Omega-3 classified

Omega 3, or omega 3 fatty acids, is a family of essential fatty acids (1).

They are necessary for vital functions and the only way to obtain them is through food or supplements.

Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats and are classified mainly into 3 fatty acids:

  •  ALA: alpha-linolenic acid. In foods of vegetable origin and needs to be converted into EPA or DHA to be used by the body.
  •  DHA: docosahexaenoic acid. It is found mostly in foods of animal origin and is essential for the development of the brain.
  • EPA: eicosapentaenoic acid. It is found mostly in foods of animal origin and can reduce inflammation.

 

Omega 3 fatty acids are found in cell membranes, especially in the brain, and their consumption is associated with better neurological health and a lower risk of dementia (1).

They play an essential role in other cellular processes such as inflammation and blood coagulation (2).

 

In diabetes or metabolic syndrome, the consumption of omega 3 fatty acids reduces the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, prevents the appearance of clots in the arteries and reduces blood pressure (3).

According to several studies, the intake of omega 3 fatty acids can significantly reduce the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety (4).

Likewise, of the 3 main classes of omega 3 that exist, the so-called EPA proves to be the most effective when it comes to treating depression and seems to be even more effective than the drug antidepressant Prozac (5).

 

References

(1) http://www.redalyc.org/pdf/339/33906605.pdf

(2) http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/i1953s/i1953s.pdf

(3) http://www.bolivianchemistryjournal.org/QUIMICA%202007%20PDF/articulo_26_Ballesteros.pdf

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3976923/

(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18247193

Spread the love