This article will reveal the 6 Actionable Health Benefits Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega 3’s also have a key role in how our genes express themselves, as well as producing hormones that control blood clotting, inflammation and the ability of our arteries to contract and relax, as well as affecting the cholesterol profile of our blood.
This means a huge number of health factors in our bodies. Research at Harvard has shown that insufficient Omega 3 is the cause of up to 96,000 deaths a year in the USA alone. One of the major areas of Omega 3 benefits is heart health. The American Heart Association recommends an intake of 1 gram per day for women and 2 grams per day for men.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for human health because they play a vital role in the body’s inflammatory response. Inflammation is one of the first signs of disease, so it’s important to keep your levels high. Omega 3 fats help reduce inflammation throughout the body by increasing the production of anti-inflammatory compounds called cytokines.
Omega 3 fats are also crucial for brain function. They are needed for proper nerve cell development in infants, and can prevent memory loss in older people. They are also involved in the formation of myelin sheath around nerves, which helps them communicate with each other more efficiently.
The omega 3 fats found in fish oil are very powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that form when oxygen interacts with certain chemicals. These unstable molecules can damage DNA, proteins and lipids within cells.
The good news is that you don’t need to eat fish or take supplements to get enough omega 3 fats in your diet. You can simply increase your consumption of walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli, and avocados.
lower blood pressure and heart rate
Omega 3’s can stabilise heart arrhythmia’s, lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as improving the function of blood vessels in the heart.
They can also lower triglyceride levels in the blood more effectively than statins. Circulating levels of blood triglycerides have been shown to be a major factor in the development of heart disease They can also increase levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and increase the size of LDL particles (the bad cholesterol) to make them less likely to get stuck in artery walls and cause atherosclerotic legions.
Omega 3‘s may help prevent strokes by reducing platelet aggregation and decreasing blood viscosity. Platelets are tiny fragments of bone marrow that circulate through the bloodstream and stick together to form clots. When a blood vessel becomes damaged, platelets adhere to the site of injury, forming a plug that stops bleeding.
Omega 3‘s can also improve insulin sensitivity, which reduces the risk of diabetes. Insulin resistance is the main reason why diabetics develop cardiovascular problems. It causes the liver to produce abnormally large amounts of glucose, leading to increased blood sugar levels.
Omega 3’s are used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
lower risk of heart disease
An Italian study found that heart attack survivors who took fish oil supplements subsequently had a much lower risk of another heart attack, stroke, or death. Inflammation is one of the biggest threats to our health in today’s world of high stress, environmental pollution, and high processed food diets.
Inflammation is directly responsible for diseases like arthritis, Chron’s and ulcerative colitis, eczema, psoriasis, lupus and other autoimmune conditions. Studies have shown that supplementation with high doses of omega 3 fish oils can reduce inflammation, improve symptoms and decrease the need for medication in these conditions.
This is important for health, since high LA intake would reduce the amount of delta-6-desaturase available for the metabolism of ALA, which may lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
So, the concept of an “ideal” ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the diet was developed.2 However, the ratio that is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease has not yet been identified, and some experts now suggest the ratio is not important – what matters is the absolute level of consumption.
correlations between inflammation and other chronic diseases
Also as scientists are developing a better understanding of disease, they are finding correlations between inflammation and other chronic diseases such as depression, cancer and dementia.
EPA and DHA can increase cerebral blood flow and keep brain dopamine levels high, which can have positive effects on mood and the function of our brain. DHA is vital for synapse in the brain, allowing our brains to make new connections that allow us to learn and form new behaviors patterns, even in adulthood.
DHA plays a role in cell signaling and helps regulate gene expression. EPA and DHA are both involved in the production of hormones, including sex hormones and thyroid hormone.
In addition, studies show that people who eat oily fish regularly have a significantly lower rate of depression than those who don’t.
The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA are essential nutrients that play many roles in your body. They are needed for growth and development, healthy skin and hair, normal vision, proper functioning of the immune system, and regulation of the nervous system.
They also help protect against certain types of cancer, heart disease, and depression.
The best sources of EPA and DHA are cold water fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, tuna, and bluefish.
Omega-3 fatty acids (also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids) are essential fatty acids required by humans for optimal health. They are necessary for maintaining good mental health, promoting cardiovascular health, helping prevent certain cancers, boosting immunity, and supporting fetal development.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in cold water oceanic fishes such as salmon, mackerel and herring. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings per week of fatty fish such as salmon, mackelrel or herring.
The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids include:
• Improving cognitive function
• Reducing triglycerides and cholesterol
• Preventing heart attacks
• Helping maintain healthy joints
• Promoting healthy eyes
• Protecting against asthma and allergies
• Supporting fetal brain development
• Maintaining healthy blood pressure
• Lowering the risk of stroke
• Increasing the ability to fight infection
• Boosting the immune system
• Keeping the skin healthy
• Controlling inflammation
• Lubricating the joints
• Promoting wound healing
• Treating ADHD
reduce the risk of developing dementia
Low omega 3 levels have been linked to suicide and symptoms of depression, and supplementing with omega 3 has been shown to reverse this.
Omega 3 has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing dementia, improve the symptoms of early stage dementia, as well as reducing the inflammatory immune response in the brain, and so protecting brain cells from damage.
Studies have shown that omega 3 may be effective against some forms of cancer. Research has shown that people with diets rich in EPA and DHA are less likely to develop prostate cancer.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that men who had higher levels of omega 3 were less likely to die of prostate cancer.
Another study found that women who ate more seafood were less likely to develop breast cancer.
It is thought that omega 3 can inhibit tumorigenesis (the process where tumors start growing).
Dietary Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Fish oil supplements are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. However, they do not contain all the other important vitamins and minerals that you need.
You should eat a variety of foods containing omega-3 fatty acids every day. These include oily fish, flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds, and hemp seed.
You can find out how much omega-3 fatty acid your body needs each day by using our free online calculator.
What Are Omega-3 Fatty acids?
Omega-3 fats are called “essential” because we cannot make them ourselves. Our bodies must get them from food.
They are one of the most common types of fat in the diet. We use them to help build cell membranes, hormones, and vitamin E.
There are three main types of omega-3 fats – ALA, EPA and DHA.
ALA is short for alpha linolenic acid. It is the type of omega-3 found in plant oils like corn oil and soybean oil.
EPA stands for eicosapentaenoic acid. This is the form of omega-3 found mainly in fish and algae.
DHA is docosahexaenoic acid. This type of omega-3 is found mostly in fish and marine mammals.
The best sources of omega-3s are salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, tuna and cod liver oil.
Reduce cancer risk
Higher EPA and DHA intake is also associated with a 25% reduction in breast cancer. A recent study has also shown better treatment results for patients with certain skin cancers that had higher omega 3 levels.
From the Womb to the second year of life a child goes through rapid development of their brain, eyes and nervous system, which requires a constant supply of omega 3, especially DHA.
From pregnancy through to breastfeeding the child is completely dependant on their mother for this vital supply of omega 3, so it’s really important for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers to make sure they have a good intake of omega 3.
As the child develops, omega 3 has a significant impact on learning and behaviour. Studies have shown that children with learning difficulties and ADHD are more likely to have low levels of omega 3.
Low levels of DHA have also been associated with poorer reading ability and worse memory in school age children. Also a recent study in the American Journal of Nutrition has shown children aged from 3 -5 years performed better on tests of Intelligence, rule learning and vocabulary when they were given omega 3 supplements.
Omega 3 helps prevent asthma attacks
Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the airways. The cause is unknown but there is strong evidence that allergies play a role.
Inhaled corticosteroids are often used to treat asthma. They work by reducing inflammation and swelling in the lungs.
However, some people still experience symptoms even after taking these drugs. There is now increasing evidence that omega 3 may be effective as an alternative or complementary therapy.
Improve insulin sensitivity minimize type 2 diabetes
Research into the causes of diabetes and our understanding of the disease are increasing. Insulin sensitivity and inflammation are now seen as big causal factors. Increasing evidence is showing that omega 3 supplementation can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes. In some cases Insulin resistance has been reversed by omega 3 supplementation.
Omega 3 is fantastic for athletes, and anyone who is trying to keep fit. It has been shown to increase blood flow to the muscles during exercise, which can help to increase performance and reduce the build up of lactic acid that leads to fatigue and cramping.
It also improves recovery from training and can reduce the severity and duration of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). It can also help to build muscle mass by increasing insulin sensitivity, thus allowing more anabolic nutrients into muscle cells and switching on the body’s muscle building pathway known as mTor.
In conclusion, Omega-3 fatty acids help lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. These fatty acids also support eye health and brain function. Your diet should include 9 to 13 grams of omega-3s daily.
Omega-3 fatty acid intake is associated with a reduced risk of depression, type 2 diabetes, different cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, stroke, premature death, and cognitive decline.