Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have several potential health benefits. Several studies have proved that Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA (docosahexaenoic acids) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) have cardiovascular health benefits and even the other omega-3 fatty acid i.e. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) have the same health benefits as ALA can be converted by the body to DHA, which provide the health benefits.

The important health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids include cardiovascular health benefits and anti-cancer properties. There are other health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids include anti-inflammatory property, boost body immunity, prevention/delay of certain psychotic disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, dementia etc., seen in several studies, although not conclusively proved.

There are several nutritional supplement products in market which claim to have Omega-3 fatty acids, but some of them contain only ALA of plant origin, as DHA and EPA are mainly found in fish.

Anti-inflammatory property of Omega-3 fatty acids:

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory property (according to available current research/study), although not confirmed. The anti inflammatory property of Omega-3 fatty acids is also evident from the fact that patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (a chronic inflammatory condition) have reduced pain, if they consume foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids or take supplements, in compare to patients taking only standard NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs), such as piroxicam, diclofenac, etc., which are standard drugs for management of rheumatoid arthritis.

Omega-3 fatty acids as Immunity Booster:

Some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids can improve immune function, if given to infants or young children.

Omega-3 fatty acids and psychotic disorders:

There are some statistically significant evidences (from several studies) that omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA and EPA) can delay/prevent progression of certain psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease etc. Children with high risk of developing schizophrenia, taking omega-3 fatty acids rich foods or supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, show decrease in progression to schizophrenia, in compare to high risk children not taking omega-3 fatty acids.

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