Many studies have been conducted about the health benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. One of the fascinating benefits is reducing the inflammation in the body. Here is the detailed information.
What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?
They are essential nutrients needed for human health. There are actually 3 of them. They are:
- ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) which can be found in the sources like oils from soybean, canola, flaxseed, and walnuts, green vegetables (brussels sprouts, spinach and kale). The body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA partially, but for ALA, the food is the only source.
- EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). Both EPA and DHA which are also known to be the ones that possess the anti-inflammatory actions can be found in fatty fishes such as fish oil.
We depend on omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for various normal metabolic procedures to continue and thus, for normal growth in young children. Besides that, research shows that they also bring many health benefits.
However, the human body is incapable of manufacturing them on its own. That’s why, it is necessary to obtain them through certain foods or supplements.
Health Benefits Related to Inflammation Conditions
Inflammation is a natural response of immune system to injury, irritation, infection or foreign substances. This immune response is required to heal the body. But when it becomes excessive and chronic, it can be dangerous.
Chronic inflammation is known to play a certain role in various chronic diseases such as Cardiovascular or Heart Disease, Asthma, Diabetes, Cancer, Lupus, Alzheimer’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Depression, and many more.
Omega 3 fatty acids has shown to benefit for the prevention and or the treatment for those diseases in certain degree because it can reduce the levels of several compounds that promote inflammation significantly. Those compounds are prostaglandin E2, C-reactive protein, interleukin-1, and thromboxane B2.
Experiments have shown that they have potent anti-inflammatory actions which help in reducing the risk factor, treating the symptoms and even curing inflammatory diseases. However, it is not limited with these functions only, as they are capable of doing beyond that. Some of them are:
- increasing the “good” cholesterol levels (HDL),
- lowering triglycerides and blood pressure,
- improving circulation,
- stabilizing the plaques formation which can prevent them to rupture easily,
- decreasing the platelet aggregation which can lead to excessive blood clotting,
- building and maintaining the neural cell membranes,
- inhibiting the cancerous growth in the body,
- lowering the intake of NSAIDs,
- inhibiting the protein accumulation believed to be involved in Alzheimer’s Disease
- reducing the diseases symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (the morning stiffness, joint stiffness and pain), Asthma, Depression, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and many more.
To know about its anti-inflammatory effects, we must also know about Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 is another type of polyunsaturated fatty acid. As omega 3 works by reducing inflammation, the omega 6 tends to promote it. However, you shouldn’t avoid the omega 6 or just consume the omega 3 as both of them are equally important for the body to function properly. What you need to adjust is the amount of those essential fatty acids.
As these essential nutrients are worth considering for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, their health benefits are actually not limited to this condition only. There are many other health benefits that you can gain.
Before using them, it is necessary to know other important information such as the recommended dosage that you can take, the possible interactions with other medications and any potential side-effects.