• fatty fish (eg salmon, trout, tuna, herring, mackerel) or oils from these fish, are the only good sources for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA).
• short-chain omega-3 fatty acids (ALA), eg from flaxseed, walnuts, omega-3 eggs, may be beneficial, but most will not be converted into the long-chain form needed by the brain, the retina, etc.
omega-3 fatty acids:
• important for cells which communicate by electrical signalling (eg the brain, nerve cells elsewhere, the retina, conduction system of the heart).
• have an anti-inflammatory effect (precursors for anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes)
on the other hand, omega-6 fatty acids have a pro-inflammatory effect.
our diets have about 25 times as much omega-6 as omega-3; before the development of agriculture, they were in about equal proportions. Our bodies are designed to have them in about equal proportions.
omega-3 has been shown useful in:
• depression (Nemets B 159 477)
• bipolar disorder (Stoll AL 56 407)
• schizophrenia (Peet M 65 1051)
• borderline personality disorder (Zanarini MC 160 167)
• as useful as statins in lowering overall and cardiac mortality (Studer M 165 725)
• mothers who receive supplementation with DHA during pregnancy and lactation have children with higher scores in mental processing tests (Decsi T 8 161)
• in survivors of MI, purified omega-3 supplementation decreased sudden cardiac death and all-cause death. Reduction in sudden death may be due to anti-arrhythmic properties (Lee KW 6 371)
• slows progression of renal disease in patients with IgA nephropathy (Donadio JV 24 255)
• treats Henoch-Schonlein purpura in children (Dixit MP 9 381)
• may have a role in preventing the development of allergic sensitization in early childhood (Peat JK 114 807)
• effective in rheumatoid arthritis (Cleland LG 63 845)
• may help in cystic fibrosis (Beckles Willson N 2002 3)
• intravenous omega-3s improve psoriasis (Mayser P 87 S77)
• may protect against lung and colon cancer (Rose DP 83 217)
- Ritalin (methylphenidate)
- hammingNN progress report