What Are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fish oil contains both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients. Hence the term Essential Fatty Acid.

Salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, lake trout, and tuna are excellent examples of natural foods high in omega-3 fatty acids

To optimise the protective benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, there is evidence to suggest combining both fish oil and krill oil has greater benefits than taking one type.

What are Omega Fatty Acids Benefits

There are now close to 20,000 published studies on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. As researchers continue to discover new longevity mechanisms such as reducing brain shrinkage, protecting memory and improving endothelial function, scientists have begun to analyze how different omega-3 sources affect the body.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Studies show that people with higher levels for omega-3 fatty acids in their blood may experience brain benefits:

  • better cognitive outcomes
  • larger grey matter volume for their age
  • Fewer signs of brain blood flow disturbances
  • Lower rates of dementia (particularly when compared with those having lower omega-3 fatty acid levels).1

One study highlights the potential benefits of early intervention with omega-3s for aging adults. Whereby cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients was slowed.2,6

After researching Omega 3 Fatty Acids, I wish my father had taken high amounts of omega 3 when he was first diagnosed with Alzheimers’s it may have helped with slowing his disease.

Markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein have been shown to reduce after supplementation with omega 3 in certain studies. 2,3,4,5,6 This is particularly relevant to inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and other immune conditions as it may provide support.

I know many friends who supplement with omega 3 and report a reduction in pain associated with arthritis.

Omega 3 and Heart Disease

Another popular trend is for many people to turn to omega-3 fish oil supplements when seeking support for heart disease.

Findings show omega-3 fatty acids may help to:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce triglycerides
  • Slow the development of plaque in the arteries
  • Reduce the chance of abnormal heart rhythm
  • Reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke
  • Lessen the chance of sudden cardiac death in people with heart disease

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that everyone eats fish (particularly fatty, coldwater fish) at least twice a week.

This sounds like a great idea, plus fish is yummy, however,  I am always concerned about levels of mercury exposure. The Australian government recommends not to exceed more than 2 cans of Tuna per week due to mercury found in fish!!. I love to eat fish and want to have it every day. Obviously, this is of great concern. I found personally that the high-quality supplement I take has been tested for mercury and purified of contaminants. That gives me peace of mind.

That aside, foods are your best bet for getting omega-3s in your diet. However, fish oil supplements are available for those who do not like fish. It’s best to consult with your doctor to see if supplements are right for you. If you have heart disease or high triglyceride levels, you may need even more omega-3 fatty acids. Check with your doctors to find out if higher doses of fish oil supplements may assist you.

If you do decide to supplement take one that offers extra benefits and comes from a reputable source.


References to this article

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