by Bianca Balzarini
Over the last few years, many scientific researches published and in the publication phase, have demonstrated the benefits of Omega 3 which, taken as part of a balanced diet , carry out important protective actions on the human body , helping to bring countless health benefits.
We summarize below some of the indications associated with the intake of some Omega 3 fatty acids approved by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) or more present in the most recent scientific publications.

Omega 3 and metabolism
EPA and DHA contribute tomaintenance of normal blood triglyceride levels by indirectly regulating the oxidation of fatty acids and the decrease in their synthesis.

The benefits of Omega 3 for the heart
EPA and DHA contribute to normal cardiac function and (GISSI-Prevention study) have been shown to be effective in reducing cardiovascular mortality and in particular in reducing sudden cardiac death.

The beneficial action against inflammation
The combination of EPA and DHA are able to neutralize the negative pro-inflammatory effectsderived from arachidonic acid (“bad” eicosanoids). According to a recent article published by the Harvard medical school (Serhan 2005; Serhan et Al 2014) a diet rich in Omega 3 helps to optimize and conclude the reparative inflammatory process.

The benefits of Omega 3 for the brain
DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function . It is incorporated in neuronal cell membranes and is the fatty acid most present in the brain gray matter.

For the development of the fetus
The mother’s intake of DHA contributes to normal brain, eye and visual development in the fetus and breastfed infants .
The expectant mother should take Omega 3 to have sufficient amounts of DHA available to pass on to the fetus since its formation. During the last weeks of gestation and in the first months of life, the development of the retina and the brain is completed, organs particularly rich in DHA, essential for their optimal functioning.

The benefits of Omega 3 for sight
DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal vision .

The correlation with sport
The anti-inflammatory action of EPA and DHA would have proved useful in endurance athletes, subjected to particularly intense training sessions or competitions. In this context, fish oil couldcontribute to the prevention of neuromuscular injuries related to intense exercise by reducing the risk of injury and recovery times .

Contraindications of Omega 3
There are no particular contraindications to the intake of Omega 3 fatty acids , but it is important to discuss with your doctor in the case of pharmacological therapies with anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents, pregnancy or breastfeeding and before surgery.

Bibliography

  • Berbert A.A., Kondo C.R., Almendra C.L., Matsuo T., Dichi I. Supplementation of fish oil and olive oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition, 21(2):131-6, 2005
  • Bourre J.M. Roles of unsaturated fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids) in the brain at various ages and during ageing. J Nutr Health Aging, 8(3):163-74, 2004.
  • Conklin S.M., HarrisJ.I, Manuk S.B.,Yao J.K., Hibbeln J.R., Muldoon M.F. Serum omega-3 fatty acids are associated with variation in mood, personality and behavior in hypercholesterolemic community volunteers. Psychiatry Res, 22; 2007.
  • Germano M., Meleleo D., Montorfano G.,Adorni L., Negroni M., Berra B., Rizzo A.M. Plasma, supplementation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nutritional Neuroscience,Volume 10, Issue 1 & 2 , pages 1 – 9, 2007
  • Grimble R.F. e Tappia P.S.: Modulation of pro-infiammatory cytokine biology by unsaturated fatty acids. Z. Emahrungswiss, 37 suppl., 1: 57-65, 1998.
  • Lauritzen L., Jorgensen M.H., Mikkelsen T.B., Skovgaard M., Straarup E.M., Olsen S.F., Hoy C.E., Michaelsen K.F. Maternal fish oil supplementation in lactation: effect on visual acuity and n-3 fatty acid content of infant erythrocytes. Lipids, 39(3):195-206, 2004.
  • Neuriger M., Reisbick S., Janowsky J.:The role of n-3 fatty acids in visual and cognitive deve- lopment: current evidence and methods of assessment. J. Pediatr., 125: 39-47, 1994.
  • Poli A.: Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular prevention. Trends in Medicine, volume 2, number 3, PPG Edizioni Scientifiche 2002.
  • Saldeen P., Saldeen T. Women and omega-3 Fatty acids. Obstet Gynecol Surv., 59(10):722-30, quiz 745-6, 2004
  • Sears B.: “The Antinflammation Zone”, Regan Books, New York, 2005.

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