There are three omega 3 fatty acids, a-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is found in selected vegetable oils while EPA and DHA are found in fish and fish oils. These fish oils - omega 3 fatty acids are taken from deep sea, cold water fish, such as salmon and mackeral and are essential in the healthy diet.
These fatty acids are the building blocks for the human brain, nervous system and eyes and are considered essential to a healthy heart. Omega 3 is beneficial for:
- Inflammatory conditions - arthritis pain & stiffness, psoriasis, eczema
- Maintaining a healthy heart - improving cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure
- Infant development/preganancy & breastfeeding - both pre and post natal
- Behavioural problems in children - attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, poor concentration, dyslexia
Omega 3 and the heart:
Omega 3 fatty acids assist the heart function in a number of different ways, including reducing the amount of fat in the blood, reducing the stickiness of blood cells (platelets), reducing the deposits of fats in the arteries, making the blood vessels more elastic and assisting in the normal function of the heart.
Omega 3 and arthritis:
Omega 3 acids inhibit the biochemical pathway in cells that trigger an inflammatory reaction, thus reducing stiffness and pain. They may also be beneficial in treating symptoms of lupus, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory diseases
DHA and pregnancy:
DHA in a mother's diet is essential for a baby's development. DHA in pregnancy can prevent high blood pressure, increase birth weight and reduce the risk of developing the post natal blues.