Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. They are essential to human health but cannot be manufactured by the body. For this reason, omega-3 fatty acids must be obtained from food. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other marine life such as algae and krill, certain plants (including purslane), and nut oils. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon) at least 2 times a week. It is advised that pregnant women and mothers, nursing mothers, young children, and women who might become pregnant not eat several types of fish, including swordfish, shark, and king mackerel. These individuals should also limit consumption of other fish, including albacore tuna, salmon, and herring. They can take omega-3 fatty acids in quality dietary supplements that are certified mercury-free by a reputable third-party lab.

There are three major types of omega 3 fatty acids that are ingested in foods and used by the body: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Once eaten, the body converts ALA to EPA and DHA, the two types of omega-3 fatty acids more readily used by the body. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include extreme tiredness (fatigue), poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

Here are some benefits:

1. Freedom from pain and inflammation.

Omega 3 fish oil fatty acids, particularly EPA, have a very positive effect on your inflammatory response. Through several mechanisms, they regulate your body’s inflammation cycle, which prevents and relieves painful conditions like arthritis, prostatitis, cystitis and anything else ending in “itis.”

2. Better brain function and higher intelligence.

Pregnant and nursing mothers can have a great impact on the intelligence and happiness of their babies by supplementing with omega 3 fish oil with DHA. For adults, fish oil improves memory, recall, reasoning and focus. You’ll swear you’re getting younger and smarter.

3. Feeling better with much less depression.

Making you smarter is not all that fish oil does for your brain. Psychiatry department researchers at the University of Sheffield UK, along with many other research studies, found that fish oil supplements “alleviated” the symptoms of depression, bipolar and psychosis.

4. Lower incidence of childhood disorders.

Just to show how fish oil fatty acids leave nobody out, studies show that children (and adults) with ADD and ADHD experience a greatly improved quality of life. And those with dyslexia, dyspraxia and compulsive disorders have gotten a new lease on life thanks to fish oil supplements.

5. Superior cardiovascular health.

Fish oil’s DHA, EPA and DPA have also been proven to work wonders for your heart and the miles and miles of arteries and veins that make up your cardiovascular system. They help lower cholesterol, tryglicerides, LDLs and blood pressure, while at the same time increasing good HDL cholesterol. This adds years to your life expectancy.

6. Protection from heart attack and stroke.

When plaque builds up on arterial walls and then breaks loose, it causes what’s known as a thrombosis, which is a fancy way of saying clot. If a clot gets stuck in the brain, it causes a stroke and when it plugs an artery, it causes a heart attack. Research shows fish oil fatty acids break up clots before they can cause any damage.

7. Reduction of breast, colon and prostate cancer.

And finally, fish oil has been shown to help prevent three of the most common forms of cancer – breast, colon and prostate. Science tells us that it accomplishes this in three ways – by stopping the alteration from a normal healthy cell to a cancerous mass, by inhibiting unwanted cellular growth and by killing off cancer cells.

Additional benefits are:

  • Improvements in rheumatoid arthiritis – in instances of morning stiffness and joint tenderness
  • Reduction in angina, known as chest pain
  • Prevent the development of cancer cells (found in breast, colon and prostate)
  • Supplementary beneficial for those with suffering from depression
  • Improvements found in cognitive memory and behaviour

Based on the continual evidence, it is recommended that by many notiable institutes that people should supplement their diet with Omega 3 fatty acids. When looking to purchase products that contain Omega 3, please be cautious of hazardous mercury levels. The abnormal levels have been found in products containing fish oil.

Sources: Omega 3, UMM

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