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Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids are so Essential to our Health

By: Aaron Wilmont

The long chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, found in the greatest abundance in fish and fish oil but also in some other foods as well, play a key role as components of cellular membranes. During the regular aging process, cell membranes become much more rigid. This can adversely effect the function of tissues throughout the body, including the brain.

Perhaps the top asset to the brain of them all is DHA, the principal polyunsaturated fat in the central nervous system. DHA is appears to have a very direct effect on brain chemistry, development and functioning. DHA is essential for both kids and adults, but DHA is as vital to a kid's diet as sitcoms are to prime time television. The top source of omega-3 fatty acids of them all is cold-water fish and fish oils, but omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in varying quantities in other foods such as certain vegetable oils walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, flaxseed and also eggs.

The bottom line is, Omega-3 fatty acids appear to protect the brain, which is why many physicians recommend taking an omega-3 supplement, usually fish oil because of it's high concentration of readily absorbed dha and epa (flax and other sources have to be converted in the body instead of being directly assimilated).

Even our President and Governer Shwarzenagger take omega-3 supplements. There have been a considerable amount of clinical research studies conducted related to the benefits of omega-3 dietary supplements (especially fish oil) in certain inflammatory and autoimmune diseases in people, including but not limited to arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis and heart disease. This research goes back to 1970's Greenland and beyond. Some if not most of the placebo trials of fish oil in inflammatory conditions show substantial benefits such as for example a lessened disease activity and a lower overall requirement of various anti-inflammatory drugs.

Because omega-3 fatty acids are a very key component of development during the entire course of a person's life cycle, they should be included in the diets of each individual.

Author Bio

Aaron Wilmont is a Health Writer and Researcher. More info about omega-3's and Fish Oil may be found at

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