5 Scientifically Backed Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

5 Scientifically Backed Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are among the most popular supplements, and there is a reason for that. They are essential nutrients for the body and have many health benefits. In this article, we will tell 6 scientifically proven reasons to take omega-3 supplements.

Omega-3s is a group of essential fatty acids. It means that the human body cannot produce these fatty acids. Instead, the body must get these fatty acids through diet. The three most studied omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Out of them, ALA is the only essential fatty acid. The human body can produce some EPA and DHA, so theoretically, they are not essential. However, in practice, things differ. The body cannot produce much EPA or DHA, making them essential. The human body can only produce small amounts of EPA and DHA by converting ALA, which is insufficient. Moreover, most health benefits of omega-3s are due to DHA and EPA, both of which are good for heart and brain health and have many other health benefits(1).

This means that any omega-3 health supplement must be rich in EPA and DHA. Moreover, ALA is present in many vegetable oils like canola oil and soybean oil. About 10-15% of it also gets converted to EPA and DHA. However, healthy adults need 1.1-1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily. Studies show that the Western diet is low in omega-3 fatty acids since EPA and DHA are mostly found in marine products. This highlights the importance of omega-3 supplements(1).

Below are six scientifically proven benefits of omega-3 fatty acids:

Brain Function and Mental Health

It appears that omega-3 fatty acids can boost heart health in many ways. They help reduce triglycerides. Omega-3 fatty acids also have a mild blood thinning effect and prevent atherosclerosis or arterial plaque/blockage formation. These versatile fatty acids also prevent the stiffening of arteries and help normalize blood pressure. They also have a role in reducing inflammation. American Hearth Association (AHA) recommends boosting their intake for good heart health(2).


Omega-3 is incredible because it is good for acute and chronic inflammation. It means that it can help with painful conditions like arthritis. However, it is worth understanding that omega-3 can modulate immunity and thus help immune responses. Therefore, it is also good for autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. It can also help reduce low level chronic inflammation and thus help overcome fatigue, body aches, and slow aging(3).

Eye Health

Omega-3 is good for eye health. It can help prevent dry eye disease. It also has a role in preventing age-related decline in eyesight. Studies show that the brain and eye retina are among the tissues that are exceptionally high in DHA. Thus, high DHA omega-3 fatty acids are especially good for eye health. Hence, for example, high DHA intake may even help reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and other issues(4).

Pregnancy and Early Life Development

Pregnant women can especially benefit from high omega-3 fatty acids intake. Of course, one should not abuse omega-3 and should only consume it in the recommended amounts. Adequate omega-3 intake helps prevent preterm births. Further, it may also help reduce the risk of certain congenital disabilities. DHA is especially vital for fetal brain growth and might play a role in reducing the risk of neurodevelopmental issues(5).

May Reduce Depression and anxiety

Epidemiological studies suggest that mood disorders like Depression and anxiety are less common in nations that consume more fish. Further, there are studies showing that omega-3 deficiency is common among those living with Depression. Omega-3 fatty acids can boost brain health, mood, and energy levels, reduce irritability, and help prevent Depression and anxiety.


Omega-3 fatty acids have many benefits. They are good for cognitive function, prevent Depression and anxiety, and boost heart health and immunity. Among various fatty acids, EPA and DHA are particularly good for health, as they are proven to boost brain health and reduce inflammation.


  1. Office of Dietary Supplements - Omega-3 Fatty Acids [Internet]. [cited 2024 Jun 22]. Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/
  2. Chaddha A, Eagle KA. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Heart Health. Circulation. 2015 Dec;132(22):e350–2.
  3. Natto ZS, Yaghmoor W, Alshaeri HK, Van Dyke TE. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Effects on Inflammatory Biomarkers and Lipid Profiles among Diabetic and Cardiovascular Disease Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 11;9(1):18867.
  4. Hodge W, Barnes D, Schachter HM, Pan Y, Lowcock EC, Zhang L, et al. Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Eye Health: Summary. In: AHRQ Evidence Report Summaries [Internet]. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2005 [cited 2024 Jun 22]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11888/
  5. Greenberg JA, Bell SJ, Ausdal WV. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy. Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2008;1(4):162–9.
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