Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid, meaning we must consume them in our diet. They play a vital role in many of our bodily systems, as they make up part of our cellular membranes that help to keep the structure of every cell in the body. They have functions in our immune system, and regulation of inflammatory processes in the body, among many other functions.
In this blog, we will go over a few of the benefits that Omega 3 fatty acids can have for our health.
1. Anti-inflammatory – Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown abundantly in research to reduce inflammatory cytokines in the body. (1) Increasing these Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet can help with many inflammatory conditions, most notably, joint pain & arthritis
2. Cardiovascular Disease – Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It additionally has desirable effects on blood pressure & cholesterol levels. (2)
3. Improve Eye Health – Some studies have shown Omega 3 intake can be beneficial in the slowing of certain eye diseases. (4) They have also been shown to help reduce dry eyes. (3)
4. Improve Dry Skin – Omega 3 fatty acids make up an important part of the skin’s cellular membrane. Those with dry, flaking skin have found benefit in increasing their Omega 3 fatty acid intake. (5)
5. Mental Health – Omega 3 supplementation has been found to improve mood in those suffering from depression. (1), (6)
We can increase Omega 3 fatty acids through increasing healthy fats in our diets. Some foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids include avocados, unsalted nuts & seeds, olive oil, fish among others!
You can also supplement with a good quality fish oil, but always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.
Dr. Samantha Allen, ND.
1. Simopoulos, A. P. (2002). Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 21(6), 495-505. doi:10.1080/07315724.2002.10719248
2. Mohebi-Nejad, Azin, and Behnood Bikdeli. “Omega-3 supplements and cardiovascular diseases.” Tanaffos vol. 13,1 (2014): 6-14.
3. Biljana Miljanović, Komal A Trivedi, M Reza Dana, Jeffery P Gilbard, Julie E Buring, Debra A Schaumberg, Relation between dietary n−3 and n−6 fatty acids and clinically diagnosed dry eye syndrome in women, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 82, Issue 4, October 2005, Pages 887–893,
4. Omega-3 slows down retinitis pigmentosa progression. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/241708#1
5. Essential fatty acids and skin health. (2021, January 01). Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids
6. David Mischoulon, M. (2018, August 03). Omega-3 fatty acids for mood disorders. Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/omega-3-fatty-acids-for-mood-disorders-2018080314414