We've heard about the importance of taking fish and krill oil supplements, but how does Omega-3 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.
The Body Needs Omega-3s to Function
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.