Omega-3 fats are essential to a person’s overall health and they are promoted for their protective effects, especially on the brain, heart and eyes. The body can’t make these essential fats on its own, unlike most types of fat, and it must get them from (preferably) food or supplements.
Severe Omega-3 deficiency would most likely occur in the setting of a lack of intake of foods containing either plant based OM3 (alpha-linolenic acid: canola, flaxseeds, soybeans, walnuts) or marine based OM3 (fish: salmon, sardines, albacore tuna), Michael Miller, a practicing cardiologist and author of “Heal Your Heart,” says.
OM3 are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes, according to Harvard School of Publish Health. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation.
Omega-3s may even reduce irregular heartbeat. “While observational studies have generally been positive, randomized clinical trials, designed to prove cause and effect, are not,” Dr. Miller adds. “Theoretically, these long chain fatty acids might help to ‘stabilize’ the hearts electrical conduction system.”
Some of the symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include poor memory, mood swings, depression, and eye problems. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM).