Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids
They are necessary for human health but the body can’t make them — you have to get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants, and nut oils. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.
Uses in Mental Health:
Several studies have found that people who took omega-3 fatty acids in addition to prescription antidepressants had a greater improvement in symptoms than those who took antidepressants alone. Other studies show that omega-3 fatty acid intake helps protect against postpartum depression, among other benefits.
A number of studies show that reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with increased risk of age related cognitive decline or dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have low levels of certain essential fatty acids (including EPA and DHA). In a clinical study of nearly 100 boys, those with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids had more learning and behavioral problems (such as temper tantrums and sleep disturbances) than boys with normal omega-3 fatty acid levels.
The results of a 2011 study from the National Institutes of Health suggest that increased intakes of omega 3 fatty acids could be beneficial for young, healthy people by reducing anxiety symptoms and inflammation, a process that plays a role in many diseases. Consumers should be aware that all Omega 3 fish oil supplements are not created equal. The purity and concentration of supplements vary widely depending on the source of the fish and the processes used to create the fish oil. Inexpensive, bargain brands have been shown to contain dangerous chemicals and heavy metals such as mercury. If you are considering taking omega 3 fish oils, talk to your health care provider or schedule a supplement consultation at The Lifestyle Clinic.
We only use physician grade supplements that are high quality and highly purified.
- The Natitional Institutes of Health ( nih.gov), University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine (umm.edu)