Omega-3 fatty acids have benefits for young, old and everyone in between

Omega-3 fatty acids have myriad health benefits, which can help prevent certain ailments that affect a variety of age groups.

The need for omega-3 fatty acids begins in the womb, reports the University of Maryland (UMD). Babies who do not get a sufficient amount of omega-3s in utero may have an increased risk of developing issues with their sight and their nerves. Other possible side effects of a deficiency of the fatty acid are problems with mental functions – both mood and memory – as well as external and internal health issues, such as fatigue and dry skin.

With age, the body needs healthy fats for cardiovascular wellness. The source also notes that omega-3s can help lower blood pressure. This comes from data acquired from 17 clinical studies, where participants took omega-3 supplements. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in three adults in the U.S., or nearly 68 million people, have high blood pressure, and in 2008 it was listed as the main cause or a contributing factor in nearly 347,000 deaths. While blood pressure also known as hypertension, is more common as people get older (nearly 65 percent of all men and women 65 to 74 years old have high blood pressure), according to the CDC, approximately 25 percent of men who are 35 to 44 years old also have high blood pressure, as well as 19 percent of women in that same age group.

Hypertension can also put you at an increased risk of a stroke. The NIH notes that nearly 75 percent of strokes happen to people who are 65 years and older – but that number seems to be rising. According to Reuters, a recent study published in the journal Neurology showed that the number of people younger than 55 who experienced a stroke doubled between 1993 and 2005. The study looked at 5,900 adults from Ohio and Kentucky who experienced a first-time stroke.

Brett Kisella, M.D., one of the authors of the study, said that if you do have high-blood pressure and high cholesterol, then you should see a doctor, because even though the number of young people who do experience strokes is relatively small, there’s still a risk.

Omega-3 fatty acids may also help prevent heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and depression according to UMD. You can get them in flax seeds, walnuts and chia seeds. You can also bolster your diet with and OmegaKrill supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.

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