6 illnesses that omega fatty acids can help fight

October 9, 2015

New research is continually coming out about omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and how they can help with certain conditions. Here's just six illnesses and diseases that these fatty acids can help fight.

6 illnesses that omega fatty acids can help fight

1. Heart disease

  • Evidence suggests that compunds found in fish oil help reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Research has also shown that fatty acids can inhibit the development of plaque and blood clots, lower triglycerides, reduce cardiac arrhythmia and offer protection from sudden cardiac death.
  • Studies of heart-attack survivors have found that daily omega-3 supplements can reduce the risk of death, subsequent heart attacks and stroke.

2. Diabetes

  • People with diabetes often have high triglyceride and low HDL levels.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can help lower triglycerides and raise HDL.
  • ALA fatty acids may not be as effective for diabetics.

3. Arthritis

Several studies have concluded that omega-3 supplements can:

  • Reduce tenderness in joints
  • Decrease morning stiffness
  • Reduce the amount of medication needed to relieve the pain from rheumatoid arthritis

4. Depression

  • People who are deficient in omega-3s in their diet may be at increased risk for depression.
  • These fatty acids are important components of nerve cell membranes.
  • They help nerve cells communicate with each other, which is important in maintaining good mental health.

5. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Children with ADHD may have low levels of essential fatty acids.
  • Research has shown that those children with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids demonstrate more learning and behavioral problems than those with normal levels.
  • At this time, there are still no well-controlled studies that look at the effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplements on these symptoms.
  • A diet high in these fats remains a reasonable approach.

6. Breast cancer

  • The balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids appears to be an important factor in the development and growth of breast cancer.
  • Some researchers have speculated that omega-3s in combination with other nutrients may help in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.
  • More research is needed before we can understand this relationship.

It's important to maintain a good balance of omega-3s and omega-6s in the diet. In doing so, you can help your body fight off inflammation, and help with other diseases and conditions.

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