Benefits Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Benefits Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are a nutritional element that first caught researchers' attention about 20 years ago and what they discovered could have health benefits for anyone worried about a healthy heart.

Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Heart Disease

In the early 1980s, studies showed that the Inuit had low rates of heart disease despite their high-fat diet rich in fish. It turns out the omega 3 fatty acids in the fish may be what protects their hearts, along with other health benefits.

Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Cholesterol

Omega 3 fatty acids are poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Studies show that a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids may help lower triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Omega 3 fatty acids may also act as an anticoagulant to prevent blood from clotting. Several other studies also suggest that these fatty acids may help lower high blood pressure.

Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Alzheimer's

Omega 3 fatty acids may protect against the accumulation in the body of a protein believed to be linked to Alzheimer's disease, according to the results of a new animal study published in the March 2005 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. This study specifically investigated one particular kind of omega 3 fatty acids – Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and the results are encouraging.

Benefits Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Fish or Plant?

With the increasing popularity of vegetarian diets and mounting fears about mercury and PCBs in seafood, people often ask about using flax oil (which contains alpha-linolenic acids - or ALA) instead of fish oil.

Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Conversion Process

Our bodies can convert ALA into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) - the beneficial elements of omega 3– but the conversion process is slow. In addition, a high concentration of ALA (as present in flax oil pills) has been linked to higher risk of prostate cancer by some early research. Until more is known, men may be safest to choose fish oil for heart-healthy omega 3s instead of plant-sourced ALA.

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