Omega 3 Benefits: Body Building, Brain, Health

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that are essential for good health. Omega 3 consist of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). They are found naturally in fatty fish, some plant oils, and other foods. Omega-3s are important for a number of bodily functions.

Omega 3 helps to reduce inflammation, especially inflammation that causes joint pain. A paper by Robert J Goldberg, Department of Psychology, York University states that omega 3 supplementation for 3-4 months reduced joint pain intensity. This study suggested that inflammation that was caused by rheumatoid arthritis, dysmenorrhea, inflammatory bowel disease is reduced by omega 3 supplementation.

Other questions arise such as which foods are a source for omega 3, what are the symptoms of low omega 3.

This article will outline the top 18 benefits of omega 3.

1. Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s immune response to damaged cells, infection, toxic substances, irradiation. It is a protective response that causes redness, swelling, pain, and heat in the affected area. These are all signs of increased blood flow, which brings more white blood cells and other substances to the area to fight the cause of the inflammation.

Bodybuilders are prone to inflammation due to the damaging of cells during training.

Omega 3 reduces inflammation by altering the fatty acid composition of cell membranes. This change in composition leads to a change in the production of eicosanoids and resolvins (anti-inflammatory and inflammation-resolving agents) according the paper by Philip C. Calder, Institute of Human Nutrition, School of Medicine, University of Southampton.

Additionally, omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation by decreasing the production of peptide mediators of inflammation, such as adhesion molecules and cytokines.

A paper published in the British Journal of Nutrition by Oscar D. Rangel-Huerta outlined a study of septic patients over 5-7 day that were administered omega 3 LC-PUFA at a dosage of 6.4 to 23.6 g/d. The patients in this study dealt with shorter hospital stays which means that the inflammation response due to sepsis was reduced.

Patients that were critially ill were administered omega 3 intravenously had experienced reduced inflammation. This possible benefit of omega 3 was stated in a paper in the Biochemical Society Transactions Journal.

Inflammation is also a problem for joints because of the pressure on nerves.

2. Improves Bones and Joints

Bones are the rigid organs that form the skeleton of the body and provide support, shape, and protection to the body. Bones also store minerals, release hormones, and produce blood cells. Joints are the areas where two bones meet. Joints allow movement between bones, providing flexibility and support to the body.

Omega 3 improves bones and joints by increasing bone mineral density and bone turnover markers. A study published in the Osteoporosis International Journal of 275 19-25 year old Japanese women concluded that omega-3 fatty acids supplementation increased the peak bone mass at the hip.

A high level of bone density is important to body builders due the pressure applied to bones during intense workouts. Have a healthy heart is also important.

3. Lowers Probability of Developing Heart Disease

Heart disease is a condition that affects the structure and function of the heart. It is a general term that covers a range of disorders, including coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, heart defects, and cardiomyopathy. Heart disease can be caused by factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, lifestyle factors, and genetics.

Omega 3 lowers the probability of developing heart disease by decreasing triglycerides. A paper published in the Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy Journal stated that many clinical studies had shown that triglycerides were lowered through the prescription of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. The studies administered a 4 g dose of prescription omega-3 fatty acids which lowered the triglyceride level by ~30%.

Another heart problem is having an irregular heart beat. Omega 3 has a property that aids this heart condition.

4. Lowers Risk of Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm, which can be caused by a variety of conditions, including abnormal electrical signals in the heart, heart disease, or electrolyte imbalances in the body. It is characterized by irregular heartbeats that can be too slow, too fast, or completely irregular.

Omega 3 lowers risk of arrhythmia according to a study published in the Scientific Reports Journal. The researchers stated that a randomized clinical trial of omega 3 and vitamin D caused patients to show an increae in body mass indexes, higher cornell voltages, and a reduced heart rate.

Heart conditions can affect workouts of body builders. Another problem confronted is that of excess body fat that reduces the ability to build muscle quickly.

5. Reduces Body Fat

Body fat is the total amount of adipose tissue in the body, which is composed of fat cells that store and release energy. Body fat percentage is measured by taking the total body mass, dividing it by the total fat mass, then multiplying this amount by 100. The non-fat portion of the body is made up of muscle, bones, and organs.

Omega 3 may reduce body fat by causing a suppression in appetite and by changing the expression of genes that cause a shift in metabolism towards more fat oxidation. This appetite reduction and change in gene expression were published in a paper by the Miliary Medicine Journal.

According to a paper published in the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, there is no consistency in studies supporting that omega 3 causes fat loss. The journal article mentions that out of 20 studies, only 9 reported fat loss benefits to omega 3 supplementation.

If a bodybuilder has a lot of excess fat, they might lack energy. If this a state of excessive fat masss is coupled with high cholestrol level, workouts have a higher chance of causing damage to the heart.

6. Increases HDL Cholesterol Level

High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is a type of lipoprotein (a combination of fat and protein) that transports cholesterol and other lipids around the body. It is often referred to as the “good cholesterol” because it helps protect against the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. HDL cholesterol is considered good because it helps remove excess cholesterol from the body and transports it to the liver where it can be removed.

Omega 3 increases the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. A paper published in the American Family Physician Journal stated an increase of 1 to 3 percent of HDL cholesterol. Total cholesterol was not greatly affected. In other words, studies on the benefit of an increase of good cholesterol are mixed.

The benefits to heart via omega 3 supplementation are numerous. There are also many benefits reported in brain activity.

7. Reduces Severity of Depression

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistent sad, anxious, or empty feelings, feelings of hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of physical and emotional problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.

Omega 3 reduces severity of depression by balancing the level of neurotransmitter levels in the brain which reduces depressive symptoms. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry hstated that 8 out of 10 patients in a study , after 1 month, had a 50% or higher reduction in the Hamilton Rating Scale for depression. None of the patients developed manic symptoms or hypomania.

Another brain disorder that may be improved by omega 3 is attention deficiti hyperactivity.

8 Reduces ADHD Symptoms

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulty focusing on tasks, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is usually diagnosed in childhood, but can continue into adulthood. Symptoms of ADHD can include difficulty concentrating, difficulty finishing tasks, disorganization, impulsivity, restlessness, and difficulty controlling emotions.

Omega 3 reduces the symptoms of ADHD by reducing inflammation. According to a paper published in the Neuroimmunomodulation Journal, inflammation plays a potential role in ADHD.

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry stated that 10 test trials totalling 699 children found that omega-3 supplementation improved ADHD symptoms.

The symptoms of ADHD are like some other mental disorders such as bipolar disorder. Omega 3 aids many of these brain disorders.

9. Improves Mental Disorders

Mental disorders, also known as mental illnesses, are patterns of behavioral or psychological symptoms that impact multiple areas of life. These disorders create distress for the person experiencing these symptoms. Mental disorders of the brain are usually associated with significant disturbances in thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances.

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Omega 3 aids the treatment of violent schizophrenia patients by normalizing membrane phospholipid metabolism. A study by the Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine administered 540mg EPA, and 360mg DHA to 28 schizophenic patients, along with a placebo group of 22 during 12 weeks. The PANSS score, which measures the severity of negative symptoms, had decreased for the 28 test patients during weeks 4, 8, 12.

Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia have the common symptoms of hallucinations and cognitive decline. Studies have been conducted to see the effect that omega 3 has on this disorder.

10. Lowers Probability of Developing Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that impairs memory, thinking, and behavior. It is the most common cause of dementia in older adults, and its symptoms include memory loss, confusion, and changes in behavior, personality, and mood. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the death of nerve cells and tissue in the brain, and is associated with the buildup of plaques and tangles in the brain.

Omega 3 lowers probability of developing Alzeheimer’s disease by reducing brain inflammation amd oixidative stress. A study published in the Molecular Psychiatry Journal states that omega 3 protects against inflammation through the production of LOX and CYP405. There are studies on LOX and CYP405 showing that they reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.

Alzheimer’s disease is thought to devour damaged nerve cells because of activity in immune system cells. Omega 3 has been studied along which autoimmune diseases to see if it is viable health treatment.

11. Reducing Effect of Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own organs, tissues, or cells. In an autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system produces antibodies that attack healthy cells. This can cause inflammation, pain, and damage to various parts of the body.

Omega 3 reduces the effect of autoimmune diseases by reducing inflammation through eicosanoid synthesis and lowering the amount of proinflammatory cytokines. A paper published in the Mediterranean Journal of Rheumatology states that omega 3 fatty acids may reduce the number of tender and swollen joints due to the autoimmune disease rheumatiod arthritis.

Lupus is another autoimmune disease helped by omega 3. Lupus increases the risk of heart disease by damaging the endothelial of blood vessels.

12. Reduces Likelihood of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a group of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. It includes coronary heart disease, stroke, and other diseases and conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. Common risk factors for CVD include high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes.

A study published by the Harvard Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health states that marine omega-3 supplementation above 840 mg/day in randomized studies showed a reduction in CVD risk. This included an 8% reduction in coronary heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease is aggravated by poor lifestyle factors. Cancer development is also affected by lifestyle choices such as smoking, and overeating.

13. May Prevent Some Cancers

Cancer is a group of diseases involving uncontrollabe cell division with the potential to invade or spread to other tissues of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread to other parts of the body.

There is no concrete evidence that omega 3 prevents cancer. Futher study is required.

Omega-3 taken with conventional anticancer therapies showed that DHA, EPA and n-3 PUFAs may have helped induce cytotoxicity via apoptosis according to a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Cancer and asthma are both life threatening chronic diseases that have been studied with omega-3 test groups.

14. Lowers Asthma Symptoms

Asthma is a long-term inflammatory airway disorder in which many cells and cellular elements play a role, in particular, mast cells, eosinophils, T lymphocytes, macrophages, neutrophils and epithelial cells. Asthma is characterized by recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing.

Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the airways of people with asthma. This can help reduce the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

A study by the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine states that an increase in omega-3 for a group of 135 school children reduced the effect that indoor particulate matter had on an asthmatic response. They concluded that there is an association with pediatric asthma morbidity.

Certain lifestyle choice can affect the onset of asthma. For instance obesity can affect the probability of developing asthma. Excess fat can affect the lungs and other organs such as the liver.

15. Reduces Liver Fat

Liver fat is a type of fat that accumulates in the liver cells and is also known as hepatic steatosis. It is often due to poor diet and/or excessive alcohol intake. It can also be caused by certain medical conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

Omga-3 may reduce liver fat by affecting liver fat metabolism. This metabolic increase may cause the breakdown of fat in the liver acoording to Kate Townsend Creasy of the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania.

Liver fat accumulation is partially caused by a build up of estrogen in the liver. This build in in the body can increase the intensity of menstrual pains for some women. We will investigate the benefit that omega 3 has on the menstrual cycle.

16. Decreases Menstrual Pain

Menstrual pain, commonly referred to as dysmenorrhea, is a type of cramping or lower abdominal pain that occurs during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Omega-3 decrease menstrual pain by changing an imbalance between anti-inflammatory eicosanoids and pro-inflammatory eicosanoids from omega-6. A study published in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics was based on a group of women 18-22 years that had primary dysmenorrhea. The women were administered 1 capsule daily of omega 3. There was a marked decrease in the pain experienced after a period of 3 months and a reduction in the necessity of using ibuprofen.

Menstrual pain can affect sleep patterns because of stress. Omega-3 aids sleep.

17. Improves Sleep

Sleep is a vital part of a person’s overall health. It helps the body to repair and restore itself, as well as aiding mental and physical health. Getting enough quality sleep is necessary for optimal physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Omega-3 improves sleep by increasing the level of melatonin. Melatonin reduces the time to fall asleep. A study in the Sleep Health Journal was conducted on subjects with a mean age of 47.2 years. The 5% of the adults that reported very short sleep had reduced levels of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid compared to the group as a whole. These acid levels are affected by omega-3 supplementation.

Poor sleep can negatively affect skin. There are studies that state that omega 3 improves skin health.

18. Improves Skin

Skin, largest organ, is a stratified squamous epithelial tissue that covers the body, providing an outer layer of protection from the environment. It has three layers: epidermis, dermin, and the hypodermis. Skin serves as a barrier to the entry of pathogens, and helps regulate body temperature and fluid balance.

Omega-3 improves skin by maintaining hydration. This helps to prevent water loss in the skin that causes red, dry or itchy skin that is causes by psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

A paper by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University states that a study in 1929 by George and Mildred Vurr determined that fat-deprived rats showed signs of transepidermal water loss and other skin adnormalities. The study concluded that omega 3 fatty acids are crucial to skin health. They regulate the inflammation response in the epidermal and dermal skin layers.

Besides omega-3 supplementation for aiding skin, omega 3 can be derived through food sources.

What are Omega-3 Food Sources?

A food source is any edible item or group of items that provides nutrients to living organisms. This includes plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms.

The top food source for omega-3 is markerel. It contains 4580 mg of omega-3 per serving. A paper written by Kwok Leung Ong, Lipid Research Group, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of New South Wales, made conclusions based on a series of studies that used seafood derived eicosapentaenoic acid in their tests on the benefits of omega 3.

Other food sources of omega 3 are:

  • markerel
  • salmon
  • cod liver oil
  • tuna
  • herring
  • shrimp
  • oysters
  • caviar
  • chia seeds
  • walnuts
  • flaxseed oil
  • soybeans

If the above food sources are omitted, or omega 3 supplements are not consumed, there is a chance that the omega 3 level will be low.

What are the Symptoms of Low Omega 3?

A major symptom of low omega 3 is atopic dermatitis. A paper published in the Journal of Dermatological Science suggests that dietary fatty acids or omega 3 reversed skin dehydration by day 60 of 90 day tests.

Here are the main symptoms of low omega 3:

  1. Dry skin
  2. Dry Eyes
  3. Brittle Hair
  4. Depression
  5. Fatigue

There are specific benefits to women with Omega 3 supplementation.

What are the Omega-3 Benefits to Women

The omega-3 benefits to women are a reduction of menstrual pain. A paper published in the Journal of Nutrition & Dietetics states that omega 3 supplementation of 300-1800 mg/day reduced the pain of dysmenorrhoea.

Omega-3 supplementation by women also elevates inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis, and it improves bone density.

For women to realize the benefits of omega-3 as a supplement, they can take the supplements in one of various formats.

What are the Different Formats of Omega 3?

The different formats of Omega-3 are pills, capsules, powders, liquids, gummies.

The formats of Omega-3 usually do not contain vitamins. Some omega 3 food sources, such as cod liver oil, contain vitamin A and D.

Is Omega 3 a Vitamin?

Vitamins are organic molecules that are essential for normal cell function and health.

Omega 3 is not a vitamin. Omega 3 is a type of polyunsaturated fat.

Taking Omega 3 with Vitamin D

Taking omega 3 with vitamin D may reduce your risk of cancer according to a paper published in the Frontiers in Aging Journal in 2022. The study states that the hazard ratio when administered omega-3s along with vitamin D3 was .56. The hazard ratio for just omega 3s was 0.53.