Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disorder that affects the articular joint structure due to wear and tear involving the cartilage protective layers. This leads to the exposure of the bone ends that leads to rubbing and friction leading to articular joint damage. Its characterized by pain, swelling, joint freeze, immobility and inflammation.
Omega 3 fatty acids are derived from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The ALA is then converted into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid. It is present in good amounts in a number of fatty fish and is synthesized in the body from the alpha-linolenic acid. The DHA form of omega-3 fatty acid is also present in large amounts in fatty fish. It is synthesized in the body from alpha-linolenic acid. DHA is especially found in good amounts in the retina and brain.
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Omega-3 fatty acids are found in good amounts in fish such as tuna and mackerel.
Omega-3 fatty acids may also be found naturally in a number of plant foods. Chia seeds and flaxseeds are just some common examples.
Natural Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Current research suggests that we should consume a regular intake of alpha-linolenic acid or one of its related omega 3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The list provided below shows some of the common natural sources that should constitute part of your healthy diet plan.
- Chia seeds
- Brussels sprouts
- Hemp seeds
- Cashew nuts
- White fish
- Wild trout
Health Benefits Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Osteoarthritis
Lowers Osteoarthritis Inflammation
Inflammation generally follows when there is damage to body tissues. Therefore as articular joint damage occurs, the body triggers the inflammatory response for repair work to commence. This leads to an increase in blood flow to the damaged tissues and leads to inflammation and swelling. Omega-3 fatty acids exert antiinflammatory properties. Their presence in the body therefore helps check excessive inflammation in the damaged joints providing some symptomatic relief.
Halts Osteoarthritis Progression
Omega-3 are used in the formation of cell walls. They also help in improving circulation and oxygen intake in the tissues. They therefore play a crucial role in the repair of damaged tissues.
Lowers Osteoarthritis Pain
Omega-3 fatty acids help in lowering inflammation, swelling and pain in the arthritic joint.
Other Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Lowers Blood Pressure
Constriction of blood vessels results in an elevation of the blood pressure. One of the causes of vasoconstriction is the deposit of bad cholesterol on the arteriole walls. The omega-3 fatty acids help prevent and reverse the clogging of arteries. Therefore they help in blood pressure regulation naturally.
Prevents Platelet Aggregation
Clotting is a major issue that may cause a number of problems within the cardiovascular system including heart attacks and strokes. Omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to help in the prevention of clot formation within the vast cardiovascular system.
Boosts Immune Response
Omega-3’s help in the formation of cells and assist in improving circulation and oxygen intake. They are also powerful antioxidants and help prevent immune system damage from free radicals.
Omega-3 help in are known to help in strengthening the heart. Bad cholesterol deposits in the heart may lead to narrowing of arteries and eventually a blockage. Omega-3 fatty acids are capable of helping prevent clogging in the arteries hence resulting in the improvement of blood circulation, nutrient and oxygen supply.
The skin cells require oxygen and nutrition to maintain its health. The omega -3 fatty acids help protect the skin cells from free radical damage. They also improve circulation into and outside the skin helping supply nutrients and eradicate toxins.
Brain Development During Pregnancy
The omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in pregnancy. It helps in the formation of the much needed cells. They also help improve brain circulation in the foetus promoting its development.
Helps Burn Stored Body Fat
Bad cholesterol is the major enemy of the cardiovascular system. Excess fat that is stored in the body may end up promoting obesity and its related chronic disorders e.g diabetes, strokes etc. Omega-3 fatty acids help breakdown the excessive fat stored in the body hence promoting weight loss.
Cancer is suspected to be caused by free radicals damaging cellular DNA of some cells leading to uncontrolled proliferations. Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals that may damage healthy body cells.
The DHA form of omega-3 fatty acids is especially present in the retina and brain. They provide their antioxidant activity helping protect the eyes from free radical damage.
We can therefore see that omega-3 fatty acids play a major role in both our health preservation and disease fighting. Since it works on ensuring our cardiovascular health, it impacts the health of most of our highly sensitive organs e.g brain, heart etc. It is therefore adviceable that we need to consume an adequate amount daily from either the fish or plants sources.
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