Essential Fatty Acids

The health benefits of oily fish can be mainly attributed to its fatty acid content. There are two types of essential fatty acids - omega-3 and omega-6. The human body needs sufficient amounts of each and also a suitable ratio between the two. Our modern diet with high levels of sunflower and corn oils, processed foods and low oily fish consumption has led to a dramatic alteration in the omega-3 : omega-6 ratio.

All our fish oil omega-3 supplements are made from whole oily fish, we do not use fish livers and our supplements have NO trace of any of the ocean’s pollutants. We have three fish oil supplements: High Potency Fish Oil Capsules, Lem O-3 (a delicious, lemon-flavoured liquid fish oil) and R-Omega (from herring roe) which is especially high in DHA and also provides phospholipids (including phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidyl serine).

We also have a krill oil supplement, which provides EPA, DHA, phospholipids and astaxanthin (this gives krill their red colour).

For vegans and vegetarians we have an algal source of DHA and EPA in our product Omega 3 Vegan.

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  6. Sea Buckthorn Oil
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There are two types of essential fatty acids: omega-3 and omega-6. The human body not only needs sufficient amounts of each, but also an optimal ratio between the two. Our modern diet, with high levels of sunflower oils, processed foods and low oily fish consumption, has unfortunately led to a dramatic alteration in the recommended omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. It is therefore often necessary to increase our intake of omega-3 fatty acids to regain the balance and reap their benefits. 

Increasing intakes of omega-3 from dietary sources (e.g. oily fish) is often not convenient or desirable for many people, making essential fatty acid supplements the easiest and most direct source of the fatty acids EPA and DHA. Our fish oil products are made from the whole body of oily fish, which provides all the benefits without the potential disadvantage of any pollutants. The oil used in all our products is guaranteed clean, stable and free from heavy metals, PCBS and other contaminants. 

So what are the benefits of omega-3? Well, EPA and DHA have been shown to contribute to brain function, normal vision, heart function, blood pressure, and the maintenance of blood triglyceride levels. 

Here at Cytoplan we offer a wide range of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acid supplements including high potency fish oil, krill oil and evening primrose oil. Whilst not deemed an essential fatty acid, within our range you will also find sea buckthorn oil which provides omega-7. For vegetarians and vegans, we also provide the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA derived from plant marine algae. Our essential fatty acid supplements are available as capsules and liquids, providing something for everyone. 

What are essential fatty acids?

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are often referred to as "good fats", and are now becoming more prevalent within our diets as we become more aware of their benefits to health. Essential fatty acids is the term given as they are fundamental to health, but cannot be manufactured by the body and therefore must be obtained from the diet. Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are considered essential. 

How many omega fatty acids are there?

There are four important dietary omega fatty acids; omega-3, omega-6, omega-9 and omega-7. 


Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats; a type of fat your body can't make. They are referred to as "essential fats", meaning that you have to get them from your diet. The three main omega-3 fats are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Oily fish is the best source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Other marine sources include algal oils. ALA is found mainly in nuts and seeds.


Like omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential, so you need to obtain them from your diet. The two main omega-6 fats are linoleic acid (LA) and gamma linoleic acid (GLA). High levels of omega-6 fats are present in refined vegetable oils and foods cooked in vegetable oils. Nuts and seeds also contain significant amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.


Omega-9 fatty acids are monounsaturated. Oleic acid is the most common omega-9 fatty acid and the most common monounsaturated fatty acid in the diet. Omega-9 fatty acids aren't strictly "essential" as the body can produce them. Omega-9 fats are common in vegetable and seed oils, nuts and seeds.


Like omega-9, omega-7 is also a monounsaturated fat. It is not classed as an essential fatty acid as it can be made by the body. Palmitoleic acid is the most common omega-7 fatty acid. Food sources of omega-7 include macadamia nuts and oil, sea buckthorn oil, avocado oil and olive oil.

What are the benefits of omega-3? 

The omega-3 essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA, have been shown to contribute to normal brain function, vision, heart function and the maintenance of normal blood triglyceride levels. Maternal intake of DHA during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding also supports the development of the brain and eyes of the foetus and breastfed infant.

Are essential fatty acids safe to take during pregnancy?

During pregnancy we would actively encourage supplementing with our Omega 3 Vegan as it is rich in Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which contributes to the normal development of the brain and eyes of the growing foetus.

What is palmitoleic acid?

Palmitoleic acid is a monounsaturated fat which makes up part of the omega-7 fatty acid group. Unlike omega-3 and omega-6, omega-7 is not classed as an essential fatty acid as it can be made by the body. Food sources of palmitoleic acid include macadamia nuts and oil, sea buckthorn oil, avocado oil and olive oil. Our Sea Buckthorn Oil supplement provides 125mg of palmitoleic acid (omega-7) per capsule.
Sea Buckthorn Oil: uses and therapeutic benefits
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Which omega is right for you? Exploring the balance between the essential fatty acids EPA, DHA and GLA
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What is Omega-7?
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Omega 7 (Palmitoleic Acid) is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is part of the natural structure of the skin and mucous membranes of the body and, although not considered essential, its intake offers a range of health benefits. Including it in the diet is not always easy, since it is found only in certain foods and in small quantities. We can find it in cold-water fish, macadamia nuts and in avocado, as well as in tropical and other vegetable and marine oils, but its richest source is from the oil of berries from the Sea Buckthorn plant.

You do lots of different omega 3s, which one is right for me?
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The myriad of health benefits to be gained from taking an Omega 3 supplement is well known – from their role in protecting our heart health and maintaining normal blood pressure, to supporting brain function and vision, joint mobility and skin health. While oily fish provide a great source of the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, increasing our intake is not always convenient, or desirable, plus with the concerns of environmental toxins and heavy metals in seafood – this is where a supplement can help. 

What is Omega 3 and Omega 6?
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There are only two fatty acids that are known to be essential to human health, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) an omega-3 fatty acid and linoleic acid (LA) an omega 6-fatty acid. Neither can be synthesised by the body, so adequate levels must be obtained from the diet. The long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which can exert several health benefits can be synthesized from ALA, although this conversion is often inefficient.

I’d like to support my heart health – could an omega-3 supplement help?
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Looking after your heart health is very important in order to help protect against cardiovascular disease  (CVD); a variety of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, including stroke, heart attack and vascular dementia. An unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and the harmful use of alcohol can all contribute to CVD – but by implementing changes to ensure a healthy diet and lifestyle, you can greatly reduce the risk and support a healthy heart.

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