A reduction in inflammation and prevention of chronic heart diseases can be attributed to consumption of omega 3 in diets or fish oil supplements. These omega-3 benefits include the lowering of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides and the increased HDL (“good”) cholesterol
. There is also strong evidence that fatty acids help reduce high blood pressure, and by inhibiting the development of plaque and blood clots, help prevent and treat atherosclerosis. This evidence also strongly suggests that omega-3 fatty acid intake, primarily from fish, helps protect against stroke by the same process.
Infants benefit from omega 3
that promotes developing vision and nerves during pregnancy. Infants are at risk for developing problems in these areas, if they don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers.
Combined with a low-fat diet with exercise
, omega-3 benefits those people who are overweight and who suffer from diabetes and high cholesterol. It can be consumed in diets or fish oil.
In rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory joint condition, studies have shown benefits of fatty acids in reducing joint tenderness, decreased morning stiffness, possible decreases in medications that control this chronic disease. Along with this joint condition, omega-3 benefits people with osteoporosis by increasing the levels of calcium in the body and by increasing bone mass and bone strength
People are at risk for suffering depression if they do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids. The benefits of omega-3
for this illness work by helping nerve cells to communicate, an essential step in achieving good mental health. Cell membranes must be healthy in order to improve brain function and the overall condition of our brain cells. Studies showed that people hospitalized for depression had lower levels of fatty acids than people who ate a healthy diet with omega-3. When treated with an appropriate amount of fatty acids, these people had reduced feelings of depression and hostility and improved brain function. The same studies found the same omega-3 benefits for people suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Other studies suggest that people not suffering from depression may experience improved brain function with omega-3.
In studies of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it was determined that those children may have low levels of essential fatty acids. Some of those children exhibited learning and behavioural problems. More studies are needed to determine if omega-3 benefits children with ADHD by reducing their symptoms and improving their general condition.
There have been preliminary studies conducted that show omega-3 benefits for people with the chronic disease, asthma. They show that fatty acid supplements may decrease the inflammation in the lungs and improve overall lung function in adults.
More omega-3 benefits include a lower incidence of macular degeneration in people who consumed a significant amount of fatty acids from fish in their diets.
Other omega-3 benefits are being studied in regard to colon cancer, inflammatory bowl disease (IBD) and Crohn’s disease, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Some studies have preliminary findings that support the argument that the diseases are prevented from worsening by consumption of omega-3 fatty acids.
Women with the highest dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids were found to have the mildest symptoms during menstruation in a study performed in Denmark.
Preliminary research seeks to determine whether there is an omega-3 benefit in fighting infections, and in treating ulcers, migraine headaches, lupus, emphysema, and glaucoma. Many studies will need to be conducted to substantiate this research.