Omega 3s or Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are deemed essential as our bodies cannot produce them on our own, and therefore must be consumed regularly through diet or daily supplementation.
The EFAs we consume reside in our cell membranes, where they impact every biological process in our bodies, such as cell division, circulation, blood pressure, pain, and inflammation. Without adequate intake of EFAs, optimal health can be compromised, as the cells may be unable to function properly.
Here’s how Omega-3s can support the six key areas of health.
1. Immune Health
The ratio of omega–3 to omega–6 essential fatty acids that a person consumes directly impacts the health of their immune response. Similarly, the ratio of fatty acids within their cell membranes directly influences whether the immune response synthesizes beneficial or potentially harmful molecules. When the immune system is triggered—for example by injury, allergy, or infection—fatty acids are released from the cell membranes. These fatty acids are converted into molecules as part of the body’s natural healing response.
2. Brain Health
The brain is in charge of controlling and coordinating all the actions both conscious and subconscious within our bodies. EFAs have been shown to play a key role in the health of our brain, as our brain is made up of 60% fat, much of which is EFAs. Studies have shown that consuming EFAs helps increase the grey matter in the brain; the fat, which helps increase membrane fluidity, neurotransmitter activity, memory, and learning.
3. Mental Health
Several mental health conditions have been linked to Omega-3 deficiencies. EFAs have also been shown to help reduce symptoms including anger, aggression and anxiety associated with these conditions.
4. Eye Health
Aged-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the macula which is the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail; it destroys your sharp central vision which you need to see objects clearly, and to do tasks such as reading. Research has shown that weekly consumption of EFAs is linked to a lower risk of early AMD.
5. Skin health
Omega-3s control a large number of cellular processes in our bodies that directly relate to the health of our skin, hair and nails. EFA’s have been shown to help keep skin hydrated, help to smooth rough and scaly skin by reducing inflammation, help improve blood flow and help provide more oxygen to the skin for nourishment.
6. Joint Health
Within joint and muscle tissue, omega-3s help reduce inflammation and pain. A large body of scientific evidence indicates that fish oil supports key compounds and internal repair systems that operate in response to physical stress. Studies show that EPA and DHA, the omega–3 essential fatty acids in fish oil, support the resolution of pain associated with physical stress to the back and joints. The research-backed benefits of fish oil also include support for joint mobility and flexibility.
Are omega-3s right for you?
Despite the great health benefits of omegas, individuals around the world suffer from omega–3 deficiency.
Omega–3 deficiency stems in large part from the growing unavailability of foods rich in these nutrients—principally fish—and because of the increasing popularity of the standard modern Western diet worldwide. While most diets prior to the 20th century contained a relative balance of omega–3 and omega–6 rich foods, the typical Western diet today contains far more of the omega–6s
It can be difficult to ensure that enough EFAs are consumed in order for your body to remain at its optimal health level. Omega-3 supplements are an option to assist your dietary intake.
Nordic Naturals is committed to delivering both increased awareness and quality omega nutrition in order to address this global health concern. Nordic Naturals is the only fish oil company that sustainably manages every step of the process – from catching the fish to bottling the oil – to ensure the highest purity, quality & transparency at every stage.
Seddon JM, Rosner B, Sperduto RD, et al. Dietary fat and risk for advanced age-related macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 2001; 119:1191–1199.
SanGiovanni JP, Chew EY, Clemons TE, et al. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. The relationship of dietary lipid intake and age-related macular degeneration in a case-control study: AREDS Report No. 20. Arch Ophthalmol 2007; 125:671–679.
Ross BM, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids as treatments for mental illness: which disorder and which fatty acid? Lipids Health Dis 2007; 6:21-40.
Mickleborough T, Lindley M, Montgomery G. Effect of fish oil-derived omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on exercise-induced bronchoconstriction and immune function in athletes. Phys Sportsmed 2008 Dec;36(1):11–7.