Why Your Blood Needs Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Know The Reasons)
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Are you aware of the importance of omega-3 fatty acids for your body?.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential component of a healthy diet and are necessary for a range of bodily functions.
In this article, we will explore why your blood needs omega-3 fatty acids, the sources, and the potential health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
So, let’s dive in and learn more about why omega-3 fatty acids are so important for your overall health and wellbeing.
What are omega-3 fatty acids and what do they do?
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats found in the foods we eat, including fish and flaxseed, and in supplements, such as fish oil.
The three main omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
ALA is found mainly in plant oils such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils. DHA and EPA are found in fish and other seafood.
ALA is an essential fatty acid, meaning that your body can’t make it, so you must get it from the foods and beverages you consume.
Your body can convert some ALA into EPA and then to DHA, but only in very small amounts. Therefore, getting EPA and DHA from foods is the only practical way to increase levels of these omega-3 fatty acids in your body.
Omega-3s are important components of the membranes that surround each cell in your body.
DHA levels are especially high in retina, brain, and sperm cells.
Omega-3 fatty acids also provide calories to give your body energy and have many functions in your heart, blood vessels, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system.
Functions of omega-3 fatty acids
Studies have shown that EPA and DHA are important for:
- Cognitive function
- Good eyesight
- Fetal development
- Lowering bad cholesterol in the blood
- Preventing cardiovascular diseases
Are omega-3 fatty acids good for your blood?
Yes. Foods and supplements that contains omega-3 fatty acids are good for your health. Get to know the reasons why your blood needs omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s protects your heart by decreasing arrhythmias, blood clot formation, triglycerides, atherosclerotic build-up, blood pressure and inflammation, not to mention they may improve the function of artery cells.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee concluded that consumption of two servings of seafood per week, which provide an average of 250 mg per day of long chain n-3 fatty acids, reduces cardiac mortality from coronary heart disease in persons with and without heart disease.
Prevention of coronary heart
For healthy adults without heart disease, omega-3 fatty acids in the blood may reduce the risk of death from cardiac events. ALA also appears to have a protective effect for the heart.
Higher ALA intake reduces the risk of heart disease, especially in populations with low levels of fish consumption.
Lowering blood triglycerides
It is well established that omega-3 fatty acids from fish lower blood triglycerides. Triglycerides are fats in your blood; their presence in blood is normal.
High levels, however, may be a risk factor for heart disease, most especially in combination with high LDL cholesterol.
EPA and DHA lower triglycerides in your blood by decreasing your body’s ability to make triglycerides.
Hypertension is the diagnosis of high blood pressure; it is an
independent risk factor for heart
Studies show that a high level of supplementation with EPA and DHA in the blood slightly reduces high blood pressure.
Dietary and lifestyle changes as well as medications are effective at lowering blood pressure, omega-3 supplementation may have a limited role in managing hypertension.
What foods provides omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3s are found naturally in foods and are added to some fortified foods.
You can get adequate amounts of omega-3s by eating a variety of foods, including:
- Canola oil
- Chia seeds
- Soyabean oil
What about omega-3 supplements?
Omega-3 dietary supplements include:
- Fish oil
- Krill oil
- Cod liver oil
- Algal oil
All these supplements provide a wide range of doses and forms of omega-3 fatty acids.
Usually, for every 3 milligrams of EPA in a fish oil dose, there are 2 milligrams of DHA.
Are you getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your blood?
Most people get enough omega-3 fatty acids from the foods they eat. They also get small amounts of EPA and DHA. Recommended amounts of EPA and DHA have not been established.
What happens if you don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in your blood?
A deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids can cause stroke, heart related problems, painful joints, rough scaly skin and a red swollen itchy rash.
How much omega-3 fatty acids do you need?
Experts have not established recommended amounts for omega-3 fatty acids, except for ALA.
Average daily recommended amounts for ALA are listed below in grams. The amount you need depends on your age, gender, and other factors.
- Birth to 12 months: 0.5 g
- Children 1–3 years: 0.7 g
- Children 4–8 years: 0.9 g
- Boys 9–13 years: 1.2 g
- Girls 9–13 years: 1.0 g
- Teen boys 14–18 years: 1.6 g
- Teen girls 14–18 years: 1.1 g
- Men: 1.6 g
- Women: 1.1 g
- Pregnant women: 1.4 g
- Breastfeeding women: 1.3 g
Does omega-3 fatty acids interact with other medications?
Omega-3 dietary supplements may interact with the medications you take. For example, high doses of omega-3s may cause bleeding problems when taken with warfarin or other anticoagulant medicines.
Omega-3 fatty acids play a key role in your overall health. They are necessary for vision, immune function, growth of cells, and decreasing low density lipoproteins in the blood.
Omega-3 fatty acids has many benefits including keeping your heart healthy by reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids provide small amounts of the nutrient, which is not enough to meet the daily requirement.
However, taking both foods and dietary supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids prevents heart related diseases.
High levels of omega-3 fatty acids has not shown any side effects yet, research is still on going to know it’s effects on human health.
Talk to your doctor when taking omega-3 supplements with other medications.
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