Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Capsules Arranged Like a Flower

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential to good health. A deficiency of fatty acids, especially in the form of Omega-3, can result in problems in the cardiovascular system as well as brain function. Some symptoms of insufficient intake include, dry and brittle hair and nails, itchy skin, inability to concentrate, fatigue, depression, and joint pain.

Omega-3 fatty acids perform many functions in the body. Their primary function is to make up the walls of cells. Saturated fats can harden cell membranes, making it difficult to transfer substances into and out of the cell. Since omega-3 is polyunsaturated it keeps the cell membranes supple and responsive and allows communication between cells. Because of this, omega-3 is thought to have a major impact on brain function. It has the effect of oiling the machinery of the brain.

Besides these vital functions omega-3 stimulates cancer fighting enzymes and genes, as well as substances that help repair DNA damaged by free radicals. Studies have been conducted especially on breast cancer patients that show a positive correlation between intake of omega-3 fatty acids and control of cancerous growth.

Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent blood clotting and help lower blood pressure. They inhibit thickening of arteries and reduce inflammation in tissues. They also can actually help control weight gain by improving the body's ability to respond to insulin by stimulating leptin production.

Can a person consume too much omega-3? People who are susceptible to bleeding or bruising might find their problem exacerbated by getting too much omega-3. However, for the average person, the US government has not set an upper intake limit for the substance. In general, experience has shown that large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids are not toxic. As most people do not get enough omega-3 in the first place, increasing the level will not normally incur risk, except in cases where people are allergic to specific foods associated with the source of the fatty acid.

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