Overall appearance and health can be improved by taking this supplement. These fatty acids are essential to the function of various systems within the body. You cannot naturally produce Omega-3's so they must be ingested. There are three main types which are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These can be found in various foods, including oils. They keep you healthy by promoting growth and decreasing inflammation.
What Do Omega-3 Supplements Do For You?
Omega-3's have a wide range of health benefits thanks to how they alter the flexibility and fluidity of cell membranes. They also have some control over when certain genes are activated and have the ability to convert molecules to a degree. This means they can strengthen and protect cells. Below are a few brief examples of how Omega-3's can help you look and feel better.
Depression and Anxiety
There are mixed results from studies to determine if Omega-3 fatty acids can treat depression. It is believed that this is due to the wide variety of causes that can lead to the diagnosis. While some people have found it helpful in treating their depression, others did not. This seems to indicate that individuals with certain root causes of their depression may find relief though more research needs to be conducted to determine the specifics.
A 2018 study by the University of São Paulo in Brazil reported that Omega-3 fatty acids did create some improvement for participants with anxiety disorders. They believe more research should be done.
There are conflicting study results concerning Omega-3's effect on eye health and treating diseases or other eye conditions. There is some evidence that it can improve eye health for specific individuals. However, you will want to speak with your doctor or ophthalmologist before taking an Omega-3 supplement specifically to improve your eyesight or to treat ocular issues.
Brain Health During Pregnancy and Early Life
Research has shown that the level of Omega-3 fatty acids in the mother during pregnancy can significantly impact the fetus's brain development. A 2010 study by Columbia University Medical Center reported that babies of women who had Omega-3 deficiencies during pregnancy were more likely to have behavioral and cognitive impairments. The babies of women who had a healthy amount of Omega-3's during pregnancy did not have the same neurological issues.
A 2005 meta-analysis of the data concerning pregnant mothers, infants, and children up to four years old showed that taking Omega-3's could benefit a child's health. The research had mixed results because the method through which they ingest the fatty acid (e.g., in milk formula, other dietary means, supplements, etc.) had an impact on how well it worked. Before giving your child any supplements or taking them yourself if you are pregnant, speak with your doctor.
Improve Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Some people benefit more than others when it comes to treating heart disease with Omega-3 fatty acids. Research is still inconclusive regarding why some individuals see improvement while others do not. A 2014 study by the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran concluded that there was some benefit to taking Omega-3's to treat heart conditions. It is believed to help lessen the risk of developing heart disease.
Reduce Symptoms of ADHD in Children
A 2017 meta-analysis of sixteen separate clinical trials concluded that Omega-3 fatty acids could be used as an alternative treatment for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and young adults. They found that it could improve the following symptoms of ADHD.
- Attention span
- Visual learning
- Word reading
- Working and short-term memory
According to a 2006 paper from the University of Oxford, there is definite proof that Omega-3's can positively impact children with ADHD, with one study even showing academic improvement for participants taking the supplement.
Reduce Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome
A 2018 article by Texas Tech University reports that Omega-3's can be used to maintain weight loss and also protect against metabolic syndrome by lessening the severity of some symptoms. It does this by making certain changes, including modulating lipid metabolism, regulating adipokines, lowering inflammation, and altering the way that the body fat accumulates.
Fatty acids affect your cells' membranes, and the various changes they make can strengthen and revitalize them. A 2010 study by the University of Southampton and other studies have concluded that Omega-3 fatty acids could lower inflammation. This makes it useful in treating certain inflammations, including some chronic conditions like arthritis, heart disease, and hepatitis. This also makes it helpful in treating injuries, infections, and minor inflammations from exertion.
A 2011 paper by the Foods For Health Institute reported that Omega-3 fatty acids could successfully be used to reverse the following in some individuals.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Skin and joint diseases characterized by inflammation
- Multiple Sclerosis
Fight Autoimmune Diseases
As mentioned in the previous section, there is research that backs up the claims made by natural healers for generations. Omega-3's can lessen the symptoms of or even reverse several medical conditions. These include autoimmune diseases like Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis.
Can Improve Mental Disorders
Fatty acids are essential for physical health, but they can also impact your psychological wellbeing. A 2005 review of the data revealed that a number of clinical trials were able to show positive results for individuals taking Omega-3 supplements who had the following mental health conditions.
- Unresponsive depression
A 2018 article by David Mischoulon, MD, Ph.D., writing for Harvard University, indicated that some believe Omega-3's are capable of treating the following mental health conditions in some people.
- Postpartum depression
- Bipolar disorder (manic depression)
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
Can Fight Age-Related Mental Decline and Alzheimer's Disease
There is some evidence that Omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neurotrophic, and antiapoptotic features. A 2018 review of the data by the Amala Institute of Medical Sciences in India suggests that Omega-3 can improve cognitive function and some symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Another review in 2019 revealed that certain doses of Omega-3 could have a positive effect on some individuals. More research still needs to be done, but they found improvements in the following areas for older adults exhibiting age-related cognitive decline.
- Working memory
- Executive function
- Verbal memory
- Short-term memory
- Perceptual speed
May Help Prevent Cancer
How effective Omega-3 is in cancer prevention and treatment depends on a number of factors, including the dose, co-occurring disorders, and the stage of cancer growth within the body. A 2019 paper from the School of Health Sciences in Brazil concluded that it could have a positive effect on the following cancer-related symptoms and complications.
- Pain (decreased the levels in cancer patients)
- Paraneoplastic syndrome
- Cachexia-anorexia syndrome
A 2013 analysis of studies looking into Omega-3 as a treatment for prostate cancer found that individuals who ingested the recommended amount of Omega-3 fatty acids either through their meals or supplements had a lower overall risk of prostate cancer and other conditions such as heart disease.
Reduce Asthma in Children
Omega 3 supplements are believed to relieve some of the symptoms of childhood asthma. There is currently not enough research to provide a clear picture of how it is able to reduce asthma, but there is anecdotal medical evidence that it does. In 2019 Johns Hopkins Medicine observed from a six-month study that children taking Omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to have their asthma triggered by indoor or outdoor pollution.
Can Reduce Fat in Your Liver
The University of Southampton conducted research to determine if Omega-3 could successfully treat symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). They found that participants with more Omega-3's in their diets showed a reduction in fat content within the liver. Other studies on the topic have found mixed results, and it is believed that the dosage and origin of the Omega-3 supplement may play a role. It is an effective treatment for fatty liver disease when taken as instructed. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Omega-3's make them ideal for countering symptoms related to NAFLD.
May Improve Bone and Joint Health
Research by Ohio State University looking into the bone and joint health has concluded that Omega-3 can be used as a treatment for conditions like osteoporosis. They found that it should be used alongside calcium supplements and fortified dairy products to strengthen bones and provide greater mobility to joints for the best results. Omega-3 fatty acids' anti-inflammatory properties also make them ideal for treating various forms of arthritis and joint conditions.
Can Alleviate Menstrual Pain
The pain from menstruation is caused primarily by inflammation. This can be decreased or eliminated by powerful anti-inflammatories like Omega 3 supplements. A 2011 study conducted at Babol University of Medical Sciences, Iran, reported that fish oil could be used to treat menstrual pain better than over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen.
May Improve Sleep
Sleep deprivation is a problem for tens of millions of people worldwide. There are many treatments offered, and studies have concluded that Omega-3 fatty acids can improve sleep quality and assist with transitioning to sleep. It can also inhibit the adverse effects of sleep deprivation. A 2019 study by the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Jordan reported a noticeable decrease in sleep deprivation related to short-term memory issues in participants who regularly took Omega-3 supplements.
Fats Are Good For Your Skin
Fatty acids can help maintain your skin in a number of ways. It can make your skin look younger and feel softer thanks to the following effects.
- Regulates skin oil production
- Protects cell membranes
- Antioxidant effects protect against free radicals
- Anti-inflammatory properties can counter acne, rashes, and other skin irritations
What Are the Side Effects Of Omega-3?
To lower the risk of experiencing side effects when taking Omega-3, it is best to speak with your doctor before you start taking it. They will be able to determine if you are taking any medications that may interact or if you should use specific Omega-3 products. This is an essential fatty acid which means that your body needs it even though it cannot produce it. Most healthy individuals who are not on other medication can start taking it without having to worry about a reaction. However, in rare cases or if you take more than the recommended amount, you may encounter the following effects.
- Bad breath or acrid scented sweat
- Unpleasant lingering aftertaste
- Flu-like symptoms including headache, heartburn, nausea, or diarrhea
- In rare cases, it may increase the risk of developing certain cancers, including prostate cancer.
What foods have a high level of Omega-3?
Many oily foods contain Omega-3's, but they can be found in the highest quantities within the following foods. You can see below how many milligrams of Omega-3 they have per serving.
- Mackerel (4,107 mg)
- Salmon (4,123 mg)
- Cod liver oil (2,682 mg)
- Herring (946 mg
- Oysters (370)
- Anchovies (951 mg)
- Caviar (1,086 mg)
- Flax seeds (2,350 mg)
- Chia seeds (5,060 mg)
- Walnuts (2,570 mg)
- Soybeans (1,241 mg)
A few other common foods that contain a not-insignificant amount of Omega-3 fatty acids include meat, eggs, dairy products, hemp seed, spinach, purslane, and Brussel sprouts. There are also some foods you can buy, which are Omega-3-enriched.
Who Should Not Take Omega-3?
There are some health dangers associated with taking too much Omega-3. If you take over the prescribed amount, it can impact various aspects of your health, including blood sugar levels and blood pressure. The most significant risks for some individuals are irregular heartbeat or bleeding.
You should not take Omega-3's if you have the following medical conditions.
- Fish allergy
- Clotting or active bleeding conditions
- Low blood pressure
There are over three dozen medications that are known to have interactions with Omega-3 fatty acids. This includes things like aspirin, low strength aspirin, and various vitamins and minerals. Before you begin taking Omega-3's you should speak with a doctor and inform them of any medications, individual vitamins or minerals, and multivitamins that you might be taking.
Can you take Omega-3 fatty acids every day?
The body cannot naturally produce Omega-3 fatty acids so you must continually get it through either supplements and diet. However, there are adverse health effects that can develop if you take too much. You will want to speak with your doctor to determine the right amount of daily intake for you to see the best results.
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