Omega-3s for the Heart, and So Much More

    Courtesy of GC Rieber VivoMega.

    Heart health awareness continues into March with Global Omega-3 Day, celebrated on the 3rd of March. This day recognizes the vital roles that omega-3 marine fatty acids have in health and wellness. 

    Omega-3 fish oil contains both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) fatty acids,  essential nutrients with important roles in preventing and managing heart disease. While most people worldwide are aware of EPA and DHA omega-3s, intake is staggeringly low and there is a fair amount of confusion about omega-3s in general. Global Omega-3 Day is a great time to learn more about these powerful nutrients. 

    Omega-3s have long been known to benefit heart health, but we know it supports whole-body health. Both EPA and DHA omega-3s have been shown to benefit brain and eye health in addition to their well-known benefits for heart health and prenatal health. Beyond these core health concerns, several interesting studies have shown the benefits of omega-3s for immune health, sports health, and bone & joint health. Read on for a deeper dive into this long list of benefits. 

    Heart Health
    Omega-3s have long been known for their contributions to the normal function of the heart and to the maintenance of normal blood pressure as well as healthy triglyceride levels.  A recent study found that EPA and DHA consumption may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, particularly in higher risk populations.   

    Brain Health
    Your brain is built up by a large amount of fats, and the omega-3 DHA makes a significant percentage of the fats in the brain. You can say that omega-3s are as essential for the brain as calcium is for your bones. It is now well-known that DHA is essential for newborn brain development, but did you know that it is essential throughout life? Omega-3 DHA supports cognitive function by ensuring brain cell activity is maintained at optimal levels. Ensuring an adequate amount of omega-3 EPA and DHA from supplementation or diet helps ensure lifelong brain health. 

    Eye Health
    The omega-3 DHA is found in large amounts in the retina of the eye. Even though omega3s are important for your eye health throughout life, it is particularly important during pregnancy and and infancy of the developing baby. Growing evidence also suggests that omega-3 EPA and DHA can protect against the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

    Maternity – Healthy Pregnancy
    Omega-3s DHA and EPA are essential for the development of the brain, eyes, nerves, and heart of a developing fetus and for newborn development. Considering the main source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids is known to be through food, childbearing women and lactating mothers should have a diet rich in marine omega-3s or consider adding a high-quality EPA and DHA-rich supplement. This is important not only for the development of their baby, but also for their own general health 

    Immune Support
    Published studies have revealed that EPA and DHA help support the body’s immune response and regulate the internal repair system that manages the response to inflammation. Many factors can impact the immune system including age, sleep, genetics, lifestyle, and diet. Getting the right nutrients, including EPA and DHA omega-3s, is an essential part of supporting a healthy and balanced immune system.    

    Sports Health
    Omega-3s DHA are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and are believed to help reduce the severity of muscle strain and can promote faster recovery. A daily intake of the omega-3s DHA and EPA can support the recovery process and help both athletes and weekend warriors get back to their training programs quickly.   

    Joint Health
    Recent scientific reviews suggest that omega-3 EPA and DHA supplementation has beneficial effect in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients and show some promise in other joint disorders. Several clinical trials using omega-3 EPA and DHA on patients with RA have shown a decrease in morning stiffness and less joint pain.  

    Looking Forward
    Given the expanding understanding of the power of omega-3s, it’s unsurprising that a new report by Grand View Research says that the global omega-3 market size is expected to reach USD 3.82 billion by 2028. Today, omega-3 supply leaders are focused on sustainable fisheries, clean production, expanding supply to meet global demand, recognizing new markets, and continuing research to garner a better understanding of the essential nutrients EPA and DHA. These measures are already underway and need to continue if we are going to address the needs of people around the world and help them live long healthy lives.  

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