Why does the body need omega 3s?
Omega 3s play important roles in the body as part of the structure of cell membranes. DHA, in particular, is especially high in the retina, brain, and sperm. In addition, omega 3s (along with omega 6s) provide energy for the body and are used to form eicosanoids. Eicosanoids are hormone-like signaling molecules; they have wide ranging functions in the body’s cardiovascular, pulmonary, immune, and endocrine systems. Omega 3s and omega 6s compete for the synthesis of eicosanoids, with the omega 3 based eicosanoids having more anti-inflammatory activity versus the more pro-inflammatory omega 6 based eicosanoids.
It is estimated that a whopping 70% of Americans have insufficient levels of omega 3 fatty acids and typically an abundance of omega 6s. No wonder the population suffers from widespread, inflammatory, chronic health conditions! Nevertheless, it is not something that is typically tested by your doctor. We find an OmegaCheck Blood Test to be a valuable tool in addition to our testing of other nutrient levels to help us support your health.
How do omega 3s impact brain health?
Our brain cell membranes go through a deterioration process as we age, and this plays a role in the development of memory loss and cognitive decline. Omega 3 fatty acids are key in protecting against this decline and increasing gray matter brain volume. Their anti-inflammatory actions improve blood flow to specific areas of the brain and can help with scores on cognitive tests, problem-solving and memory.
Depression and anxiety are impacted and caused by many different factors. Nutritional deficiencies and imbalances play a role in a person’s vulnerability to mood disorders. Increasing the intake of Omega 3s is an important support because Omega 3s facilitate proper messaging between nerve cells, as well as a reduction in inflammatory chemicals that have been linked to depression.
Brain injuries contribute to approximately 30% of all injury deaths in the United States, and those who survive these injuries can suffer their impact for the rest of their lives. Traumatic brain injuries are a result of a blow to the head that damages brain cells and can lead to symptoms ranging from confusion and impaired thinking to loss of sensation, memory, movement, and even to mood disorders and personality changes. Omega-3 fatty acids can provide valuable protection against inflammation and support regeneration of damaged neural cells. Similar benefits are available to those who have suffered strokes.
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