Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA, fish oil) may help to address the following conditions:
angina pectoris
Omega-3 supplements of 10 grams daily (in this case, fish oil capsules) lowered angina attacks by 41% when compared to an olive oil placebo.
cardiac arrhythmia
Cardiologist Robert C. Atkins, M.D. reported that a regular heart rhythm could be reestablished in a majority of arrythmia patients using fish oil supplements, especially when "combined with magnesium, potassium, taurine, and a sugar free diet."
Omega-3 essential fatty acids can reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis as effectively as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Cod liver oil is an excellent source of omega-3's.
Supplementation with EPA and DHA helps suppress inflammation of all kinds, and has significant effect in preventing or relieving asthma in children who are not sensitive to aspirin.
The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA prevent blood platelets from sticking together. Their record of safety has led some alternative physicians to prefer omega-3's to the prescription anticoagulant warfarin (Coumadin).
blood pressure (high)
EPA and DHA in amounts of 4 grams or more per day have blood pressure lowering effects.
heart attack
EPA and DHA's anticoagulant qualities can significantly reduce the incidence of blood clots, a risk factor for heart attack, with little to no risk of abnormal bleeding at high doses. By the same token, these fatty acids also reduce the risk of stroke and generally improve blood flow, resulting in improved brain function and other benefits.
brain fog
DHA is important for brain health. Mother's milk is rich in DHA, which supports both brain and eye development in infants. Some have speculated that DHA is responsible for the cognitive advantage measured in breastfed babies.
breast cancer
Women with breast cancer have a lower concentration of omega-3 fat in their breast tissue. Conversely, women with a high intake of omega-3 oils are less likely to be stricken by the disease.
developmental disorders
An estimated 60% of Americans are deficient in omega-3's. A Purdue University study has associated omega-3 deficiency in children with behavioral problems, hyperactivity, and learning disorders. Supplementation can improve these problems.
cardiovascular disease
Supplementation with fish oil could reduce deaths from heart disease by 29%. EPA and DHA, fatty acids plentiful in fish oil, lower blood pressure and protect arteries from a buildup of plaque, and work with magnesium, potassium, taurine, and a low-carb diet to control arrythmia. Trigyceride levels are the most reliable marker of heart disease and can be reduced 25-35% with consumption of omega-3's.
Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are lacking in most Americans' diets, and low levels are associated with depression. Depression during pregnancy is often linked to inadequate levels of these fatty acids.
High triglycerides are particularly dangerous to those with diabetes. EPA from fish oil can help lower triglycerides and raise HDL. Because EPA can modestly elevate blood sugar, it should be used with a 500 IU supplement of vitamin E. Together, the nutrients enhance insulin's effect and increase fluidity of cell membranes.
High dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids help protect smokers from developing emphysema by fighting inflammation.
joint disorders/pain
EPA supplementation can reduce pain and increase ease of movement in arthritis sufferers. Fish oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the inflammation of arthritis as effectively (though not as immediately) as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) -- and without the risk of side effects.
postviral fatigue syndrome
Essential fatty acid deficiencies are often found in "postviral" cases of chronic fatigue. A combination of fish oils and GLA were found in one three-month study to improve energy levels in 85% of participants with CFA, many of whom showed low levels of EPA. These results could not be replicated in a later study of CFS sufferers who did not exhibit low levels of fatty acids.
Omega-3 intake, especially DHA, is necessary to the development of the fetal nervous system. Pregnant mothers should be particularly careful to get adequate amounts during their last trimester. Sardines and flaxseed oil provide the best food sources.
Fish oil helps to prevent cancer by blocking tumor-stimulating hormones generated by omega-6 fats. Omega-3 supplements have reduced the number of premalignant changes in the colon and inhibited cancers of the breast and colon. When taken in doses of 18 grams or more daily, fish oils can help to treat existing cancer by reducing the number of T suppressor cells -- cells that turn off the body's natural immune response.
immune disorders
Omega-3 fatty acids can improve immune function, reduce inflammation, and inhibit the formation of cancer.
Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation as effectively as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and Tylenol. Although results take a few months to appear, the fatty acids are safer than NSAIDs and carry such positive "side effects" as improved immune function and lowered risk of cancer.
colitis/inflammatory bowel disorders
Fish oil decreases damage to the colon wall caused by colitis and Crohn's disease by reducing the body's overproduction of inflammatory compounds.
kidney problems
Fish oil supports healthy kidney function and can improve kidney function in cases otherwise destined for progressive deterioration. A combination of EPA and DHA significantly improved kidney function in patients diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, a common form of glomuleronephritis that is usually accompanied by an omega-3 deficiency. EPA also helps to protect against toxic effects of medications such as cyclosporine. A study at Emory University found that dialysis patients who reported eating fish at least once every three days had roughly half the mortality rate of those who did not report consuming fish.
Six grams daily of EPA has reportedly improved recovery and restored renal function in individuals with lupus nephritis.
multiple sclerosis
Deficiencies in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are common among those suffering from MS, and supplementation with flax seed and borage seed oils can help control symptoms.
A combination of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA can improve kidney function impaired by nephritis. The most common form of glomerulonephritis, an autoimmune condition known as IgA nephropathy or "Berger's disease," is often accompanied by a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids.
nervous system disorders
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for proper development of fetal nervous systems, and DHA, the fatty acid most prevalent in mother's milk, is specifically required for development of the fetal brain and retina. Infants who receive more DHA, either through breastfeeding or DHA-supplemented formula, tend to have better visual acuity, behavioral development, and vocabulary. DHA also improves symptoms in adult schizophrenics, who typically have low levels of this nutrient.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids can reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis as effectively as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Cod liver oil is an excellent source of omega-3's.
Supplementing EPA and DHA helps to relieve symptoms of psoriasis. Some believe that psoriasis results from the body's faulty conversion of Omega-3 linolenic acid to these two substances.
respiratory problems
Supplementation with EPA and DHA helps suppress inflammation of all kinds, relaxes the lungs, and has specific effect in relieving asthma. Smokers with high dietary intake of omega-3s are at lower risk for emphysema.
People suffering from schizophrenia have particularly low levels of DHA. In one study of adults, 10g EPA and DHA reduced schizophrenic symptoms as fatty acid levels rose in the blood. People with schizophrenia appear to have problems converting EPA to DHA due to lower levels of an enzyme necessary to make the conversion.
secondary amyloidosis
Fish oil supplements helped prevent amyloidosis in mice.
skin disorders
Deficiencies in essential fatty acids can cause imbalances in inflammatory hormones of the skin. Dietary supplementation with essential fatty acids can help many cases of acne, atopic eczema, psoriasis, and simple dry skin.
Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin C in combination with a low carbohydrate diet have been shown to dramatically reduce triglyceride levels.

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