Dr. L. Lee Coyne
Nutrition Consulting
Dr. Lee, the Healthy Professor

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Play a big role in optimal health.

Omega 3Since the 1930s, research evidence has indicated that certain essential fatty acids (EFAs) are required for normal human fetal and neonatal development.

EFA deficiencies can result in pathological changes in immune function; degenerative changes in the lungs, liver and kidneys; and abnormalities in central nervous system maturation.

An article in Psychiatric Times in 2002 indicated that chronic deficiencies in dietary EFAs can result in an increased incidence of multiple sclerosis, arthritis, immune system dysfunction, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and neurodevelopmental disorders.

2006 evidence from Oxford University supports the role for omega-3 EFA’s in ADHD, dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and autism.

Results from controlled treatment trials have shown that dietary supplementation with fish oils (providing EPA and DHA) appears to alleviate ADHD-related symptoms in at least some children, and one 2006 study of DCD children also found benefits for academic achievement.

A 2006 study from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda MD has demonstrated that Omega 3 deficiencies exacerbated both aggressive and depressive behaviours.

These authors concluded that “Ensuring optimal intakes of omega-3 fatty acids during early development and adulthood shows considerable promise in preventing aggression and hostility.”

All of these recent findings provide strong support for the inclusion of cold-water fish (an excellent source of EFA’s) and Omega 3 supplementation in the diet.

Further Reading

Omega 3 Index & Women - Although the benefits of Omega 3 intake have been well established, a German study reported that 63% of middle aged German women have low omega 3 and show high risk for heart disease.

Omega-3, Omega-6 Fatty Acids Enhance Reading Skills In Children - Compared with placebo, 3 months of treatment with Omega 3/6 improved reading ability in mainstream schoolchildren, as measured with the Logos test.

Meta-analysis supports omega-3s for heart disease risk reduction - Higher intakes of Omega 3 (EPA / DHA in particular) are showing significant benefits to reducing risk of Heart Disease.