Omega 3 fatty acids are the essential fatty acids that are required for the normal functioning of the body. These fatty acids cannot be synthesized by the body and hence, have to be taken through diet. These are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that are required for the brain function, as well as the normal growth of an individual. They are beneficial for everyone as they help lower the risk of various diseases, which result due to aging.

Benefits

High Blood Pressure
Foods rich in these fatty acids, are known to significantly reduce the blood pressure levels in people affected by high blood pressure. Consuming about 3 g of fish oil, which is rich in omega 3 acids everyday drastically reduces the risk of hypertension.

Heart Disease
These fatty acids help treat and prevent heart diseases. A low fat diet rich in these fatty acids can reduce the risk of death due to heart diseases. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the type of omega 3 fatty acid, that is most effective in treating heart diseases. Similarly, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) also reduce the risk of fatal heart attacks. However, consumption of more than 3 g of omega 3 fatty acids, from fish oil supplements can put you at a greater risk of strokes, due to ruptured arteries.

Diabetes
People with diabetes have higher levels of triglycerides and lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol). Intake of omega 3 fatty acids helps increase the level of HDL and decreases the level of triglycerides and apoproteins, which are the markers of diabetes. EPA and DHA are the types of omega 3 fatty acids that are more effective in treating diabetes. ALA is not very effective, as people affected by diabetes have reduced capacity to convert it into a usable form.

Arthritis
These fatty acids reduce the tenderness and inflammation in the joints. They also inhibit the activity of the enzyme responsible for the destruction of cartilage. They also increase grip strength and reduce joint stiffness. However, while opting for a diet rich in omega acids for the treatment of arthritis, it is necessary to incorporate foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and avoid foods rich in omega 6 fatty acids. As the latter could be responsible for causing inflammation.

Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition mostly found in post-menopausal women. It is a calcium deficiency disorder, which reduces the bone density. EPA increase the level of calcium in blood and improve the bone density. These acids also impart strength to the weakened bones.

Other Benefits

Besides helping in alleviating the symptoms of the aforementioned chronic ailments, these acids also help in improving other health conditions.
  • Overweight people may also benefit from these fatty acids, as these can help bring about weight loss.
  • Following a diet lacking in these fatty acids may result in depression, as they are the main components of nerve membrane.
  • They are also used in cosmetic industry due to their several skin benefits.
  • These are also helpful in the treatment of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
  • Their benefits for women include the treatment of menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms.
  • The fatty acid may increase sexual power and cure problems related to the prostate gland.
  • Their benefits for pregnant women are myriad, however, their supplements should be taken as recommended by the physician.
The list of omega 3 benefits is never ending. However, to avail the true benefits of omega 3 fatty acids, one must make them an important part of their diet in appropriate proportion only.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.