Dr. Pamela Smith, ND 

Dr. Pam has a family practice at The Nest Family Wellness Centre which offers naturopathic and midwifery care. She combines science-based natural medicine with conventional medical therapeutics. Learn more about Dr. Pam and the services offered by her clinic here, or book an appointment at www.drpamelasmith.com.

Check out the latest Ask Dr Pam Q&A and posts by topic below as well as her health and wellness posts.

Ask Dr Pam   

What are the health benefits of Omega 3's?

There are so many health benefits that Omega 3’s provide that I could write a whole book on them (and people have ☺)! They are considered essential fatty acids because they cannot be created by our body and we need to obtain them from our diet, this is what makes them so important. They function in our bodies to regulate cellular processes such as cell function, immune system responses, and hormone production.

There are different forms of omega 3 which all have different functions in the body. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are found in highest quantities in marine sources such as fish oils. EPA has been well studied as a powerful anti-inflammatory especially for the cardiovascular system and in auto-immune conditions. It has also been shown to improve and stabilize mood and reduce joint pain. DHA protects the brain and improves memory and is especially important for brain development in children.

During pregnancy, the growing fetus steals their mother’s DHA stores to develop their own nervous systems (see this post for more info on pregnancy brain). Plant based omega 3’s includes ALA which also protects the cardiovascular system, regulate hormones, and balance the immune system. Some dietary sources of omega 3’s include cold water fish like salmon, ground flaxseeds, chiaseeds, walnuts, kale, and marine algae. 

Related posts:
What are Omega 6's?

For benefits of other vitamins, click here.