What are Omega 3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are famous for their profound health-promoting effects including an anti-inflammatory activity, enhancement of the cardiovascular and brain functions improvement of conditions such as infertility as well in the management of diabetes mellitus and an effective weight loss.
They are also referred to as essential fats owing to the fact that despite being required by the body for different purposes our body is unable to synthesize them and they can only be obtained from food. Amongst many types of Omega 3 fats, the types that are important for human health are alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid(DHA).
What are the Health Promoting Effects of Omega 3 Fats on Heart?
Omega 3 fatty acids are found to promote cardiac health by:
- Decreasing synthesis of mediators responsible for the promotion of inflammation that is believed to damage your blood vessels, leading secondarily to the heart disease.
- Decreasing the synthesis of unhealthy fats such as triglycerides.
- Causing dilation of the blood vessels, thereby lowering the blood pressure.
- Reducing the risk of abnormal clot formation thus reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Preventing rhythm disturbances of the hearts.
There are numerous research studies pointing toward the protective effect of omega 3 fats on the heart.
- In a research study, about a thousand people were followed for around 20 years. It was found that death due to coronary artery disease was 50% less in the patients who regularly consumed fish in small amounts as compared to the patients who did not. This decrease in the mortality was attributed to omega-e fats of the fish.
What you can do to increase Omega 3 Fatty Acid Intake?
There are fish oil supplementations available that are rich in these polyunsaturated fatty acids, however, the best way would be to make fish an integral part of the daily diet. The recommendations are to consume at least 200 grams of fish rich in omega 3 fats per week. The fish rich in these fats includes trout, tuna, and sardines etc.
What are the other Healthy Promotional Effects of Omega 3 Fatty Acids?
Although famous for their effect on the enhancement of cardiovascular functions they also exert a health-promoting effect on other organs as well as seen below.
Effect on Liver
The recent research indicates that omega 3 fatty acids exert a protective effect against the development of liver diseases such as fatty liver and cirrhosis. The Omega fatty acid that is found to have the strongest liver protective effect is Docosahexaenoic acid.
Omega 3 fatty acids can potentially help in the management of Rheumatoid arthritis due to their ability to relieve inflammation. The preliminary research although promising is not enough and more research is required to carry out to elaborate this effect of omega 3 fatty acids.
They are also found to possess the ability to fight cancers, improve the mental health and cognitive functions of our body. More research is going on to understand the health-promoting effects of these fatty acids, however, the take-home point for you here is that by making fish an integral part of your regular diet you can have a number of positive effects on your health.
For more information on adding Omega 3 fatty acids into your diet, come to Century Medical and Dental Center (Downtown Brooklyn, Gravesend, and Flatbush) to talk to our nutritionist.