Omega-3 fatty acids, known as fish oil, are nutrients that you get from food (or supplements). They help increase body weight and keep the body toned and healthy.
They are key to the structure of every cell wall in the human body. They are a good source of energy and support the good function of the heart, lungs, blood vessels and immune system.
Two important fatty acids – EPA and DHA – are found primarily in certain fish. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), another Omega-3 fatty acid, is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds.
DHA levels are particularly high in the retina, brain and sperm. The body needs these fatty acids to function.
Why are Omega-3 fatty acids useful for the human body?
Fish oil can lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels. Their increase is a prerequisite for the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Fish oil supplements (EPA+DHA) can relieve joint stiffness and pain. Omega-3 supplements can increase the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs, so they are suitable for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
In societies where cultural values suggest a more regular intake of foods with high levels of omega-3, lower levels of depression have been found among people. However, more research is needed. DHA appears to be important for visual and neurological development in infants.
A diet high in omega-3s reduces inflammation and is a key component in asthma. More studies are needed to find out whether fish oil supplements improve lung function or reduce the amount of medication a person needs to control the condition.
Some studies show that fish oil can reduce ADHD symptoms in some children and improve their mental skills.
It is about thinking, learning new knowledge, memorization and concentration. It has not yet been established whether Omega-3 supplements can be used as a primary treatment.
Some research shows that Omega-3 can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and has a positive effect on slowing the process of gradual memory loss associated with aging.
High levels of the fatty acid DHA – docosahexaenoic acid, from the omega-3 family, are associated with less lung inflammation and a lower risk of developing interstitial lung disease, one of the complications seen in a number of pneumonias, infectious diseases and even COVID-19.
Data published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that higher levels of DHA were associated with a lower risk of death from interstitial lung disease and fewer interstitial lung abnormalities on computed tomography imaging.
Interstitial lung diseases encompass a wide range of changes, most of which cause progressive impairment of lung function.
These disorders affect respiratory functions and blood oxygen levels.
The potential benefits of higher levels of DHA are related to the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids.
The benefits of omega-3s are due to a slower inflammatory response and faster resolution of inflammation, explains study author Dr. William Harris of the University of South Dakota.
Low DHA is associated with an increased risk of complications, hospitalization, and death from interstitial lung disease.
This research suggests that the presence of higher levels of circulating omega-3 fatty acids offers significant protection for the lung, which is particularly important for the prevention and recovery processes after many diseases affecting the lung.
The study was conducted with data collected from 10,000 participants over 12 years.
New research is also underway that will involve Harvard University, the Cardiovascular Institute of Rosario, Argentina, and the Private University of Applied Sciences in Jordan to see if taking high-dose omega-3 supplements helps reduce inflammation , associated with bacterial and viral pneumonias.
DHA is part of the group of omega-3 fatty acids.
Our body can synthesize DHA itself from alpha-linolenic acid, which is an essential nutrient.
This acid is found in plant foods such as flaxseed, chia and walnuts.
In this way, DHA and EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid, which is also contained in oilier fish, are synthesized from alpha-linolenic acid in the body.
Each person synthesizes these essential fatty acids differently, and some people may become deficient more easily.
For this reason, it is advisable to take higher amounts of omega-3, especially to promote the recovery processes of the lung.
Optimal recovery of lung functions is related to blood saturation with oxygen and normalization of respiratory function.
R. Morgan Griffin. The Facts on Omega-3 Fatty Acids. (June 14th, 2021). Compass by WebMD – https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet
Note: The material is informative and cannot replace consultation with a doctor. Before starting treatment, you must consult a doctor.