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What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are fats commonly found in plants and marine life.

Two types are abundant in oily fish: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Meanwhile, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is primarily found in plant-based foods such as flaxseed.

Omega-3 is found throughout the body, particularly in the brain, retina, and sperm cells. However, because the body cannot produce omega-3 on its own, it must be obtained through diet.

BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS:

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Benefit Bone and Joint Health

Osteoporosis and arthritis are both common skeletal system disorders.

According to research, omega-3 fatty acids can improve bone strength by increasing the amount of calcium in your bones, which should lead to a lower risk of osteoporosis.

Omega-3 fatty acids may also be used to treat arthritis. Patients who took omega-3 supplements reported less joint pain and increased grip strength.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9624425/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/13665344/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10377605/

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Help With Depression and Anxiety

Depression is one of the world's most common mental illnesses.

Sadness, lethargy, and a general lack of interest in life are symptoms.

Anxiety, another common disorder, is characterized by a state of constant worry and nervousness.

Surprisingly, studies show that people who consume omega-3s on a regular basis are less likely to be depressed.

Furthermore, when people suffering from depression or anxiety begin taking omega-3 supplements, their symptoms improve.

Omega-3 fatty acids are classified into three types: ALA, EPA, and DHA. EPA appears to be the most effective of the three in combating depression.

In one study, EPA was found to be as effective against depression as a commonly used antidepressant drug.

sciencedirect

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213422015005387

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15939839/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165178115003844

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22910528/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00048670701827275

3. Omega-3 Fats Are Beneficial to Your Skin

DHA is a component of your skin's structure. It is in charge of the health of cell membranes, which comprise a large portion of your skin.

A healthy cell membrane results in skin that is soft, moist, supple, and wrinkle-free.

EPA is also beneficial to your skin in a variety of ways, including-

Managing your skin's oil production and hydration.

Preventing hyperkeratinization of hair follicles, which results in the small red bumps commonly seen on the upper arms.

Preventing premature skin ageing.

Lowering the risk of acne

Omega-3 fatty acids can also help to protect your skin from sun damage. After sun exposure, EPA helps to prevent the release of substances that eat away at the collagen in your skin.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19335417/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0738081X10000441

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19335417/

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Heart Disease Risk Factors

Omega-3 fatty acids are an unsaturated fatty acid that has been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can cause blood vessel damage, which can lead to heart disease and strokes.

Omega-3 fatty acids may benefit heart health in the following ways:

-Triglyceride reduction

-Slightly lowering blood pressure

-Lowering blood clotting

-Reducing the likelihood of strokes and heart failure

-Getting rid of irregular heartbeats

Eat at least two servings of fish per week, preferably fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. It appears that doing so lowers the risk of heart disease, particularly sudden cardiac death.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16879829/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19487105/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14505813/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19685375/

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Help With Inflammation

Inflammation is the body's natural response to infections and damage. As a result, it is critical for your health.

However, inflammation can last for a long time even in the absence of an infection or injury. This is referred to as chronic — or long-term — inflammation.

Long-term inflammation can contribute to almost every chronic Western illness, including heart disease and cancer.

Notably, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of molecules and substances associated with inflammation, such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines.

Several studies have found a link between higher omega-3 intake and lower inflammation.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12480795/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21784145/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16841861/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12490959/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12490960/

6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Help Fight Autoimmune Diseases

When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system misidentifies healthy cells as foreign cells and begins attacking them.

Type 1 diabetes, in which your immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas, is a prime example.

Some of these diseases can be fought with omega-3 fatty acids, which may be especially important in childhood.

Getting enough omega-3 fatty acids during your first year of life has been linked to a lower risk of many autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, according to research.

Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and psoriasis can all be treated with omega-3 fatty acids.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21760742/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15723739/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14668274/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4216999/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26362904/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15290734/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15723739/

7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Have the Potential to Improve Eye Health

DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, is an important structural component of your eye's retina.

Vision problems can occur if you don't get enough DHA.

Interestingly, getting enough omega-3 has been linked to a lower risk of macular degeneration, which is one of the leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness worldwide.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15555528/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22559899/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2136947/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15812120/

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