What are fatty acids?
Fatty acids are the main components of all fat molecules, which are made of a triglyceride “backbone” with three fatty acids attached. Depending on the structure of the fatty acid chains, fats can be saturated (no chemical double bonds), mono-unsaturated (one double-bond; olive oil is an example), or polyunsaturated (more than one double-bond. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature because they contain one or more double-bonds where the long, thin molecules “kink,” preventing them from packing together closely. Saturated fat molecules have no double bonds, and can bunch up tightly like dancers in a mosh pit, making them solid at room temperature.
Some fatty acids are considered essential; that is, the animal cannot synthesize them within its body, but must obtain them in the diet. The two main classes of essential fatty acids are the Omega-3’s and the Omega-6’s. (Feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph if you hated high school chemistry!) The number describes where the furthest double-bond is located; either 3 or 6 carbons from the end of the chain (Omega being the last letter of the Greek alphabet). There are other types of fatty acids, such as Omega-9 (found in olive oil, avocados, and some nuts); but they are not considered essential. Interestingly, all fatty acids contain an even number of carbon molecules. For example, linoleic acid, found in grape seed oil, is designated “18:2n6” where 18 is the number of carbons in the chain, there are 2 double-bonds, and it is an Omega-6.
Omega-3 fatty acids are said to be “anti-inflammatory” and Omega-6’s “pro-inflammatory” because of the way they are used in the body to make certain hormones and chemical messengers. The Omega-6 pathway leads to products that promote inflammation, while the Omega-3 pathway controls and reduces inflammation.
There are three Omega-3s that have been thoroughly researched and are considered essential to health: alpha-linolenic acid, which is found in plants; and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are found most abundantly in marine animals such as fish and shellfish). Because dogs, cats, and humans cannot convert more than 1-2% of alpha-linolenic acid into EPA and DHA, the best way to obtain these important Omega-3s is to supplement with oil derived from marine sources.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s natural reaction to infection or injury. The most common signs of inflammation are redness, pain, swelling, and heat.
In normal individuals, the inflammatory response helps the body deal with the immediate threat, as well as to stimulate healing of the damaged tissues. However, in some individuals, the immune system becomes overactive, or starts attacking the body’s own tissue. This can lead to chronic pain as well as serious immune-mediated diseases.
What do Omega-3s do?
Omega-3s are critical during development, especially for the nervous system and heart. They are also incorporated into the membrane of every cell in the body. Omega-3s are precursors to many important hormones and other compounds in the body. Research has shown omega-3s to be critical to joint, cardiovascular, nervous system, and skin health, as well as to immune system function. Omega-3s have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and may help reduce the chronic effects of inflammation that lead to degenerative conditions and signs of aging.
Aren’t our pets getting enough Omega-3s in their food?
Commercial pet foods are made from the “leftovers” of human food production. The average Western diet is very high in the Omega-6 fatty acids found in meat and vegetable oils such as sunflower and safflower oils, and low in Omega-3s. It’s estimated that the typical Western diet has an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio of 20:1 or 30:1; therefore, so do pet foods. The ideal ratio is closer to 5:1 or less. Omega-6s are metabolized in the body into compounds that increase inflammation all over the body. Scientists recommend reducing dietary Omega-6s and increasing Omega-3s to improve health.
Pet food manufacturers are not required to add Omega-3 fatty acids to their products. A few manufacturers do add a small amount of Omega-3s, but because these fatty acids are both fragile and expensive, there is probably not a sufficient amount in the food by the time the animal eats it.Livestock and poultry in North America are raised or finished with large amounts of grain (usually corn). This unnatural diet converts most of their natural Omega-3s to Omega-6s. So, even if you are feeding a great homemade or raw food diet, there is still very little, if any, Omega-3 present.
The only way to make sure your cat or dog is getting enough Omega-3s is to exclusively use organic, grass-fed livestock or pasture-raised poultry as a meat source…or to supplement with a marine oil containing EPA and DHA.
What’s the difference between MOXXOR and other sources of DHA and EPA?
The oil used in MOXXOR comes from a shellfish called Perna canaliculus (New Zealand green-lipped mussel). This oil contains both DHA and EPA, as well as many other fatty acids that have not been as well researched. Just one, called ETA (eicosotetranoic acid), is known to be strongly anti-inflammatory; perhaps even more powerful than EPA and DHA.
MOXXOR also contains two powerful antioxidants: Sauvignon Blanc grapeseed husk extract, and New Zealand Kiwifruit seed extract, one of the few natural sources of all 8 members of the vitamin E family. Research has shown that antioxidants effectively combat free-radicals and aging. The antioxidants found in MOXXOR are free from genetically modified material, heavy metals, arsenic, toxins, and pesticides.
A standard known as ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) is often used to compare the relative strength of antioxidants. For example, while the acai berry has received considerable attention as a naturally potent antioxidant in recent years, it ranks much lower on the ORAC scale than MOXXOR’s grape seed husk extract.
MOXXOR uses a unique cold processing method, in a facility located on the shores of the sound where the mussels are sustainably grown and harvested. Unlike most fish oil products, no heat or harsh chemicals are used. The oil remains in its natural, unaltered form. This ensures absolute the freshness and purity of every capsule.