Omega 3 Fatty Acids
First let’s break down what omega 3 fatty acid’s are and then we’ll talk about how taking a fish oil supplement (or other Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement) can be BENEFICIAL FOR YOUR HEALTH!
There are 2 different types of essential fatty acids – Omega 3 and 6. First, they are called “essential” fatty acids because they must be obtained from the diet. Omega 6 fatty acids are often described as pro-inflammatory and mostly come from animal products and vegetable oils. On the other hand, OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS, EPA and DHA, are generally described as ANTI INFLAMMATORY and come from fish, nuts, seeds and olive and avocado oils.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Have a Key Role In Normal Growth And Development, Especially The Eyes And Brain.
The Standard American Diet is heavy in omega 6 fatty acids… thus causing a lot of inflammation in our bodies.
The recommended ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is 4:1 or less, but for the average American’s consumption it tends to be between 10:1 and 50:1.
60% of your brain is fatty tissue and utilizes a majority of the fat you consume. It is important to feed your brain the good kind of anti-inflammatory fat and support vascular renewal in the brain. DHA is the major structural component of the brain and is neuroprotective, allowing for improvement and preservation of memory and focus.
Additionally, omega 3 fatty acids support serotonin, a feel good hormone, in the brain, thus it is essential in brain growth, development, learning and a good mood! Brain inflammation is a common causative factor in any mood disorder, including anxiety and depression. So for overall brain health and mood, omega 3 fatty acids are of utmost importance.
#2 – Cardiovascular Health
Omega 3 fatty acids are well known to benefit all cardiovascular and heart related concerns. Due to omega 3 fatty acid’s anti-inflammatory effects, they have been shown to reduce blood viscosity, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce blood clots by dilating blood vessels, lower blood pressure, minimize circulatory disorders, protect against irregular heartbeats and encourage blood flow to tissues. For any cardiovascular concern or family history of, omega 3 fatty acids can make a huge difference!
Inflammation is at the root of most chronic disease processes. For this reason, ALMOST ANY TREATMENT MUST ADDRESS AND REDUCE INFLAMMATION. Rather than loading the body up with damaging NSAID’s or steroids, omega 3 fatty acids are safe and have shown to have similar effects with many more benefits. Omega 3 fatty acids, mostly the EPA component, are great for the inflammation associated with muscle and joint concerns, skin lesions, high cholesterol, headaches and other chronic disease pathologies.
Omega 3 fatty acids are very beneficial in regulating the immune system. A large part of this is due to its anti-inflammatory effects, however it also helps signal the body to produce fever and pain during injury. Fever and pain, although uncomfortable, are part of the body’s protective mechanisms and actually help the body fight against pathogens. Omega 3 fatty acids have also been shown to be protective in cancer, as they help fortify the membranes of healthy cells and destroy tumor cells.
Another important immune-modulating aspect of omega 3 fatty acids is in autoimmunity. Omega 3 fatty acids help to increase white blood cells and decrease inflammation, associated with many autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
As a reminder, always be sure you are working with a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor to make sure your diet, lifestyle and supplementation is safe and suited for your body. Correct dosing and quality supplements are a very important part of a healthy plan, so be sure you know what you’re taking! Wishing you your best health!