Healthy properties of fatty acids omega-3

Eric Madrid, MD

In this article:

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Colon health
  • Heart disease
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • Migraine
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Traumatic brain injury

Fatty acids omega-3, also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids or Pufas, are very important for human health. They are believed to have beneficial effects on the heart, brain, intestines and joints due to resolving active metabolites, which, according to studies, help to reduce inflammation.

To fatty omega-3 acids include:

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, a fatty acid omega-3) contained in Flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, Chia seeds and hemp seeds.
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), often contained in fish oil, krill oil, and eggs (if chickens were received by EPA from food).
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, a fatty acid omega-3) is an important component of the brain, skin and human eyes. Despite its importance it is not considered “essential” because a sufficient consumption of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the body is able to synthesize it yourself.

A study in 2014 showed that the majority of adults in the U.S. consume inadequate amounts of fatty acids omega-3 in weeks — 90 percent of Americans do not fulfill the recommendations of the American Association for heart disease eat two servings of fish 100 g (3.5 oz) of low mercury in a week. This problem is observed not only in North America but also across Europe, Middle East and some parts of Asia. This is unfortunate since many health problems sufficient amounts of this acid can improve the condition.

Omega 3 and ADHD

The syndrome of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a condition which can be faced by people of all ages. ADHD can create significant difficulties learning in a traditional school and negatively affect the self-esteem. From this condition affects millions of adults, and it causes problems at work and in personal relationships. Prescription drugs can be quite effective, but they have a number of side effects. A study conducted in 2016, showed that omega-3 may be useful in the treatment of people with symptoms of ADHD. Other studies also showed the presence of useful properties.

Omega 3 and anxiety

From anxiety disorders affects millions of people around the world. In such cases it is often prescribed prescription drugs, but they can be addictive. Many people are looking for alternative means. According to the results of a meta-analysis published in 2018 in JAMA, which involved 2,240 people from 11 countries, the fatty acids omega-3 can help reduce the symptoms of clinical anxiety. Other studies also showed similar results.

Omega 3 and arthritis

With age osteoarthritis can affect the joints, often causing stiffness in the morning and mobility issues. In many cases the pain is relieved by motion, but reducing inflammation in the body remains an important challenge. Can be useful for fish oil with omega-3 (EPA/DHA). I often recommend patients with arthritis symptoms fish oil omega-3, and see good results. This often allows patients to reduce the intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID: ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac), which may increase the risk of complications to heart and kidneys.

Studies show that essential fatty acids can reduce pain and reduce the intake of NSAIDs. Also, studies point to a decrease of stiffness in the joints with daily use of fish oil.

Acids omega-3 and asthma

Asthma reversible inflammatory lung disease that occurs when the contraction of the muscles that surround the lung tissue. 300 million people worldwide suffer from this disease, and almost 250,000 people a year die from its complications. Asthma can cause symptoms such as sneezing, cough, and intermittent respiration.

Researchers have registered an increase in the level of inflammatory proteins (IL-17A and TNF – α) in the blood of persons suffering from asthma. The researchers recorded reduced levels of these proteins in children with asthma of mild to moderate severity while taking 180 mg EPA/ 120 mg DHA per day for three months. In addition, 72 percent of patients when testing an improvement was seen in clinical work the lungs.

The 2017 study suggests that supplementation with fish oil by pregnant women helps to reduce asthma symptoms in their children after birth (if pregnant, consult your physician). The study, conducted in 2018 Pediatric Allergy and Immunology was obtained concluded that “early introduction of fish in feeding (6-9 months) and the regular use of all types of fish (at least once a week) reduces the symptoms of asthma and wheezing in children up to four and a half years, but eating fatty fish can be helpful to older children.”

Finally, a study conducted in 2016 the journal Nutrition Research Reviews showed that supplementation with fish oil omega-3 can be useful for people suffering from asthma, while another study 2016 Cytokine has led to the conclusion that omega-3 is a promising complementary to remedy for asthma. Learn more about natural remedies for asthma.

Omega-3 and depression

Depression is a common disease affecting millions of people. She has a lot of reasons. Prescription drugs can be effective, but it is often necessary to try several tools before you find the one that works best for you. Many are looking for alternative approaches, and one of them is the optimization of the use of essential fatty acids.

A 2001 study showed that EPA (essential fatty acids) can help with severe depression. Study 2015, published in Integrative Medicine Research, supports the use of fish oil with omega-3 in the treatment of depression, while a study of 2017 with the participation of 38 children with depression and anxiety disorder showed that most symptoms of depression were alleviated when taking fatty acids omega-3. In the course of this study it was not observed significant improvement of symptoms of anxiety.

Study 2017 with the participation of adults showed that there is sufficient evidence that omega-3 can be beneficial for people suffering from depression. However, there was data and about the dangers. For a more thorough evaluation, further studies are needed.

Acids omega-3 and intestinal health

Good job of the intestines is important for maintaining good health in General. It is known that the combination of brain and intestine plays a significant role in maintaining cognitive abilities and overall physical health. Fatty acids omega-3 play an important role in maintaining the balance of intestinal microflora and possibly according to a study published in 2017 in the journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences, possess the properties of prebiotics. Research 2016, conducted on animals also showed that the fatty acid omega-3 can protect the intestines from changes caused by antibiotics, which can disrupt the balance of healthy microflora.

Acids omega-3 and heart disease

Heart disease kills millions of people around the world. Modern medicine focuses on reducing such risk factors as high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes, which may reduce the number of complications of heart disease. Omega-3 also can play a certain role in this.

In a study published in 2013 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine participated 2692 American men aged 69 to 79 years who have not previously been observed for heart disease, stroke, or congestive heart failure. In 1992 these men were measured the levels of fatty acids in the blood. Then they were observed before 2008. Studies have shown that individuals with higher levels of EPA and DHA, the probability of dying was reduced by 17 and 23 percent. Thus it was concluded that the higher level 3-Pufas is associated with reduced risk of death from vascular disease.

In 2012, the result of the study among people who have had a heart attack, it was concluded that those who consumed fatty acids omega-3 (EPA and DHA), 45 percent less likely to have died from unexpected heart problems, and 20 suffered less from cardiovascular diseases and 15 percent less likely to have died from any cause.

Acids omega-3 and high levels of triglycerides

It is known that high level of triglycerides increases the risk of heart disease. It is therefore very important to reduce it. To reduce this level in addition to the consumption of essential fatty acids is very important diet. Pharmaceutical companies have realized the benefits of lowering triglycerides and created fish oil of pharmaceutical purity, which was approved by Management on sanitary inspection behind quality of foodstuff and medicines (FDA). However, due to the high cost many people cannot afford it. An alternative is over-the-counter fish oil capsules.

A study published in 2016, Lipids in Health and Disease, suggests that omega-3 can reduce triglyceride levels. Further study with a meta-analysis published in 2017 in the journal Atherosclerosis, which involved 1,378 people, showed that eating fatty fish helps lower triglycerides, while increasing levels of good cholesterol, despite the fact that these two parameters are important markers of cardiovascular diseases.

Acids omega-3 and migraine

Migraines are exhausting headaches that can affect quality of life. It is also one of the leading causes of absence from work. Most importantly — prevention. The study of 2017 has shown that omega-3 may be useful in the treatment of people with headaches caused by migraine maybe by reducing inflammation in the brain. Learn more about natural remedies for migraines.

Acid onmega 3 and psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that usually manifests in the form of dry spots on the skin. People suffering from it can very hard to deal with it. Prescription drugs can be effective, but they sometimes have serious side effects. As a result, people often look for natural remedies. In addition to the exclusion from the diet products can cause aggravation, such as dairy products or wheat, many often resort to intake of fatty acids omega-3.

A study published in 2018 in Scientific Report showed that a metabolite of omega-3 Resolvin E1, may be able to explain why omega-3 may be useful for people suffering from psoriasis.

The study, published in 2015 in the journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, included a review of 15 studies and found 12 studies showing the benefit of omega-3, and three studies showed no beneficial properties.

Based on the data of this study persons suffering from psoriasis, it makes sense to try to take funds from omega-3. Some people have noted more significant improvement while receiving vitamin D. the Recommended dosage of fatty acids omega-3 range from 2000 mg to 10,000 mg per day for the combination of EPA/DHA.

Omega-3 and rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, in particular, articular cartilage and even bone, leading to severe and often exhausting arthritic pain. Despite the fact that one in three patients taking prescription drugs, you may notice your improvement, many worry about long-term consequences and are looking for more natural remedies to alleviate the symptoms. One of such means can be fatty acids omega-3.

A 2010 study demonstrated the effectiveness of fish oil with omega-3 for pain and swelling of the joints in people with rheumatoid arthritis. In a study published in 2016 in the journal Global Journal of Health Science was attended by 60 patients receiving BMAB (disease-modifitsiruyutsya anti rheumatic drugs) in connection with rheumatoid arthritis. Those who took omega-3 had substantial relief of symptoms, increased mobility and reduced pain compared to participants who received a placebo. The study, published in 2015 the journal Annals of Rheumatic Diseases also showed that those who received the standard treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, felt better, if their food added fish oil.

A study of 2019 has not given any evidence that eating large amounts of fish oil may prevent onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, its beneficial properties are manifest when the disease is already diagnosed.

Acids omega-3 and traumatic brain injury

Over the last decade, traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been better studied. In particular, it is connected with professional players in football and the complications that they encounter as a result of multiple concussions. Soldiers are also prone to head injury as a result of explosive injuries.

Scientists have found that in the case of brain damage that leads to inflammation. It entails the free radical damage and increase in the level of excitatory amino acids. A study published in 2012 in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, suggests that early intake of fatty acids omega-3 can partially reduce the resulting inflammation, which contributes to a more favorable prognosis.

A study published in 2016 in the Journal of The American College of Nutrition was devoted to the common security of the fatty acids omega-3 and suggests that they can be considered as the primary tool for traumatic brain injuries. This can be important for athletes, soldiers and people affected by accidents.

Side effects or risk of bleeding?

Doctors usually recommend patients to stop taking fish oil before surgery. According to a study published in 2017, which analyzed the results of 52 other studies, this is not necessary because supplementation with fish oil is not associated with an increased risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Despite this, we suggest you to follow the recommendations of your doctor.

Some people supplementation with fish oil, there is a slight indigestion. In this case, you can try another Supplement brand.

Recommended dose:

Most people are taking 500 to 4000 mg of fish oil per day. If you take a higher dose, it is recommended to take split the dose in half and take half in the morning and half in the evening. There are also vegan options of EPA/DHA. Fish oil is in liquid form, capsules and even chewable candies.


  • Moro, K., Nagahashi, M., Ramanathan, R., Takabe, K., & Wakai, T. (2016). Resolvins and omega three polyunsaturated fatty acids: Clinical implications in inflammatory diseases and cancer. World Journal of Clinical Cases, 4(7), 155-64
  • Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec;102(6):1357-64. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.116384. Epub 2015 Jan 11.
  • Papanikolaou, Yanni, Brooks, James, Reider, Carroll, & Fulgoni, Victor L. (2014). U.S. adults are not meeting recommended levels for fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake: Results of an analysis using observational data from NHANES 2003-2008. Nutrition Journal,13(1), Nutrition Journal, April 2, 2014, Vol.13(1).
  • Accessed February 11, 2019
  • Königs A, Kiliaan AJ. Critical appraisal of omega-3 fatty acids in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder treatment. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2016;12:1869-82. Published 26 Jul 2016. doi:10.2147/NDT.S68652
  • Su KP, Tseng PT, Lin PY, et al. Association of Use of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids With Changes in Severity of Anxiety Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(5):e182327. Published 14 Sep 2018. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.2327
  • Arch Med Res. 2012 Jul;43(5):356-62. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2012.06.011. Epub 2012 Jul 24.
  • Explore (NY). 2017 Jul – Aug;13(4):279-280. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2017.04.017. Epub Apr 21 2017.
  • Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2018 Mar 9. doi: 10.1111/pai.12889. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Nutr Res Rev. 2016 Jun;29(1):1-16. doi: 10.1017/S0954422415000116. Epub Jan 26 2016.
  • Farjadian, Moghtaderi, Kalani, Gholami, & Hosseini Teshnizi. (2016). Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on serum levels of T-helper cytokines in children with asthma. Cytokine, 85, 61-66.
  • Int J Clin Pract. 2001 Oct;55(8):560-3.
  • Wani AL, Bhat SA, Ara A. Omega-3 fatty acids and the treatment of depression: a review of scientific evidence. Integr Med Res. 2015;4(3):132-141.
  • [1] Trebatická J, Hradečná Z, Böhmer F, et al. Emulsified omega-3 fatty-acids modulate the symptoms of depressive disorder in children and adolescents: a pilot study. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2017;11:30. Published On Jul 5 2017. doi:10.1186/s13034-017-0167-2
  • Costantini L, Molinari R, Farinon B, Merendino N. Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Gut Microbiota. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(12):2645. Published 7 Dec 2017. doi:10.3390/ijms18122645
  • Int J O. B. E. S (Lond). 2016 Jun;40(6):1039-42. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2016.27. Epub 15 Feb 2016.
  • Mozaffarian D, Lemaitre RN, King IB, Song X, Huang H, Sacks FM, et al. Plasma Phospholipid Long-Chain ω-3 Fatty Acids and Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Older Adults: A Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158:515-525. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-158-7-201304020-00003
  • Lipids Health Dis. 2016 Jul 22;15(1):118. doi: 10.1186/s12944-016-0286-4.
  • Atherosclerosis. 2017 Nov;266:87-94. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2017.09.028. Epub Sep 2017 28.
  • Soveyd N, Abdolahi M, Bitarafan S, et al. Molecular mechanisms of omega-3 fatty acids in the migraine headache. Iran J Neurol. 2017;16(4):210-217.
  • Sawada Y, Honda T, Nakamizo S, et al. Resolvin E1 attenuates murine psoriatic dermatitis. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):11873. Published On Aug 8 2018. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-30373-1
  • Millsop JW, Bhatia BK, Debbaneh M, Koo J, Liao W. Diet and psoriasis, part III: role of nutritional supplements. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014;71(3):561-9.
  • James, M., Proudman, S., & Cleland, L. (2010). Fish oil and rheumatoid arthritis: Past, present and future. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,69(3), 316-323.
  • Ajaei R E, Mowla K, Ghorbani A, Bahadoram S, Bahadoram M, Dargahi-Malamir M. The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Patients With Active Rheumatoid Arthritis Receiving DMARDs Therapy: Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. Glob J Health Sci. 2015;8(7):18-25. Published Jan 3 2015. doi:10.5539/gjhs.v8n7p18
  • Ann Rheum Dis. 2015 Jan;74(1):89-95. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204145. Epub 2013 Sep 30.
  • Sparks JA, O’reilly ÉJ, Barbhaiya M, et al. Association of fish intake and smoking with risk of rheumatoid arthritis and age of onset: a prospective cohort study. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2019;20(1):2. Published Jan 5, 2019. doi:10.1186/s12891-018-2381-3
  • Lewis M, Ghassemi P, Hibbeln J. Therapeutic use of omega-3 fatty acids in severe head trauma. Am J Emerg Med. 2012;31(1):273.e5-8.
  • J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Jul;35(5):469-75. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2016.1150796.
  • Begtrup KM, Krag AE, Hvas AM. No impact of fish oil supplements on bleeding risk: a systematic review. Dan Med J. 2017 May;64(5). pii: A5366. PubMed PMID: 28552094.
  • The author of this article — doctor Eric Madrid, a member of the American Council on integrative and holistic medicine, certified American Board of family medicine and the American Council on integrative and holistic medicine. He is the author of “the purpose of the vitamin D, the healing energy of the sun.” Eric Madrid graduated from medical school at Ohio State University. He is a partner of Rancho Family Medical Group and is accepting patients in Menifee, California. More information about Dr. Madrid here.

    Spread the love

    Related Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *