Benefits of Omega 3 for health
The polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega 3 , which are mainly in the blue fish and some foods enriched, are essential to prevent cardiovascular disease, various cancers, inflammatory diseases, lung and skin. In addition, they are essential during pregnancy and lactation for a correct development of nerve function and, in general, of many other organic functions.
Why a White Paper on Omega 3s?
These are some of the conclusions of the White Book of Omega 3 of the Puleva Foundation , the first Spanish manual that collects the most recent national and international scientific research on Omega 3 and oleic fatty acids and their relationship with health.
The White Book on Omega 3, which has been prepared by the Scientific Committee of the Omega 3 Institute and coordinated by Professors José Mataix and Ángel Gil , confirms the importance of consuming Omega 3 fatty acids daily .
As shown by the more than one hundred scientific investigations included in this publication, Omega 3 fatty acids are not only essential to prevent cardiovascular disease, the risk of which can be reduced by 30% with regular consumption of these fats, but also provide other benefits to equally relevant pathologies.
“The White Paper on Omega 3 is of great importance from a scientific point of view, because it contains a vast bibliography that demonstrates all the benefits that Omega 3 and oleic acid bring to health, so we hope that it will become a tool very useful for health and food professionals “, explains Professor Mataix , member of the Scientific Committee of the Omega 3 Institute.
Improve cardiovascular health
From the point of view of cardiovascular health, Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA / DHA) improve the lipid profile , reduce blood pressure , increase arterial vasodilation , are antithrombotic and prevent arrhythmias and sudden death .
In addition, the consumption of Omega 3 lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol , increases HDL (“good”) and, above all, reduces triglyceridemia . According to the White Paper on Omega 3s, in patients with hypertriglyceridemia it has been shown that with doses of 3 to 4 grams per day of Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA / DHA), a 45% reduction in triglyceride concentrations is achieved.
Improve lung function and reduce asthma
The conclusions of various studies included in the White Paper on Omega 3s determine how the consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids plays a fundamental role in the lung function of healthy people, as well as in the aging of the lungs and in numerous inflammatory diseases of lung , such as asthma .
According to Professor Ángel Gil, the intake of these fatty acids reduces the response of asthmatics to allergenic stimuli and improves the symptoms of children with bronchial asthma. Its use is associated with a reduction in the prevalence of asthma.
Reduce the growth of cancer cells
Diseases of such prevalence in our country such as cancer, where one in four deaths has its origin in this pathology, can use Omega 3 to help prevent it . The regular consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids contributes to the prevention of breast, prostate and colon cancer , as stated in the chapter “Anti-cancer effects of Omega 3”, carried out by Dr. Francisco G. Muriana, Senior Scientist of the Institute of la Grasa (CSIC) of Seville.
The book explains how Omega 3 fatty acids reduce the growth of cancer cells and restore the immune system of people with cancer . In addition, these fats are capable of reducing the mobility of cells, thus preventing the invasion and metastasis of the disease.
Essential in the development of the newborn
Polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as Omega 3, play very important roles in pregnancy , lactation and childhood, as they are constituents of phospholipids in cell membranes and are part of neural structures.
The needs of these fatty acids increase during these periods, since they are phases of growth and development of cellular tissue. Consequently, the essential fatty acid requirements of pregnant women and fetuses, as well as nursing children, are very high.
Specifically, Dr. Gil recommends a significant consumption of Omega 3 in pregnant women, “since the fetus captures between 50 and 60 mg / day of this type of acid during the third trimester”. As stated in the Omega 3 Institute book, during the last trimester there is an accumulation of polyunsaturated fatty acids in fetal tissues, especially in those of the central nervous system, which continues in the postnatal period.
Thus, Omega 3s should represent up to 2% of the total energy in the diet in this period of time, twice as much as in women in a normal state.
In mental development in premature infants
Other studies show the positive effect of feeding with formulas supplemented with Omega 3 on mental development . Premature infants fed a formula containing Omega 3 had a better Bayley developmental index, related to language ability.
“There are studies in which it is shown that a diet with Omega 3 in the first months of life improves the ability to solve problems in normal and growth-retarded children”, explains Professor Gil. “It has also been described that the higher degree of mental and psychomotor development of low birth weight newborns at 19 months of age is correlated with the early intake of Omega 3”, he adds.