OMEGA-3 and Your Health
By Dr. Paul C. Kratka
Our bodies require omega-3 to be healthy - it's that simple. Omega-3 is not optional – it's required. Omega-3 is called an essential fatty acid because it's essential for proper cell function.
Almost everyone can benefit from taking omega-3 fish oil. It is known to promote healthier cell and hormone function throughout the body, reduce chronic inflammation, and slow cellular oxidation (the aging or "rusting" of your body's cells). Nearly every cell, organ, and system in the human body utilizes omega-3 for optimal function.
A large percentage of Americans are deficient in omega-3 due to choosing foods that are low in essential fatty acids, leading to chronic inflammation, poor health, and disease. Along with a better diet, taking a high-quality omega-3 is proven to be not only beneficial for our health, but also, necessary.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are necessary for proper/healthy function of:
• regulation of blood pressure
• immune response
• inflammatory response
• hormone production
• insulin regulation
• cell division
• healthy cell membranes
In recent years, the American diet, high in the consumption of cereal grains, vegetable oils, and domesticated grain-fed animals, has caused a dramatic increase in omega-6 intake. Combined with a deficiency of omega-3, people tend to have a high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, causing chronic inflammation and disease.
Research shows that the human body is healthy when our dietary intake of essential fatty acids is a ratio of 1:2 omega-3 and omega-6 respectively. People today typically eat a diet too high in omega-6, creating ratios of 1:30, even as much as 1:50. This imbalance of essential fats is causing many diseases today, including: depression, heart disease, arthritis, autoimmune disease, and dementia disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Science has shown that many aspects of human physiology depend on an adequate supply of essential fatty acids in general and omega-3 fatty acids specifically to create and maintain optimal health.
OMEGA-3 FOR HEALTHY CELL MEMBRANES
The cell membrane of nearly every cell in the human body is made up of cholesterol and essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahaexanoic acid (DHA). The brain is made mostly of fatty acids; the synapses (the connections between neurons and brain cells) are 80% fatty acids; therefore, having proper fat is critical.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71 (suppl), January 2000, pp. 349S-351S
American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 86, November 1, 2000, pp. 943-49
Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol. 56, May 1999, pp. 407-12 and pp. 415-16 (commentary)
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 72,
August 2000, pp. 389-94 Circulation, Vol. 107, April 15, 2003, pp. 1852-57
Brain Research 2010 Jun 23;1341C:32-40