What Are the Functions of Omega 3 in Our Body?

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that our bodies need but cannot make. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is associated with cell and brain function and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is associated with information processing and vision.

  1. Cells

    • Cell membranes are primarily fatty acids.
      Cell membranes are primarily fatty acids.

      All cells have cell membranes, which are largely made up of fatty acids. Healthy cells have fluid-like membranes that allow nutrients into--and wastes out of--the cell. Omega-3 acids keep the cell membrane fluid.

    Brain Function

    • Brain tissue is laden with fats. To support cognitive function and memory, we need DHA.
      DHA has been associated with increasing babies' brain development more rapidly. EPA is connected to the maintenance and development of the brain cells. Research of omega-3's effect on Alzheimer's disease is on-going.


    • Resolvins are made by our bodies using EPA. They stop the production and migration of inflammatory cells and chemicals. Use of EPA does not have the negative side effects associated with drug therapy.

    Heart Disease

    • Omega-3 is important to major body systems like the circulatory system.
      Omega-3 is important to major body systems like the circulatory system.

      According to the Mayo Clinic and Harvard, several researchers have successfully studied effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the heart. The fats increase the production of hormone-like substances that help to regulate major body functions, including blood pressure, blood clotting, and heart rate.


    • According to the National Health Institute, macular degeneration, or aged related deterioration of the eyes, has been slowed in studies using omega-3 fatty acids. Studies also successfully examined diabetic retinopathy and omega-3.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Michael Di Pippo Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Umberto Salvagnin Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Biology Big Brother

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