What are the Benefits of Omega 3?
For a very long time, dietary fats were seen as the sole cause of health problems and obesity. While fats are no longer public enemy number one, the idea that fat can be healthy is still not fully accepted among the general public. In this article, we will be talking about the benefits of increasing fat intake, focusing specifically on omega 3 fatty acids.
There are many benefits associated with hitting the recommended intake of omega 3 fatty acids.
Benefit #1 Fight Inflammation
There are several benefits in this section, but all of them are pretty much related to this first one. The main function of omega 3 is to curb inflammation, which has many health benefits. A 2010 study by Dangardt et al found that omega 3 supplementation led to a reduction in inflammation in obese adolescents.
Benefit #2 Lower Cholesterol Level
Of all the benefits on this list, the evidence that omega 3 intake can help to lower triglyceride levels is the strongest. According to examine.com, omega 3 supplementation can help to reduce triglyceride levels by between 15 and 30%. High triglyceride levels can lead to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) which causes strokes and heart disease. So, reducing them through diet or supplementation is a no-brainer.
Benefit #3 Reduce Depressive Symptoms
There is quite a lot of evidence that high omega 3 levels have been able to help reduce the symptoms of bipolar depression. Though it does not appear to have the same effect on people who only suffer “minor” depressive symptoms. Either way, it is best to talk to the doctor before turning to supplements or dietary changes.
There is also some evidence that omega 3 intake can help to reduce cortisol levels and anxiety, both of which can cause depression.
Benefit #4 Lower Blood Pressure
There appears to be good evidence that people with high blood pressure who increase their omega 3 intake can see a reduction in blood pressure. This could well be due to the reduction of triglycerides that we mentioned in benefit #2. Lower triglyceride levels means reduced atherosclerosis, which leads to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
Benefit #5 Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease
Reduced triglyceride levels, less risk of atherosclerosis, lower blood pressure, all of which lead to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Benefit #6 May Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis
There is a possible ability of omega 3 to help with rheumatoid arthritis. This all comes back to how omega 3 can fight inflammation, which is the cause of rheumatoid arthritis. Studies seem to indicate that omega 3 can help to reduce the number of swollen and tender joints, helping to alleviate the pain for some people.
Benefit #7 Improves Eye Health
DHA, a type of omega-3, is a major structural component of the retina. Getting enough omega-3 is linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration, one of the world’s leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness.
Benefit #8 May Help Prevent Cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, and omega-3 fatty acids have been claimed to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Studies show that people who consume the most omega-3s have up to a 55% lower risk of colon cancer. Omega-3 consumption is also linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.
Benefit #9 Can Help With Menstrual Pain
Studies repeatedly prove that women who consume the most omega-3s have milder menstrual pain.
Benefit #10 Can Improve Sleep
Studies in both children and adults reveal that supplementing with omega-3 increases the length and quality of sleep
Benefit #11 Good For Skin Health
DHA helps making the skin soft, moist, supple and wrinkle-free.
EPA also benefits the skin in many ways:
- Manages oil production and hydration
- Prevents hyperkeratinization of hair follicles.
- Reducing premature aging
- Reducing the risk of acne.