CanHOPE is a non-profit cancer counselling and support service provided by Parkway Cancer Centre, Singapore.


Happy Heart – Omega 3

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Importance of Omega 3 in Nutrition

Just as not all bacteria are bad for the body, not all fats are bad for health. One example of good fat is Omega 3 fatty acids. They are essential for many physiological functions, including the absorption of calcium and other minerals into cells, the relaxation and contraction of muscles, and the regulation of clotting, as well as the secretion of digestive enzymes and hormones. Omega-3 fatty acids also play a role in the cell division Et growth, suggesting they may protect against certain types of cancer.

What is Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids. As the body does not produce them, you need to obtain them from diet. The common names are fish oil, fish oil supplements and cod liver oil. The scientific names are alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

How does Omega 3 help

While many people know that Omega 3 helps promote the health of the cardiovascular system and is especially helpful in keeping the heart healthy, Omega 3 has many more benefits that make it essential to the daily diet. It is known to reduce inflammation and may help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. It is also known to boost the immune system, protecting the body from infection.

Some patients with advanced types of cancer are especially vulnerable to cachexia, severe wasting and weight loss. With the introduction of a sufficient quantity of Omega 3 through supplements, the effects of cachexia may be reversed, resulting in weight gain, increased production of lean tissue, and improved quality of life.

Sources of Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acids are found naturally in oily fish such as salmon, cod, tuna, etc. Other foods rich in Omega 3 include whole grains, some types of beans, walnuts, in canola, soybean, flaxseed and olive oils.

What our experts say

Fatty fish lovers would not encounter any problem in consuming these fishes three times a week. But for others who do not really have ready access to the omega 3 natural food sources, they may benefit from taking the supplementation form. However.just like any other nutrition supplements, there is a precaution where one should not overdose. Due to its property in regulating clotting, intake above recommendations may increase the risk of bleeding.

This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, is for general information purposes only. For more advise, please consult your doctor.