What are the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids?

Janis Jibrin, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Omega-3 fatty acids offer a host of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, which, in turn, helps prevent and may even treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. They have been linked with prevention of type 2 diabetes. These fats also help prevent blood clots and lower blood pressure, can improve mood, and may increase IQ in children. The health effects are so great that there's a case to be made for taking omega-3 supplements in addition to what you get from your diet.

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Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally occurring fats that our bodies need but cannot produce on their own. These fatty acids have been shown to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. They may also protect against irregular heartbeats and help lower blood pressure levels.

Some sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • walnuts
  • canola oil
  • soybean oil
  • wild salmon, lake trout, herring and albacore tuna

Research suggests that omega-3s may help thin blood and prevent blood platelets from clotting and sticking to artery walls. In turn, this may help lower the risk for blocked blood vessels and heart attacks.

Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Omega-3s are a healthy type of fat that have plenty of health benefits including lowering heart disease by decreasing triglyceride levels. Omega-3 fatty acids seem to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. There is some evidence that it can alleviate some of the symptoms in patients with psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Food sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, flaxseed, canola oil, and walnuts.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.