Monday, December 1st 2008
You've probably heard about Omega 3 and realised its something you should know more about, so here are some main points about how this essential fatty acid could help you.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found mainly in oily fish, but also in flax (linseed), hemp, rosehip, blackcurrant, borage & emu oil, are a vital addition to the diet, for helping with both the prevention and treatment of most skin problems. Fatty acids are essential for maintaining healthy cell membranes, which means they have an impact on all aspects of our health. Omega-3 is essential in the regulation of prostaglandins. These are hormone like chemicals which produce a wide range of effects in the body such as inducing inflammation, as with eczema & psoriasis. Omega 3 supplements can be taken internally to help from the inside out, while oils such as rosehip have been applied directly to the skin & are shown to help increase elasticity, rehydrate & rebuild skin tissue.
Approximately 40% of the human brain is composed of fatty acids & it is highly dependant on a regular supply of these from the diet. Deficiencies have been linked to depression, schizophrenia, memory loss & a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Researchers are now linking inadequate intake of omega-3 in pregnant women to premature birth & low birth weight, as well as hyperactivity in children. Taking a supplement which contains Omega 3 fish oil has been shown to be of great benefit for proper eye & brain development & function, which are important factors in our ability to learn to read, write & spell. It's never too late to start taking a supplement high in omega 3 & the benefits are often fast & dramatic.
Our body is made up with trillions of cells and it is the health of these cells which determines how our body functions. Without Omega 3, the membranes around the cells in our body would become more fragile, as essential fatty acids levels determine the integrity of the cell wall. When the cell wall weakens, it causes them to "leak" and become permeable. When this happens, reactive substances can then penetrate through the cell wall, making a person more prone to allergies & inflammation. It is thought that inflammation is a key contributor to the premature aging of tissues in the body.
Just like the hinge of a door, if there is not enough oil to lubricate between it, it will become stiff & hard to move freely. The same is with the joints in our body. If we do not have enough essential fatty acids in our diet, our joints can literally seize up, causing pain & inflammation. A number of studies have shown that people taking a daily therapeutic dosage of an omega 3 supplement have been able to dramatically reduce their use of NSAI drugs, while also obtaining better motility.
Age related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness. When the macula becomes damaged, visual problems including blindness are the unfortunate result. However researchers have found that people who consumed omega 3 fatty acids, as little as 1 to 3 times a month, had about half the risk of developing this disease than those who did not consume it. Dietary sources include cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines & herring. Or for vegans or those who cannot take fish flaxseed, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soy, soybean oil & nuts - especially walnuts, broccoli, green leafy vegetables & some beans .
There have been many studies done on the benefits of essential fatty acids & breast health. More recently researchers evaluated over 250 patients with breast cancer & analyzed their fat relative to 90 women without breast cancer. It showed that those without breast cancer had much higher levels of omega 3 in their body. A second study reviews new evidence on the biological mechanisms as to how fish oil can protect against breast cancer.
It's never to late to start obtaining health benefits from taking Omega 3, so why not consider taking some today! Remember the saying, "Prevention is better than cure".
Reproduced unabridged from an original magazine article written by Leanne James
The following products all contain omega3 fish oil:
The following products are other essential fatty acids for sources of Omega 6 & 9
Flax Oil - Certified Organic cold pressed
Evening Primrose Oil Oil - Certified Organic cold pressed
Efamol Evening Primrose Oil
Efamol Efalex for Children
Efamol Efanatal for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Efamol Efalex Active Adult
Organic Flax Seed Oil
Related health information can be found here:
Related articles can be found here:
Discover the importance of EFA's
Evening Primrose: "Cure-all" For the Skin
Efalex Studies Produce Overwhelming Evidence
Fish Oils for Dyslexia and ADHD
Efamarine Help for Joint Mobility and the Maintanance of Immunity
Omega 3 has yet more benefits
Fish Oil Staves off Dementia
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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