Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The major types of omega 3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). There is mounting scientific evidence showing the important health benefits of consuming omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 Deficiency: A Silent Health Crisis
Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis (Simopoulos AP, 2008). Multiple studies show that consumption of fish or fish oil supplements rich in EPA and DHA reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack (Mozaffarian D and Wu JH, 2011). Omega 3 fatty acids also improve risk factors for heart disease such as reducing blood pressure, heart rate, triglycerides and plaque build-up in arteries (Saravanan P, 2010). Omega 3 fatty acids, especially DHA, are essential for proper brain and eye development in babies. DHA deficiency can impair visual and neurological development in infants (Innis SM, 2012). Omega 3 fatty acids may help ameliorate psychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (Grosso G et al., 2014). There is increasing evidence that omega 3 fatty acids inhibit the development and progression of certain cancers such as colon, breast and prostate cancer (Gerber M, 2012). Omega 3 fatty acids also help in rheumatoid arthritis by reducing inflammation and morning stiffness (Calder PC, 2014). In summary, omega 3 fatty acids have significant health benefits especially in improving cardiovascular health, neurological development, and reducing the risk of cancer and arthritis. Increased consumption of fish or fish oil supplements can help people gain these remarkable benefits.
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