We've heard about the importance of taking fish and krill oil supplements, but what does Omega-3 do and how does it work in the body? What are fatty acids? Learn more about how these substances interact in the body to aid in everyday bodily functions and preventive healthcare.
What are Omega-3s?
Omega-3 fatty acids are a collection of polyunsaturated fatty acids which include eicosapentaenic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA). These can be found naturally in fish. Another fatty acid in Omega-3s is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is found in plants. ALA is an essential fatty acid which must be obtained from food or supplements.
What does Omega-3 do?
The body does not produce its own Omega-3 fatty acids, so getting them from food or supplement sources is important. Omega-3 fatty acids help control blood clotting and help build cell membranes throughout the body. They also affect how cell receptors in the membranes function. When enough Omega-3 is in the cell membrane, the long and flexible structure allows a better flow of nutrients and wastes to enter and exit the cell. Wastes are also prevented from re-entering the cell.
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory in nature. Omega-3 works to lessen the effects of inflammation by blocking multiple inflammation pathways in the cell.
- Omega-3s can have a great deal of benefits for supporting a healthy heart and brain and other functions of the body.
- Lower Triglycerides: Omega-3s can help lower elevated triglyceride levels.
- Infant Development: DHA is known to be an important factor in contributing to visual and neurological development in infants.
- Memory Improvement: Some research even suggests that Omega-3s might be beneficial for those with Alzheimer's and Dementia.
- Heart Health Improvement: Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fat that helps support heart health. These “good” fats are essential to your body and can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Try adding Omega-3s to your diet through food and supplements to reap the benefits of these fatty acids.