The Benefits Omega-3 has To Offer
Omega 3 has multiple beneficial impacts on a person’s heart health. Buildup of fatty plaques in arterial wall can be lowered through a diet rich in omega3. The chances of blood clotting are also reduced since the fatty acids has been shown to lower the amount of blood platelets that clump together and has been classified as an natural anticoagulant. The chance of hypertension and heart attacks increases for people who have Increased Omega-6 fatty acids and low levels of omega-3. High levels of omega-6 are known to increase inflammation within a person’s body adding omega-3 into your diet can help reduce inflammation, reduce levels of LDL (triglycerides) and increase HDL (good cholesterol).
Joint Pain and Bone Density
Many joint and bone disorders are caused by inflammation. Adding omega-3 has shown to help reduce the pain experienced by people suffering from the condition Osteoporosis. People with this condition should supplement with omea-3 and vitamin D (vitamin D supplements’ are fat soluble).
By adding this fatty acid into your diet your chances of arthritis related cartilage loss are decreased and stiffness and joint pain may be reduced.
It has been observed that in women, post-menopausal bone loss is related to a decrease in the number and activity of bone destroying cells caused by inflammation which can be corrected by including high levels of omega 3 in the diet or in supplemental form.
The human brain has a high concentration of fatty acids and they appears to be important for cognitive and behavioral functions. EPA appears to be closely related to behavior and mood while DHA is important for brain development and maintenance. Low levels of omega-3 have shown to have a higher risk of brain shrinkage (cognitive decline, memory loss and an increase in depression). Subjects with high levels of omega-3 have shown beneficial traits such as better cognition, larger gray matter volume for their age, fewer signs of brain blood flow disturbances and lower rates of dementia when compared to subjects with low omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 is also beneficial for our skin. Populations that high levels of omega-3 rich foods tend to have lower rates of psoriasis, eczema lichen planus and other inflammatory skin diseases. Originally researcher’s thought that the fatty acid could eliminate these skin conditions. This was because as members of these communities moved into areas where omega-3 was not a large part of the diet were experiencing higher levels of these skin condition. But current research shows that while a high omega-3 diet can help lessen the extent the diseases affects the skin it cannot cure it. This is because the skin conditions are only able to effect people with a defect within the filaggrin gene. I personally suffer from multiple autoimmune diseases (eczema, lichen planus and rosacea) and have found some relief through the use of high omega-3 supplementation. DHA in omega-3 is a structural component of skin and is responsible for the health of cell membranes. Healthy cell membranes keeps skin soft, hydrated, supple and wrinkle free but cannot correct the defects within the genes themselves so well they will help with eczema don't expect supplementation to completely remove the disease. EPA helps the skin by managing the skin’s natural oil production, regulating hydration and has been shown to help with dry eye symptoms. I have heard that individuals with sun sensitivity have been known to benefit from including omega 3s in their dietary intake or as supplements. EPA helps block the release of substances that damage collagen after sun exposure. So not only does this offer protection against skin damage, but can also actually help repair it. I have not noticed any of these benefits myself and even with high supplementation still suffer from sun sensitivity (due to my rosacea) but latest research is showing the diseases may also be caused by defects within the genes used to convert sunlight into vitamin D.
Emerging research is indicating that omega 3s may boost levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine reducing depression and violence. Because individuals with depression experience rapid shrinking of the memory processing part of their brain called the hippocampus, a higher intake of omega 3 fatty acids can help by increasing new brain cell growth in that specific area of the brain. DHA in particular, appears to be very effective for treating and preventing depression by shielding the hippocampus from further shrinkage.
Just like any other organ in the body, the brain also needs proper fuel to function. As such diet plays an integral role in building better retention while preventing memory loss. One of the best ways to do so is to feed the brain with high antioxidant foods while staying away from those that trigger inflammation. In this respect, omega 3 fatty acids are also credited with slowing the rate of cognitive decline in individuals with very mild Alzheimer’s disease. DHA makes up a significant portion of the brain tissue so supplementation is often recommended for individuals. Plus, taking a supplement can also reduce inflammation, combat plaque buildup associated with Alzheimer’s and help increase the blood flow to the brain. A high intake of omega 3 fatty acids can help prevent cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease by slowing down its progression and lowering the risk of developing the disorder.
Diabetes is a key factor in accelerated brain aging. Plus, individuals with diabetes often have high triglyceride and low HDL levels. Since omega 3 fatty acids from fish oils can help lower triglycerides and raise HDL, consuming omega 3 dense foods or taking supplements may help them with managing diabetes. Omega 3 fatty fortified diets may reduce insulin resistance in such individuals. In addition omega 3 fatty acids are helpful in correcting circulation problems associated with diabetes. This is done when the walls of the arteries and veins are rendered smoother and more elastic given the anti-inflammatory nature of omega 3s. Some research even suggests that these essential fatty acids may inhibit adult onset of diabetes.
Food Sources that contain omega-3
- Brussels sprouts
Omega-3 fatty acids are a very important for proper functioning of the human body. But before you go and start buying fish by the pounds remember many fish have a high concentration of mercury so finding alternative sources of the fatty acid such as supplementation through pills can be very helpful. Well omega-3 will help to reduce inflammation within the body it is not a magical solution that will cure autoimmune diseases caused by inflammation but you may find supplementing with the fatty acid will make you condition easier to manage. If you try supplementing to help inflammation please give it at least 1 month to determine if it is making a difference for you.
Looking to gain more strength or lose some weight? We offer free fitness tools to help you reach your fitness goals. Register for free while we are in beta and get free lifetime access to our fitness tools that include an easy to use Calorie Counter, High-Intensity Interval Timer, Multiple Fitness Calculators and our Exercise Logger.