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13 Benefits of Omega-3s

13 Benefits of Omega-3s

This post may contain affiliate links.  Before I list the 13 benefits of Omega-3s, let me explain what I mean when I discuss Omega-3s.

Omega-3s are unsaturated fats that are important for good health for virtually everyone. This includes babies, children, and adults. These essential fats are also important for children with special needs such as Autism and ADHD.

Omega-3s reduce the risk of certain diseases in aging adults. For example, Omega-3s have benefits for persons with specific conditions such as coronary artery disease (CAD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and macular degeneration.

13 Benefits of Omega-3 Fats and Oils

1. They are essential nutrients.

This means they cannot be made in the body, or there is limited production. For example, There are three different omega-3s. EPA, which stands for Eicosapentaenoic acid, DHA, or Docosahexaenoic acid, and ALA, which stands for Alpha-Linolenic Acid. DHA can be converted to EPA. Also, ALA can be converted to DHA, but both processes are inefficient.

In order to get sufficient amounts of Omega-3s, you must consume adequate amounts in your diet, or you will be deficient.

2. Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is the what your body does in response to injury or sickness. When a part of your body experiences redness, swelling or pain, you are experiencing inflammation.

3. Decreased Inflammation associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

A disease of inflammation of the joints. Omega-3s have been shown in some studies to decrease the inflammation associated with RA.

4. Reduced Severity of Macular Degeneration,

Macular degeneration causes age-related loss of sight. This disease has been shown in some studies to improve as a result of omega-3 therapy.

5. Lower risk of death from Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

CAD is one form of heart disease that is caused by clogged arteries.  Omega-3s have been shown to reduce the risk of dying from this disease.

6. Reduced risk of stroke

Ischemic stroke may be reduced as the result of sufficient dietary intake of omega-3s.

7. Improvement of blood cholesterol profile

This includes decreases in triglycerides (fats from food that go to the blood), and decreases in the good cholesterol HDL.

8. Brain development of babies before and after birth. Additionally, omega-3s enhance immunity in pregnant moms who take omega-3s or eat fish regularly.  One of the reasons breastmilk is so healthful is because Omega-3s are naturally there. In fact, the US started fortifying baby formulas in the 1990s in an effort to mimic breastmilk. Another reason was extensive research showing the health benefits of omega-3s.

9. Reduced risk of asthma. One study showed this result in teenage children of women who took fish oil during pregnancy.

10. Omega-3s, particularly EPA, may help treat depression in some people.

11. Treatment of ADHD and autism has shown promise, though research is mixed.

12. Research shows that diets high in fish are associated with reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

13. Treatment of Type-2 diabetes has shown some promise

Three different Omega-3 fats must be taken in through the diet.

EPA – Eicosapentaenoic acid

Sources

  • Fatty fish such as salmon
  • swordfish
  • tuna
  • mackerel
  • supplements
  • EPA can be converted from ALA or DHA, but is not efficient.

DHA – Docosahexaenoic acid 

Sources

  • Fish only (or fish oil supplements)
  • cold-water fish, including mackerel
  • herring
  • tuna
  • halibut
  • salmon
  • cod liver
  • whale blubber
  • seal blubber
  • DHA can be converted from ALA in the body but is not an efficient process

Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA)

Sources

  • nuts (particularly black walnuts) and nut butters
  • chia and flax seeds
  • soybean oil
  • canola oil
  • olive oil
  • avocado

Below are three different fish oils we have used, and that I recommend. They are some of the highest quality on the market, and the dosages are not too high. These are Amazon affiliate links.

The one on the left is the one our family is currently using. We gave our 13-year-old the Carlson Kids Chewable until about six months ago. He really liked them, but I wanted to give him a higher dose. He tried the fish oil in the middle, but didn’t like it after awhile. It is very lemony (and they have orange too), but not sweet at all.

Click this link for my latest Christmas card creations. They are free!

For Further Study

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-864/dha-docosahexaenoic-acid

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/omega3/introduction.htm

https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/who-needs-omega-3s#1

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/3-types-of-omega-3

https://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/fats/6-symptoms-of-omega-3-fatty-acid-deficiency.html

https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.30.1_supplement.1163.6

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