil, coconut oil, and salmon. They are potent antioxidants that may help to reduce inflammation, improve skin health, and support blood sugar (7).


Omega 6 fatty acids: Next to omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids are the second most well-known and well-researched omegas. They can be found in walnuts, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, other seeds, and avocado oils. As long as your omega 3:6 ratio is balanced, omega-6 fatty acids may help to reduce inflammation and support heart health (8, 9).


Omega 7 fatty acids: Omega-7 fatty acids or palmitoleic acids can be found in macadamia nuts and oil, olive oil, and avocado oil. They may help to reduce inflammation and support your heart, skin, and cholesterol levels (10, 11).


Omega 9 fatty acids: Omega-9 fatty acids can be found in almonds, cashew, walnut, almond oil, and avocado oil. They may help to reduce inflammation and improve immune health (12, 13).


Omega Fatty Acids for Digestive Health and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Since omega fatty acids may help reduce inflammation, you may not be surprised to hear, that they are great for digestive health and improving Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, such as Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Research has shown that omega fatty acids may help improve the microbiome diversity of your gut. A more diverse and more balanced gut microbiome means reduced risk of inflammation and better gut health (14).

Other studies have shown that omega fatty acids may help to reduce intestinal inflammation. Eating omega-rich foods and taking omega supplements may help to reduce flare-ups and keep symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease at bay (15, 16).


Animal-Sources vs Plant-Based Omega Fatty Acids

Since your body cannot make omega fatty acids on its own, you must meet your needs through your diet. But what are the best sources of omega fatty acids?

Though animal-sourced omega fatty acid supplements are popular, I don’t recommend them. You may wonder why? It’s because these supplements are sourced from fish. In an ideal world, fish could be healthy food. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world.

Fish and fish-sourced food and supplements contain large amounts of microplastics and heavy metals. This can increase chronic inflammation, gut health problems, and other health issues (17, 18). Instead of animal-sourced omega fatty acids, I recommend plant-based omega fatty acids as part of my natural treatment protocols, including Crohn's natural treatment, Ulcerative colitis natural treatment, and SIBO natural treatment.


My Recommendation

Do you want to benefit from Omega 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9? I recommend the Omega Blend by JUICE PLUS+®. It is a plant-based combination of omega 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9 fatty acids, derived from fruits, algae, and seed oils. The Omega 3 fatty acids in Juice Plus+ Omega Blend are derived from the purest, most sustainable, and vegan source, algae! In order to maintain their high-quality, unadulterated nutrients, the oils are minimally processed and encapsulated in a vegan capsule derived from tapioca starch.

Price: 37.25 GBP /month* for 4 months supply




Plant-base fatty acids
Juice Plus Omega


References:

1. Spector AA, Kim HY. Discovery of essential fatty acids. J Lipid Res. 2015 Jan;56(1):11-21. doi: 10.1194/jlr.R055095. Epub 2014 Oct 22. PMID: 25339684

2. Weylandt KH, Serini S, Chen YQ, Su HM, Lim K, Cittadini A, Calviello G. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: The Way Forward in Times of Mixed Evidence. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:143109. doi: 10.1155/2015/143109. Epub 2015 Aug 2. PMID: 26301240

3. Burdge GC, Calder PC. Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to longer-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in human adults. Reprod Nutr Dev. 2005 Sep-Oct;45(5):581-97. doi: 10.1051/rnd:2005047. PMID: 16188209

4. Domenichiello AF, Kitson AP, Bazinet RP. Is docosahexaenoic acid synthesis from α-linolenic acid sufficient to supply the adult brain? Prog Lipid Res. 2015 Jul;59:54-66. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2015.04.002. Epub 2015 Apr 25. PMID: 25920364

5. Guesnet P, Alessandri JM. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the developing central nervous system (CNS) - Implications for dietary recommendations. Biochimie. 2011 Jan;93(1):7-12. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2010.05.005. Epub 2010 May 15. PMID: 20478353

6. Swanson D, Block R, Mousa SA. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA: health benefits throughout life. Adv Nutr. 2012 Jan;3(1):1-7. doi: 10.3945/an.111.000893. Epub 2012 Jan 5. PMID: 22332096

7. Effect of Omega 5 Fatty Acid as an Adjuvant Treatment to Prednisone in Patients With Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis. Clinical Trials.

8. Harris W. S. Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Risk for Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 2009.

9. DiNicolantonio JJ, O’Keefe JHImportance of maintaining a low omega–6/omega–3 ratios for reducing inflammation opens Heart 2018;

10. Souza CO, Teixeira AA, Biondo LA, Silveira LS, Calder PC, Rosa Neto JC. Palmitoleic acid reduces the inflammation in LPS-stimulated macrophages by inhibition of NFκB, independently of PPARs. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2017 May;44(5):566-575. doi: 10.1111/1440-1681.12736. PMID: 28135761

11. Song IB, Gu H, Han HJ, Lee NY, Cha JY, Son YK, Kwon J. Effects of 7-MEGATM 500 on Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Skin Regeneration in H2O2-Treated Skin Cells. Toxicol Res. 2018 Apr;34(2):103-110. doi: 10.5487/TR.2018.34.2.103. Epub 2018 Apr 15. PMID: 29686772

12. Farag MA, Gad MZ. Omega-9 fatty acids: potential roles in inflammation and cancer management. J Genet Eng Biotechnol. 2022 Mar 16;20(1):48. doi: 10.1186/s43141-022-00329-0. PMID: 35294666

13. Medeiros-de-Moraes IM, Gonçalves-de-Albuquerque CF, Kurz ARM, Oliveira FMJ, de Abreu VHP, Torres RC, Carvalho VF, Estato V, Bozza PT, Sperandio M, de Castro-Faria-Neto HC, Silva AR. Omega-9 Oleic Acid, the Main Compound of Olive Oil, Mitigates Inflammation during Experimental Sepsis. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 Nov 13;2018:6053492. doi: 10.1155/2018/6053492. PMID: 30538802

14. Menni, C., Zierer, J., Pallister, T. et al. Omega-3 fatty acids correlate with gut microbiome diversity and production of N-carbamylglutamate in middle-aged and elderly women. Sci Rep 7, 11079 (2017).

15. Marton LT, Goulart RA, Carvalho ACA, Barbalho SM. Omega Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: An Overview. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Sep 30;20(19):4851. doi: 10.3390/ijms20194851. PMID: 31574900

16. Barbalho SM, Goulart Rde A, Quesada K, Bechara MD, de Carvalho Ade C. Inflammatory bowel disease: can omega-3 fatty acids really help? Ann Gastroenterol. 2016 Jan-Mar;29(1):37-43. PMID: 26752948

17. Djedjibegovic, J., Marjanovic, A., Tahirovic, D. et al. Heavy metals in commercial fish and seafood products and risk assessment in an adult population in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sci Rep 10, 13238 (2020).

18. Thiele, C.J., Hudson, M.D., Russell, A.E. et al. Microplastics in fish and fishmeal: an emerging environmental challenge? Sci Rep 11, 2045 (2021).


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