How is Omega-3 Used by the Body? Six Important Things to Know


Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that your body needs for proper functioning. While your body cannot produce omega-3 on its own, the beneficial fats are found in several types of foods. You can also take supplements to get the right amount of omega-3 your body requires.

Let’s find out more by looking at six important things to know about how omega-3 is used by the body.

1. Omega-3 Supports Brain Function

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to brain health. The human brain is approximately 60% fat, and omega-3s make up a significant portion of that fat, especially in the form of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

These fatty acids aid in maintaining the fluidity and integrity of cell membranes, ensuring efficient communication between brain cells.

Research has also linked healthy levels of omega-3s to improved mood and reduced rates of depression. For example, some studies show that countries with people who eat more omega-3-rich foods have lower incidence rates of depression.

2. Omega-3 Can Be Good for Maintaining Optimal Cardiovascular Health

Omega-3s play a vital role in cardiovascular health too. They have been found to lower blood pressure, reduce bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol, and decrease blood triglycerides.

If we consider heart disease, this trifecta puts these fatty acids in an important position for reducing risks associated with cardiovascular ailments. Simultaneously, they can reduce inflammation and prevent blood clotting, both considered significant factors for heart attacks or strokes.

3. Omega-3 Is Beneficial for Good Eye Health

Did you know that DHA is a primary structural component in your retina? Yes, maintaining an adequate level of omega-3 can result in better eye health and vision.

Some studies suggest a lack of DHA may be tied to certain eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, which can lead to permanent eye damage or blindness.

4. Omega-3 Helps Joint Health and Can Reduce Inflammation 

Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate symptoms related to inflammatory diseases like arthritis. For example, they often help reduce stiffness and joint pain, allowing individuals suffering from these conditions a better quality of life.

Furthermore, this anti-inflammatory trait extends beyond just joint health. It has been linked to decreased inflammation throughout the body – potentially offering relief for other inflammatory disorders. 

5. Omega-3 Promotes Good Bone and Muscle Health 

Another area where Omega-3s make significant contributions to your body is your bone and muscle health. Omega-3s have been found to enhance bone strength by improving calcium absorption in the body.

They may also aid muscle mass growth by optimizing muscle protein synthesis, which is an essential aspect of muscle growth and repair after physical activity.

6. Omega-3 Can Benefit Skin Health 

Omega-3s further extend their beneficial effects on your skin health. They can help manage oil production, promote hydration, limit UV-induced damage, and reduce premature aging of the skin.

The DHA component of omega-3 contributes to the health of cell membranes, which form a large part of your skin’s structure. A healthy cell membrane results in a softer, supplier, and smoother-looking complexion. 

How to Get Sufficient Omega-3 in Your Diet 

You now know that you should proactively get plenty of omega-3 in your diet, as it can benefit your body in various ways. If you are not a vegan or vegetarian, the best source of omega-3s is from fish and seafood, such as salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, sardines, and oysters.

You can also get the omega-3s your body needs by eating:

  • Seeds and nuts, such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
  • Plant oils, such as flaxseed oil, chia seed oil, and soybean oil.
  • Fortified foods, such as some varieties of eggs, yogurt, juices, and milk.

To ensure you intake the right amount of omega-3 each day, it could be best to take omega-3 supplements. The benefits of taking omega-3 supplements include convenience and being sure you are getting an adequate dose of omega-3 each day, to support overall health.

Final Thoughts

Whether you take supplements or actively eat foods that are high in omega-3s, make sure your diet includes these fatty acids. After all, as we have seen, omega-3s are beneficial to your body in multiple important ways.