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The cell membrane of each cell in the body consists of phospholipids which has omega-three fatty acids as a component. Physiologically, omega three fatty acids help in the metabolic processes of energy production and individual organ function of heart, lungs, immune system, blood vessels and endocrine system. Therefore, it should be an essential part of our diet. It’s defficiency leads to many physical and mental diseases and symptoms like the autoimmune disorders, heart problems, COPD, skin and eye problems and even depression. Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids which are called essential fatty acids because they cannot be synthesised in the body and has to be consumed from dietary sources. The average recommendation for an adult is 1200mg of Omega 3 fatty acids per day.
There are three types of omega-three fatty acids :
ALA – Alpha Linolenic acid
EPA – Eicosapentaenoic acid
DHA – Docosahexaenoic acid.
The benefits of omega-three fatty acids are immense. The most critical effect in the body is in the inflammatory process. Whenever, there is a trigger of inflammatory response like microbial infection, physical or metabolic tissue damage and stress (mental or physical), there are molecular and cellular events taking place, causing an alteration in the genes, and the cells produce a different pattern of proteins. The white cells in the blood interact with the endothelial cells and initiate the inflammatory process and as a result of which many chemicals are produced which causes further tissue damage. And when the inflammation process continues, irreparable tissue damage occurs and metabolic changes appear in the organs of the body. When omega-three fatty acids, EPA and DHA are supplied or increased in the diet, they alter the composition of the inflammatory cell phospholipid and thereby change the cell phenotyping and reduces the overall inflammation process.
In case of heart problems, more supply of EPA, DHA lower the triglyceride level and reduces the risk of a cardiovascular event like a stroke, heart attack. Researches also show a high intake of Omega 3 helps in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s, disease, dementia and other cognitive issues. It also reduces the risk of certain cancers like breast cancers and colorectal cancers. It is also beneficial for eye health and the joints so required in the improvement of Rheumatoid arthritis.
Naturally, Omega 3 fatty acids are found in wild fishes like salmon, sardines, tuna, anchovies, herring, and mackerel. Plant seed oils like canola, flaxseed oil, chia seeds and soybean. Nuts like walnuts are extremely rich in omega-three fatty acids. Supplementation is generally recommended under Physician’s guidance.
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