Omega-3 fatty acids hit the headlines in the 1970s, when studies were taken on the Inuit Eskimos of Greenland. The Inuit had very low incidences of heart disease, despite a high-fat diet, and it was discovered that the fat from fish contained a lot of long-chain omega-3 fats (eicosapentanoic acid or EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA).
While these nutrients are essential for peoples wellbeing, we are unable to produce them and must get them through our diet. The ‘good fat’, Omega-3, is found in seafood and some plants. Flaxseed and walnuts are good sources, and there are many high quality supplements available.
Omega-3 is used by every cell in our bodies, and the essential fatty acid (EFA) is (thought) to have beneficial (somethings) in a huge range of conditions, including:
Heart disease: Research supports the findings from the Innuit studies.
Arthritis and joint mobility: Omega-3s are a potent anti-inflammatoryand may support joint comfort, mobility and flexibility. Supplements are often used by arthritis sufferers.
Depression and mental health: Some studies have found that people who took omega-3 fatty acids in addition to prescription antidepressants had a greater improvement in symptoms than those who took antidepressants alone, and that omega-3 fatty acid intake helps protect against postpartom depression, among other benefits. Depression is a serious illness and you should not try to treat it on your own. See a doctor for help.
Vision and eye care: Omega-3s are important in the development of brain and visual function in infants, and are also associated with retaining those functions throughout life. People with a healthy dietary balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and more fish in their diets were less likely to have macular degeneration.
Omega-3 fatty acids may also assist in reducing cholesterol, stabilising blood pressure, stroke prevention, diabetes, osteoporosis, ADHD, cancer prevention, particularly colon, prostate and breast cancer, menopause and menstrual discomfort – results vary between women, however many women report definite improvement, and brain function.
You should not take more than 3 grams daily of omega-3 fatty acids from capsules without the supervision of a health care provider, as more than this may increase bleeding.
This article is provided by healthchemist.co.nz , providing you with up-to-date health and nutritional advice and products.