There are different types of Omega-3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA are derived from fish oils, while ALA is found in plant sources such as walnuts, flaxseed, canola oil, and soybean oil. ALA works more slowly because it needs to be converted into EPA and DHA in order for the body to use it. Krill oil is another type of omega-3 fatty acid which is extracted from shrimplike crustaceans.
Omega-3s have an incredible ability to have a hugely systemic positive and curative impact on the body. The primary benefit of omega-3 oils is in reducing inflammation which is quite often the root cause of many chronic conditions. It may also significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and other serious conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to arthritis.
Here are some of the other health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids:
- Omega-3s may help to reduce harmful cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes
- Omega-3s may stabilise cells to prevent fatal heart rhythm disturbances
- Omega-3s may reduce blood levels of c-reactive protein, which is a marker for inflammation and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease
- Omega-3s may reduce brain levels of amyloid proteins which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease
- Omega-3s may be beneficial for lactating mothers, as it may save premature infants from developing mental delays
- Omega-3s may increase the intelligence of young children by up to 11%, some studies have shown
- Omega-3s may reduce breast cancer risk and aid in the treatment of some cancers
- Omega-3s may help to relieve the symptoms of itching and scaling of psoriasis
- Omega-3s may reduce the severity of migraines
- Omega-3s may help to prevent breast cancer by aiding in the reduction of prostaglandins which lower immunity and increase tumour growth
- Omega-3s may aid in keeping skin, hair, nails and eyes healthy
- Omega-3s may help in alleviating rheumatoid arthritis
- Omega-3s may make you feel happier, more organised and less anxious
- Omega-3s may help alleviate some of the symptoms of ADHD in children and adults
- Omega-3s is important for both mothers and babies, as it plays a role in brain development, as well as the nervous system and vision health
- Omega-3s may play a crucial role in supporting children’s mental well-being, which can influence all aspects of a child’s growth
- Omega-3s, in particular, EPA appears to be the best at fighting depression
- Omega-3s may aid in eye health, as getting enough omega-3 is linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration
- Omega-3s are crucial for brain growth and development in infants because DHA accounts for 40% of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in your brain and 60% in the retina of your eye
- Omega-3s can reduce blood pressure levels in people with high blood pressure
- Omega-3s reduce the production of some substances released during your body’s inflammatory response
- Omega-3s can improve insulin resistance, inflammation and heart disease risk factors in people with metabolic syndrome
- Omega-3s can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation, such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokine
- Omega-3s also help treat autoimmune conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis
- Omega-3s can reduce the frequency of mood swings and relapses in people with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
- Omega-3 consumption is linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer in men
- Omega-3 consumption may lower the risk of asthma in children and young adults
- Omega-3s may reduce liver fat and inflammation in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Omega-3s can improve bone strength by boosting the amount of calcium in your bones, which should lead to a reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Omega-3s may also treat arthritis. Patients taking omega-3 supplements have reported reduced joint pain and increased grip strength
- Omega-3s may be more effective than ibuprofen in treating severe pain during menstruation
- Omega-3s may increase the length and quality of sleep
- DHA is a structural component of our skin. It is responsible for the health of cell membranes, which make up a large part of your skin
- Omega-3s may also protect our skin from sun damage
The issue with eating fish today is that they may contain large amounts of mercury as well as toxic PCBs. Mercury poisoning may cause memory loss, depression, birth defects, heart problems, nerve damage and much more, so the FDA and EPA have established safe levels of mercury in fish. Some fish to avoid include shark, swordfish, mackerel, tuna steaks, sea bass, Marlon, halibut and grouper, to name a few. Fish to include are sardines, salmon, shrimp, clams and oysters, for example.
The other issue is that in today’s modern world, we are consuming too much Omega-6. This type of fatty acid is found in olive, sunflower and other seed oils and competes in the body with Omega-3, so when buying supplements, you should avoid supplements that include Omega-6. The recommended ratio for these oils is 3 to 1 in favour of Omega-3, but unfortunately, in the Western diet, the ratio can be as high as 20-1 in favour of Omega-6. The RDA for essential fatty acids has been set to between 200 to 500 mg per day, but higher doses could well provide additional protection, and it may be recommended to eat 5 to 7 servings of fish per week containing up to 1000 mg of EPA and DHA. For optimal benefits, an even higher dose of as much as 3,000mg is recommended, but anything higher than this may cause blood thinning in some cases. In addition to this, those taking aspirin on a daily basis should avoid Omega-3 because this combination may lead to thinning of the blood.
A new study has found that major depressive disorder and antidepressant drug treatment is only effective in just over half of patients and that Omega-3 fatty acid has been well established as an important nutrient for anti-inflammatory processes and brain integrity.
An extensive amount of research suggests that increasing levels of Omega-3 may reduce the occurrence of depression. In a European-wide study conducted in 2022, researchers sought to investigate how fatty acid status could affect the clinical response to treatment with antidepressants.
At the end of their 8-week trial, findings affirmed the existing knowledge that depressive symptoms are strongly associated with fatty acid status and that patients who did not respond to treatment showed low levels of Omega-3 and an unfavourable ratio of Omega-3-6.
Higher levels of Omega-3, in particular DHA, seemed to produce a better clinical response to treatments than that of EPA, and this review highlights the clinical importance of considering fatty acid status and metabolism in support of major depressive disorders.
In order to get the most out of supplementing with Omega-3 to gain the most benefits, I would suggest using the Omega-3 Balance oil test and kit by ZinZino. This test can assess a person’s ratio of Omega-3-6 and the status of their 11 fatty acids. In addition to this, their fish oil is superior to any other fish oil as it is infused with olive oil and polyphenols, which locks in the goodness of the oil at the point at which any impurities are removed.
For further information about including this in your wellness protocol, contact me HERE.
- Mindell, E. and Mundis, H. (2011) Earl Mindell’s new Vitamin Bible. New York: Grand Central Life & Style.
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