Have a question? This is a reader-friendly overview of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. For more details, see our health professional fact sheet on Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods, such as fish and flaxseed, and in dietary supplements, such as fish oil. ALA is found mainly in plant oils such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils. Therefore, getting EPA and DHA from foods and dietary supplements if you take them is the only practical way to increase levels of these omega-3 fatty acids in your body. Omega-3s are important components of the membranes that surround each cell in your body. DHA levels are especially high in retina eye, brain, and sperm cells. Omega-3s also provide calories to give your body energy and have many functions in your heart, blood vessels, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system the network of hormone-producing glands.
But two new studies published in November shed some light on who might benefit from omega-3 supplements — and who probably won’t. The first study was the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial VITAL, a large multiyear study with 25, healthy adults with no history of cardiovascular heart or blood vessel—related disease and at “usual risk” for it. The group was racially diverse and chosen to be representative of the general population, says the study’s lead author Dr. JoAnn E. Researchers tested, among other things, whether a moderate dosage 1 gram a day of an omega-3 supplement could help prevent major cardiovascular events, compared with a placebo. Cardiovascular events included not only heart attacks, but stroke, and angioplasty procedures to clear blocked arteries. It’s not a simple yes, or no, or one-size-fits-all answer. Some groups tended to benefit, while other groups didn’t,” says Dr. While the supplement didn’t seem to protect most healthy people against future heart problems, certain groups did appear to benefit, particularly people who ate less than 1. It’s unclear why this group benefited more, and additional studies are needed to confirm the finding. The second study, called the Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with EPA—Intervention Trial REDUCE-IT, included more than 8, middle-aged and older adults who had elevated triglyceride levels and who had already experienced a cardiovascular event or had other significant risk factors for one. It aimed to find out if a daily high-dose, 4-gram prescription omega-3 medication could protect participants against future cardiovascular events, compared with a placebo.
By clicking ‘Got It’ you’re accepting these terms. Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world. Symptoms include sadness, lethargy and a general loss of interest in life 1, 2. Anxiety is also a very common disorder and is characterized by constant worry and nervousness 3. Interestingly, studies have found that people who consume omega-3s regularly are less likely to be depressed 4, 5. What’s more, when people with depression or anxiety start taking omega-3 supplements, their symptoms get better 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Of the three, EPA appears to be the best at fighting depression