Omega 3

Omega-3 acids - a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are an important component of the cell membranes of human internal organs. They are necessary for full growth and development, as well as for the functioning of the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems, the synthesis of tissue hormones, prostaglandins, and the metabolism of essential substances. In addition, they have an anti-inflammatory effect, increase stamina, resistance to infections, strengthen joints, stabilize the psycho-emotional state, and are recommended for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Let us consider in more detail what omega-3 acids are, their distribution and content.

General information

Omega-3 lipids are classified as essential fats because the human body does not synthesize them on its own and they must be regularly supplied with food products.

Especially important representatives of omega -3 FA

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) - is part of the gray matter of the brain, cell membranes, retina, sperm, testicles. In addition, DHA plays a primary role in the formation of the nervous system of an infant.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Stimulates the regeneration of cell membranes, normalizes the mechanisms of lipid transport through the bloodstream, activates the immune system, improves the absorption of fats in the digestive tract, increases the body's antioxidant functions.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an essential fatty acid that is vital for human health but is not synthesized in the body. ALA intake can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with arrhythmias, thrombosis, elevated triglycerides, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, inflammation of the walls of blood vessels, etc. Insufficient ALA can lead to various conditions, for example, sensory neuropathy, pathology with sides of the retina, problems with the skin, hair, nails (dryness, seborrhea, delamination). In the human body, alpha-linolenic acid is converted to EPA and DPA, however, some researchers believe that less than 1% of ALA is converted to the physiologically effective compounds EPA and DPA.

Docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic fatty acids are found intissues of marine life. They are the most beneficial for the human body, since they do not require many enzymes for their absorption, unlike plant foods enriched with ALA.

Useful properties

Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids are the most important nutrients for humans, since they perform bioregulatory, structural, energy and storage functions.

Useful properties:

  1. Potentiate the synthesis of tissue hormones (eicosanoids) involved in many biochemical reactions in the cell.
  2. Reduce the concentration of "bad" cholesterol, including low density lipoproteins. As a result, the risk of developing vascular atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and cerebral stroke decreases.
  3. Participate in the formation of male germ cells (spermatozoa), brain neuron membranes, retinal membranes.
  4. Regulate the synthesis of hormones and steroids, including testosterone.
  5. Participate in the transport of oxygen to the tissues.
  6. Improve the contractile function of the heart muscle.
  7. Regulate the metabolism of the hormone of joy (serotonin), reduce psycho-emotional stress, prevent the risk of developing depression.
  8. ​​
  9. Maintain joint elasticity, reduce the intensity of pain in arthritis or arthrosis.
  10. Increase insulin sensitivity (due to slower progression of the food bolus through the intestinal tract).
  11. Reduce inflammation in the body, preventing the development of allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases.
  12. Increase the cognitive functions of the brain (memory, attention, learning).
  13. Suppress excessive appetite.
  14. Improve the functional state of the dermis.
  15. Increase the body's immune status.
  16. Potentiate the growth of lean muscle mass, accelerate the “leaving” of the fat layer.
  17. Increase neuromuscular function, endurance, general muscle tone.
  18. Suppress the synthesis of cortisol (stress hormone).

In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil also contains fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, which improve the condition of the skin, support vision, reduce nervous excitability, improve the elasticity of cell membranes, and strengthen bone tissue.

Daily requirement

The daily requirement for omega-3 acids is 1 to 2 grams, depending on gender, age, health status and region of residence. During pregnancy, menopause, bodybuilding, the daily rate rises to 2.5 - 3 grams, and with reduced body weight up to 3 - 4 grams. Upper safe limitconsumption of compounds is 8 grams.

In addition, their need increases with:

  • depressive and autoimmune conditions;
  • during the cold season;
  • intense exercise;
  • vascular atherosclerosis;
  • cancer;
  • risk of heart attack or stroke;
  • in childhood and old age.

For the treatment of functional disorders, use 2-4 grams of omega-3 per day, preferably using animal-derived concentrates (EPA, DHA), dividing the daily intake into 3 doses.

Benefits and harms

For the full functioning of the body, it is important to consume at least 0.65 grams of omega per day. If the lipid norm per day is below the critical minimum, "fat" insufficiency develops.

Factors provoking lack of essential triglycerides in the body:

  • prolonged fasting;
  • unbalanced diet, including vegetarianism and a raw food diet;
  • adherence to strict mono-diets;
  • digestive tract dysfunction.

Omega-3 deficiency symptoms:

  • constant thirst;
  • dry skin;
  • brittle nails;
  • hair loss;
  • dandruff;
  • prolonged depression, apathy ;
  • allergic skin rashes;
  • stool disorder, constipation ;
  • pain in joints, muscles, tendons;
  • slow healing of wounds, abrasions, scratches;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • deterioration of memory, attention;
  • fatigue, weakness loss of working capacity;
  • mental retardation (in infants and preschool children);
  • decreased immunity, frequent colds.

Remember, the lack of omega-3 fatty acids in the body can lead to neuropsychiatric pathologies, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular dysfunctions, hormonal disorders.

However, despite the fact that an overdose of polyunsaturated lipids is extremely rare, uncontrolled intake of fats can be harmful to health.

Signs of excess PUFA:

  • prolonged diarrhea ;
  • low blood pressure;
  • digestive tract dysfunction;
  • decrease in blood clotting and, as a result, hemorrhagic manifestations.

Substance contraindications:

  • hypercalcemia;
  • idiosyncrasy;
  • hyperthyroidism;
  • tuberculosis (in the active phase).

In addition, the possibility of co-administration of essential fats with oral anticoagulants or fibrates should be discussed with the family physician.

Medical use

Given that omega-3 fats exhibit hypolipidemic, immunomodulatory, anticoagulant (blood thinning) and antihypertensive effects, they are successfully used in pharmacological practice.

Indications for use:

  • obesity of any degree;
  • chronic joint disease;
  • hypertension;
  • diabetes ;
  • underweight;
  • hypercholesterolemia;
  • vascular diseases of the brain;
  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • skin diseases ( psoriasis, eczema);
  • allergic manifestations;
  • damage to the vessels of the extremities;
  • autoimmune diseases (glomerulonephritis, thyroiditis, lupus erythematosus);
  • osteomyelitis;
  • cardiovascular pathologies (arrhythmia, ischemia, myocardial infarction);
  • depressive states;
  • short bowel syndrome.

In addition, the compounds are used for the prevention of oncological neoplasms (in complex therapy).

How to take omega-3 (capsules)?

Animal fats (DHA and EPA) are used to treat functional disorders. Therapeutic dosage of essential lipids is 2.5 - 3 grams per day. Fish oil capsules are taken immediately after meals with 100 milliliters of pure water. The daily portion is divided into three equivalent doses.

Consider how to choose a high quality polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrate.

Omega-3 food biocomplexes

Lipid-containing products most often list the total amount of fish oil per capsule on labels. However, for the treatment of functional disorders, it is important to choose formulations that contain a high concentration of EPA and DHA.

Supplement Rating:

  1. Omega-3, Triple Strength (Solgar). The preparation contains a large portion of omega-3 fatty acids extracted from the muscles of cold-water fish species. The total content of polyunsaturated lipids per capsule is 882 milligrams (504 milligrams EPA and 378 milligrams DHA).
  2. Omega-800 (Madre Labs). Organic fish oil is available in soft gelatin capsules. The biocomplex includes docosahexaenoic (320 milligrams) and eicosapentaenoic (480 milligrams) acids.
  3. Ultra Omega-3 (Now Foods). This product contains 750 milligrams of omega-3 triglycerides (500 milligrams EPA, 250 milligrams DHA). In addition, each capsule of the dietary supplement is enclosed in a special enteric coating (to prevent the appearance of an unpleasant aftertaste, belching, nausea).
  4. Omega-3 (Natural Factors). The gelatin capsule contains 600 milligrams of polyunsaturated lipids (200 milligrams DHA, 400 milligrams EPA).

To maintain health, the duration of the course of supplementation is 3-4 months, with the frequency of therapy - 1-2 times a year.

Dietary sources

Considering that essential fats are not synthesized by the intestinal microflora, it is important to control the amount of their intake daily.

Table No. 1 “Food sources of “animal” omega-3”
Omega-3 contains Grams of EPA and DHA per 100 grams of product
Sardine Fish Oil 26 – 30
Cod liver 15
Salmon fish oil 10
Black caviar, red 6 – 7
Sardine, Atlantic herring 1.5 – 2.4
Salmon, Atlantic salmon 1.2 – 2.4
Mackerel, mackerel 2
Tuna 1.6
Swordfish 1.14
Halibut, trout 0.7 – 1.3
Oysters 0.7
Shrimp 0.6
Flounder, pollock, hake 0.5
Crayfish, crabs, clams, sea scallop 0.3 – 0.4
Grouper 0.3
Som 0.25 – 0.35
Cod 0.2
Table "Products containing vegetable omega three"
Sources of alpha- linolenic acid Grams of ALA per 100 grams of product
Linseed oil 55
Peanut leaves (fresh) 50
Flax seeds (fresh) 18
Rapeseed oil 9 – 12
Walnut oil 11
Quinoa (grain) 8
Wheat germ oil 7
Mustard oil 5 – 6
Walnut 5.5
Chia seeds 5
Purslane (fresh) 4
Spinach (fresh) 0.9
Spirulina 0.8
Pecan 0.75
Radish 0.6
Mustard (leaves) 0.5
Olive oil 0.45
Almond 0.4
Raspberry, strawberry, avocado 0.15
Cabbage (cauliflower, broccoli) 0.1
Hazelnut 0.1

Remember, omega-3 compounds are easily destroyed by the sun, oxygen, and high temperatures. Therefore, to fill the body's daily need for essential fats, it is advisable to use lightly salted, pickled fish, fresh vegetables and fruits, vegetable oil, and unroasted nuts.

To preserve nutrients, products containing unsaturated fatty acids are stored in a cool place in tightly sealed containers.

Omega-3 for children

Omega-3 fatty acids play a primary role in the formation of the nervous, immune and hormonal systems of the child, as well as in ontogenesis of the brain, maintaining the functionality of the visual apparatus, the laying of molars. Interestingly, in the first year of life, the baby receives all essential nutrients, including triglycerides, together with mother's milk. However, in 90% of women during lactation there is an acute shortage of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the body. As a result, a child from an early age is deficient in essential fats.

Symptoms of omega-3 deficiency in childhood:

  • diathesis, atopic dermatitis (due to impaired functioning of the immune system);
  • cognitive decline (success, concentration, memory);
  • hyperactivity;
  • dry skin;
  • allergic reactions;
  • blurred vision.

It is known that a child's brain develops before the age of 14. Therefore, from the first year of life, it is important for children to consume at least 1 gram of omega-3 per day. To do this, their daily menu is enriched with fruits, vegetables, seafood, linseed oil. In addition, the daily requirement for fats is replenished with fish oil concentrates. However, it is difficult for babies under three years old to swallow a large capsule. Therefore, the question arises: how to drink medicines? To solve these problems, special mixtures have been created, produced in the form of syrups, sweets, chewing lozenges.

Popular children's complexes with omega-3:

  1. "Omega-3 for children" from Oriflame (Wellness, Sweden). The composition of the drug includes fish oil, vitamin E, lemon oil, antioxidants. The drug is produced in the form of a syrup.
  2. Smart Omega-3 for Children (Delta Medical, Switzerland). The biocomplex contains fish oil, beeswax, vitamins A, C, D3. The composition is produced in capsules that can be chewed.
  3. Supradin Kids with Choline and Omega-3 (Bayer, Germany). The drug includes docosahexaenoic acid, nicotinamide, cholecalciferol, vitamins A, E, C, B4, B6, B12. The release form of the product is marmalade sweets.
  4. "Multi-tabs Intello Kids with Omega-3" (Ferrosan, Denmark). The drug consists of: fish oil concentrate, including EPA and DHA, tocopherol, vitamin C. Children's composition is produced in the form of chewable capsules with blackcurrant flavor.
  5. Pikovit Omega-3 (Krka, Slovenia). The multivitamin complex contains fish oil, B vitamins (thiamine, folic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, cyanocobalamin), retinol, tocopherol, cholecalciferol, dexpanthenol, ascorbic acid. The form of release of the additive is syrup.

Remember, the pediatrician determines the dosage and regimen of medications based on the health of the baby.

Omega-3 for women

Considering that PFA are “responsible” for metabolic processes in the body, the elasticity of cell membranes and the functioning of brain structures, it is important for every woman to consume at least 1 - 1.5 grams of pure omega-3 per day. With the onset of pregnancy, the daily need for triglycerides increases by 2 times.

Consider the benefits of fish oil for women:

  1. Reduces menstrual pain, reduces the number of “hot flashes”, improves mood on “critical days”, has an anti-inflammatory effect.
  2. Reduces anxiety, improves mood, increases the effectiveness of antidepressants.
  3. Slows down skin sagging and wrinkles.
  4. Prevents the development of osteoporosis, especially duringmenopause.
  5. Stabilizes "hormonal bursts" during menopause.
  6. Reduces the risk of breast lumps, tumors, and polyps in the colon by 30% (does not apply to men).

In addition, fish oil is an essential nutritional factor during menopause. Given that menopause is accompanied by impaired mineral and fat metabolism, women over 55 develop vascular pathologies, including endothelial dysfunction. At the same time, the rheological parameters of the blood change, as a result of which its coagulability increases.

To prevent the development of thrombosis, cardiovascular pathologies, metabolic disorders, as well as alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of menopause (palpitations, hot flashes, night sweats), the daily diet is enriched with foods rich in essential fats or organic biocomplexes.

It is especially important to take omega-3 supplements for women who are overweight, planning pregnancy, dieting, and prone to cardiovascular disease.


Thus, omega-3 is a class of essential lipids that exhibit pronounced anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, immunomodulatory, antioxidant and lipid-lowering effects. Polyunsaturated lipids are not synthesized by the human body, so it is extremely important to get them from outside. To do this, the daily menu includes fatty sea fish or seafood, linseed oil, fresh herbs. In addition, 1 - 2 times a year you need to drink biocomplexes that contain "animals" omega-3 (EPA and DHA).

The optimal intake of fatty acids is 1 gram per day. If dry skin,338 dandruff, acne, psoriasis, or eczema are present, increase the daily allowance to 2–3 grams.

Remember, before taking lipid concentrates, it is important to evaluate the benefits and harms of using them. People with congestive heart failure, hemorrhagic syndrome, unstable angina, seafood allergies should only take omega-3 supplements under medical supervision.

  1. Medvedev Zh. A. – Nutrition and longevity. - Time, 2012 - 528 p.