Yes, You Need All the Omega-3, by


posted by Edward Casanova | Nov 08, 2019

Omega−3 fatty acids, also called ω−3 fatty acids or n−3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), they are important constituents of your lipid metabolism, and they play an important role in your diet and physiology. (1-3)

The levels of DHA in the brain increase during your development (4) and decrease with aging (5), and both your retina and brain levels of DHA are altered by your dietary ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acid supply (6).

It seems that in human history the intake of these guys has changed ranging from a ratio of 1:1 to 20:1 (7,8)

Where do you get them from?

The three types of omega−3 fatty acids involved in your physiology are α-linolenic acid (ALA), found in plant oils, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both commonly found in marine oils. (9)

There are plant-based sources such as: walnut, edible seeds, clary sage seed oil, algal oil, flaxseed oil, Sacha Inchi oil, Echium oil, and hemp oil; as well as animal sources such as: include fish, fish oils, eggs from chickens fed EPA and DHA, squid oils and krill oil (basically middle-men between you and the original source which is the marine algae). (10)

Kids, take your DHA!

DHA and EPA combinations have been shown to benefit attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, and aggression. For the affective disorders, meta-analyses confirm benefits in major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder, with promising results in schizophrenia and initial benefit for borderline personality disorder. (11)

Information on the functional importance of DHA in infant development is available from studies on the effects of feeding formulas without and with DHA, often with 20:4ω-6, with the most robust benefits of DHA for visual, mental and motor skills development in preterm infants. (12)

However, clinical evidence from controlled trials, open studies, and case reports have yielded mixed results from DHA/EPA supplementation in AD/HD and its comorbid conditions. (13)

On the other side, multiple studies keep showing improvement in cognitive areas in humans infants. (14-16)

And although more research is needed to achieve consensus on cancer and heart disease (17,18), you still need them to keep a healthy brain.


• Omega-3 can be found both in animal and plant sources. • Although there are mixed reviews about their role in cognitive decline, numbers seem to still favor the positive side. • More research is need about their role against heart disease and cancer.

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  1. "Office of Dietary Supplements - Omega-3 Fatty Acids". Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  2. "Essential Fatty Acids". Micronutrient Information Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  3. Scorletti E, Byrne CD (2013). "Omega-3 fatty acids, hepatic lipid metabolism, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease". Annual Review of Nutrition. 33 (1): 231–48. doi:10.1146/annurev-nutr-071812-161230. PMID 23862644.
  4. Martinez, M., 1992. Tissue levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in early human development. J. Pediatr. 120, 129–138.
  5. Guisto, N.M., Salvador, G.A., Castagnet, P.I., Pasquare, S.J., Ilincheta de Bschero, M.G., 2002. Age-associated changes in central nervous system glycerophospholipids composition and metabolism. Neurochem. Res. 27, 1513–1523
  6. Innis, S.M., 1991. Essential fatty acids in growth and development. Prog. Lipid. Res. 30, 39–103.
  7. Simopoulos, A.P., 1999. Evolutionary aspects ofomea-3 fatty acids in the food supply. Prostaglandins, Leukot, Essent. Fat. Acids 60, 421–429.
  8. Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (IOM/NAS), 2002. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein and Amino Acids. The National Academies Press, Washington, D .C.
  9. "Essential Fatty Acids". Micronutrient Information Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  10. “Omega-3 Fatty Acid - Wikipedia,” n.d. fatty acid.
  11. Kidd, Parris M. “Omega-3 DHA and EPA for Cognition, Behavior, and Mood: Clinical Findings and Structural-Functional Synergies with Cell Membrane Phospholipids.” Alternative Medicine Review, 2007.
  12. Fewtrell, M.S., 2006. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in early life: effects on multiple health outcomes. A critical review of current status, gaps and knowledge. Nestle Nutr. Workshop Ser. Pediatr. Progr. 57, 203–214.
  13. Voigt RG, Llorente AM, Jensen CL, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of docosahexaenoic acid supplementation in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Pediatr 2001;139:189-196.
  14. Morgan C, Davies L, Corcoran F, et al. Fatty acid balance studies in term infants fed formula milk containing long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Acta Paediatr 1998;87:136-142.
  15. Young C, Hikita T, Kaneko S, et al. Fatty acid compositions of colostrum, cord blood, maternal blood and major infant formulas in Japan. Acta Paediatr Jpn 1997;39:299-304.
  16. Breckenridge WC, Gombos G, Morgan IG. The lipid composition of adult rat brain synaptosomal plasma membranes. Biochim Biophys Acta 1972;266:695-707.
  17. Rizos EC, Ntzani EE, Bika E, Kostapanos MS, Elisaf MS (September 2012). "Association between omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and risk of major cardiovascular disease events: a systematic review and meta-analysis". JAMA. 308 (10): 1024–33.
  18. MacLean CH, Newberry SJ, Mojica WA, Khanna P, Issa AM, Suttorp MJ, et al. (January 2006). "Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cancer risk: a systematic review". JAMA. 295 (4): 403–15. doi:10.1001/jama.295.4.403. hdl:10919/79706. PMID 16434631.

This is a curated post made from different sources. The health information here is provided as a resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes, nor intended to be medical education, nor creating any client-coach relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Always do your own research and consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions, for guidance about a specific medical condition or fitness purposes. Edward Casanova shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.

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