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Fats are necessary in our diet and organism but not all are the same neither provide the same. It exists a type of essential fatty acids which claims the name because our body is not able to synthesizing them and can only be obtained through our diet.
The Omega 3 fatty acids form part of the essential fatty acids and have a very important and beneficial role.
The Omega 3 fatty acids are principally classified in 3 fatty acids:
ALA : Alpha-linolenic acid. It is normally found in food of plant origin and needs to be transformed in EPA or DHA so it can be used by our organism.
DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid. It is normally found in food of animal origin and it is essential for the brain development.
EPA: Eicosapentaenoic acid. It is normally found in food of animal origin and can reduce inflammation.
Together Omega 3 EPA and DHA play a fundamental role in our cell development, growth and maintenance.
15 BENEFITS OF THE OMEGA 3
1.) Metabolics syndrome
The metabolic syndrome is a set of symptoms that significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Some of these symptoms include:
Hypertension: high blood pressure.
Hypertriglyceridemia: high triglyceride levels.
Fasting hyperglycaemia: high levels of glucose in fasting.
Abdominal obesity: excess of abdominal fat..
Low HDL cholesterol levels (the one that benefits our organism).
According with the data provided by the researches, increasing the consumption of omega 3 fatty acids reduces the cholesterol levels LDL (the one that is harmful for the organism) and triglycerides, it prevents the appearance of clots in the arteries and reduces blood pressure. (3)
2.) Fatty liver
The fatty liver illness is an illness characterized by the accumulation of fat and triglycerides in the liver cells (4)
There are scientific evidences that supplementation with omega 3 or the intake of food rich in omega 3 decreases the accumulation of fat in the liver and the inflammation caused by this disease in persons with fatty liver. (5).
3.) Foetus brain development
The experts have concluded that the mother’s diet before the baby’s conception is essential to determine the type of fats that will be accumulated in the foetus’ tissues, as the omega 3 fatty acids pass through the placenta to the baby. (1)
Obtaining high levels of omega 3 during the pregnancy brings numerous and very important benefits to the baby, among them are (6,7):
- Greater visual acuity
- Better learning, concentration, communication and sociability capacities.
- Reduced morbility
- Increased intelligence
- Less risk of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and palsy.
- Less risk of suffering failure to thrive.
On the other hand, the lack of omega 3 is associated with sight problems, lower intelligence levels and more risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases
4.) Menstruals cramps
The pain, caused by the cramps that provoke the hormonal changes before the menstrual period, occurs in the lower abdomen and pelvis, that sometimes, it is reflected also in the lower back (8).
It has been proved that the consumption of food rich in omega 3 or omega 3 supplements notably reduces the pain caused by the period, it even results more effective than the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen (9,10).
5.) Depression and anxiety
Depression is a mental disorder characterized by the loss of interest in life and its daily activities, low mood feeling and a sense of sadness and fatigue.
On the other hand, anxiety is also a mental disorder that consists in an excessive and permanent state of worrying, fright and nervousness.
According with different studies, the intake of omega 3 fatty acids can considerably reduce the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety (11).
Likewise, the 3 main different types of omega 3 that exist, the known EPA happens to be more effective when treating depression and it is also more effective than the antidepressant drug Prozac (12).
6.) Cardiovascular diseases
These are some of the positive effects of the omega 3 in the organism (13, 14, 15):
- Prevents the formation of blood clots by avoiding the accumulation of platelets.
- Reduces the levels of blood pressure on hypertensive persons.
- Decreases the production of certain substances that are secreted before an anti-inflammatory response.
- Reduces the levels of triglycerides and increases the HDL cholesterol.
- It prevents from the plaque that clogs and hardens the arteries.
However, although omega 3 improves the factors of risk of heart diseases, this does not mean that its consumption can prevent from strokes or heart attacks.
In fact, different experts have not found evidence of it, so it is still necessary to carry out more additional studies that confirm or rule this information out.
7.) Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
The ADHD is a disorder that starts in childhood and it is characterised by the difficulties to pay attention, hyperactivity or excessive movement and impulsivity or difficulties with impulse controls (16).
It has been found out that omega 3 fatty acid supplements help to increase the attention capacity and decrease violent states, impulsivity, hyperactivity and agitation (17, 18).
In a six month long study in which omega 3 fatty acids were administrated to different child groups with ADHD, the symptoms were reduced in 47% of the participants (19).
Likewise, it has been observed that children with ADHD present lower levels of omega 3 than their healthy peers (20).
According with some studies those persons that consume great quantity of omega 3 have up to 50% less possibilities of suffering from colon cancer (21).
Likewise, it has been found out that omega 3 fatty acids also decrease the risk of suffering from prostate and breast cancer, although the results are inconclusive.
9.) Mental disorders
People that suffer from mental and psychiatric disorders present lower levels of omega 3 than the rest of the people, for that reason many investigations have been carried out in this matter.
Latest data has confirmed that the intake of omega 3 fatty acids is a great method to reduce the frequency of ups and downs and emotional relapses that suffer people with bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
There is also some evidence that omega 3 decreases violent behaviour (23).
Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs due to certain diseases, affecting memory, thinking, language, judgment and behaviour (24).
If you had forgotten, omega 3 fatty acids form part of the brain structure, and for that, its consumption has been associated with a lower risk of suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (25).
Reduced levels of DHA are related with an increased risk of suffering sight problems, especially macular degeneration (26).
And this essential fatty acid is a component for the brain as for the eye’s retina that cannot be lacked of in your organism if you want to preserve your sight in good condition.
Inflammation is a protective mechanism of our organism that helps us by fighting foreign invaders and develops a vital role when repairing damages. Without inflammation, pathogens as bacteria could invade our body and kill us.
However, when acute inflammation lasts for too long it could become chronic and attack the body’s tissues, causing different diseases.
According with many different studies, high levels of omega 3 can decrease the production of substances and molecules that cause the inflammation (27).
During an asthma attack, the lining of the bronchi becomes inflamed which causes a narrowing of the airways and a decreasing of the airflow that goes in and out of the lungs (28).
The consumption of fatty fish, rich in omega 3 or the intake of omega 3 supplements has resulted to be a great treatment that prevents asthma both in children and in adults (29).
14.) Bones and joints
Osteoporosis is a very common disease in western countries: it is characterized by the deterioration of bone tissue and is very frequent in older women.
Rheumatoid arthritis corresponds to a complex autoimmune disorder that is characterized by a marked inflammation and progressive destruction of the tissues that form the joints.
Both diseases that affect the skeletal system can improve through the consumption of omega 3 fatty acids which increase calcium levels present on bones and reduce some inflammatory markers associated with arthritis (30,31).
It has been found out that low level of omega 3 in the organism cause sleeping problems both in children and in adults (32).
Besides, not sleeping well increases in 89% the risk of obesity in children and 55% in adults (33).
For these reasons, any natural remedy that may be efficient against sleeping badly is important and, according to studies, omega 3 supplements help to increase the quality and sleep duration (34).
Numerous health organizations recommend the daily intake of omega 3 fatty acids.
For instance, the American Heart Association manifests that: “It is preferably the increase of omega 3 fatty acid consumption through food. However, in cases of coronary disease, it might not be consumed enough omega 3 just through the diet. These persons should speak with their doctors and be informed about supplements.”
The German Institute for dementia prevention ( DIDP) recommends: “the multidimensional prevention of dementia requires of different actions...For example: changing nutrition and supplement it with fatty acids of long-chain as omega 3 (DHA)...”
The European Authority of Food Safety (EFSA) [Regulatory Commission (EU)1924/2006 and 432/2012] approved the following declarations about the nutritional properties of the EPA and DHA:
- THE DHA and EPA contribute to the normal heart function (0,25 g a day).
- THE DHA and EPA contribute to the maintenance of normal blood pressure (3g a day).
- THE DHA and EPA contribute to the maintenance of normal triglyceride blood levels (2 g a day)
- THE DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal triglyceride blood levels (2 g a day in combination with the EPA).
- THE DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal sight (0,25 g a day).
- The mother’s intake of DHA contributes to the normal brain development of the foetus and of breastfed infants [0,2 g of DHA plus the recommended daily intake of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA+DHA) for adults, which is equivalent to 0,25 g a day].
- The mother’s intake of DHA contributes to the normal development of the foetus’ eyes and of breastfed infants [0,2 g of DHA plus the recommended daily intake of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA+DHA) for adults, which is equivalent to 0,25 g a day].
As we have seen in the article the consumption of omega 3 is highly recommended for those who want to enjoy of better health. In Exialoe we have Omega 3 capsules of high quality for the care of your health and of your own crowd.
Remember, consume and share Exialoe for your benefit and that of others.
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