Omega-3s: Building Blocks for a Healthy Lifespan
Every cell in the body requires Omega-3s, EPA and DHA, to function normally. EPA and DHA are found in the cell membranes of many important parts of the body - in your heart, brain, immune system, eyes, joints, hair, skin, and nails...just to name a few. They're essential from fetal development to healthy aging!
Omega-3s and heart health have been studied since the 1970s. Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, found in fish oil help lower triglycerides, maintain blood pressure, support the health of arteries, and assist in maintaining a healthy functioning heart. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming 500-1500mg of EPA and DHA daily.
Consisting of 60% fat, the brain needs omega-3s to develop and function properly. Research shows that fatty acids are some of the most critical and influential molecules on your brain’s integrity and ability to perform. Adequate levels of omega-3s supports proper blood flow in the brain, and in turn, supports memory.
Both DHA and EPA are critical for optimal brain health; they determine how well the brain develops, functions, and is preserved as it ages. DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain and is especially important in nerve cell structure and function.
The immune system protects our bodies from invaders and is made of different cell types that move through the blood stream around the body.
Research shows that EPA and DHA boost the immune system by supporting the functioning of immune cells, like white blood cells (also known as B cells). EPA and DHA are also important components of our cell membranes' and can influence and regulate the membrane's ability to receive nutrients and remove waste.
The appearance of skin is linked to the functional health of EPA and DHA; they have documented roles in the dermal (inner) and epidermal (external) layers of the skin.
Omega-3s can help with skin hydration by improving skin barrier function to seal in moisture that keeps out irritants. They can also help support the mechanisms that protect against photoaging.
EPA and DHA are essential for maintaining healthy eyes as we age. Photoreceptors, the neuronal cells that make vision possible, have more DHA than any other cells in our body! Healthy DHA levels in our photoreceptors help to protect against bright light exposure and oxidative stress.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), omega-3 oils may also improve the function of ocular glands responsible for producing the oily layer in tears. This oily layer prevents the water layer from evaporating, keeping our eyes hydrated.