An Overview Of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

Published on December 28, 2010 in Diet & Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements


DHA supplements might be more important to your overall health than you imagine. To explain that, let’s consider omega-3 fatty acids, in general, what they are and why they’re important. DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, is one of the omega-3’s. It’s also the omega-3 most prevalent inside your brain. So, once you realize the need for omega-3 efas inside your diet, you’ll also understand why DHA itself is so incredibly important. More details on DHA, later. Let’s discuss omega-3’s generally speaking.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are defined as essential. As a result your body requires them to function, but it can’t make them itself from other substances. Quite simply, you must get them through your food. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are found in cold water fish, plus in some algae, krill, some plants, as well as some nut oils. There are several omega-3 fatty acids, of which DHA is just one. They all play a very important roll in human development, plus in brain function. Scientists and doctors also have found a link between omega-3’s and heart health.

One of the many big rolls omega-3 essential fatty acids (also called polyunsaturated efas, or PUFA’s) plays in the human body is that of an anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is thought to be one of the leading and underlying causes of coronary disease along with of cancer and arthritis. Children who don’t get enough omega-3’s are at risk of not developing their nervous systems completely.

If you’ve read about omega-3 fatty acids, you’ve also probably read about their counterpart, omega-6 essential fatty acids. You can’t make one from the other, and also you need both. As a matter of fact, for ultimate health, there needs to be a balance concerning the two. Generally speaking, omega-3 fatty acids tend to fight inflammation, whereas omega-6’s promote inflammation.

There are diets, which tend to have a larger concentration of omega-3 efas, and consequently are seen to be more healthful than other diets. One of these is the what is known as Mediterranean diet. Not only does it contain the omega-3’s you should have, but also has a health balance between omega-3’s and omega-6’s. The one thing about the Mediterranean diet is it does not emphasize meat. Meat posesses a lot of omega-6’s (and some omega-3’s). The Mediterranean diet emphasizes vegetables, grain, fish, olive oils, garlic, and moderate amounts of wine.