Merits of omega 3 antioxidant.

Omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 3 fatty acids, also called Omega−3 oilsω−3 fatty acids or n−3 fatty acids. are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) characterized by the presence of a double bond. three atoms away from the terminal methyl group in their chemical structure. They are widely distributed in nature. being important constituents of animal lipid metabolism. and they play an important role in the human diet and in human physiology. The three types of omega−3 fatty acids involved in human physiology are α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

There is no high-quality evidence that dietary supplementation with omega−3 fatty acids reduces the risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease. Fish oil supplement studies have failed to support claims of preventing heart attacks or strokes or any vascular disease outcomes.

An omega−3 fatty acid is a fatty acid with multiple double bonds, where the first double bond is between the third and fourth carbon atoms from the end of the carbon atom chain. “Short-chain” omega−3 fatty acids have a chain of 18 carbon atoms or less, while “long-chain” omega−3 fatty acids have a chain of 20 or more.

chemistry formulae of omega 3 acid as fatty acaid

Some common omega 3 acids.

Common name Lipid number Chemical name
Hexadecatrienoic acid (HTA) 16:3 (n−3) allcis-7,10,13-hexadecatrienoic acid
α-Linolenic acid (ALA) 18:3 (n−3) allcis-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid
Stearidonic acid (SDA) 18:4 (n−3) allcis-6,9,12,15-octadecatetraenoic acid
Eicosatrienoic acid (ETE) 20:3 (n−3) allcis-11,14,17-eicosatrienoic acid
Eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA) 20:4 (n−3) allcis-8,11,14,17-eicosatetraenoic acid
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 20:5 (n−3) allcis-5,8,11,14,17-eicosapentaenoic acid
Heneicosapentaenoic acid (HPA) 21:5 (n−3) all-cis-6,9,12,15,18-heneicosapentaenoic acid
Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA),
Clupanodonic acid
22:5 (n−3) allcis-7,10,13,16,19-docosapentaenoic acid
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 22:6 (n−3) allcis-4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic acid
Tetracosapentaenoic acid 24:5 (n−3) allcis-9,12,15,18,21-tetracosapentaenoic acid
Tetracosahexaenoic acid (Nisibis acid) 24:6 (n−3) allcis-6,9,12,15,18,21-tetracosahexaenoic acid

Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for EPA+DHA and DHA Age group (years)EPA+DHA (mg/day)DHA (mg/day)7-11 months. 


Eggs produced by hens fed a diet of greens and insects contain higher levels of omega−3 fatty acids than those produced by chickens fed corn or soybeans. In addition to feeding chickens insects and greens, fish oils may be added to their diets to increase the omega−3 fatty acid concentrations in eggs.

The addition of flax and canola seeds, both good sources of alpha-linolenic acid, to the diets of laying chickens, increases the omega−3 content of the eggs, predominantly DHA. However, this enrichment could lead to an increment of lipid oxidation in the eggs if the seeds are used in higher doses, without using an appropriate antioxidant.

The addition of green algae or seaweed to the diets boosts the content of DHA and EPA, which are the forms of omega−3 approved by the FDA for medical claims. A common consumer complaint is “Omega−3 eggs can sometimes have a fishy taste if the hens are fed marine oils”.


Omega−3 fatty acids are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae.

Protein and cholesterol content were equal.

Other sources

Schizochytrium-based omega-3 supplements

A trend in the early 21st century was to fortify food with omega−3 fatty acids. Oil from brown algae (kelp) is a source of EPA. The alga Nannochloropsis also has high levels of EPA.

Health effects of omega-3 supplementation

The association between supplementation and a lower risk of all-cause mortality is inconclusive.


There is insufficient evidence that supplementation with omega−3 fatty acids has an effect on different cancers. Omega-3 supplements do not improve body weight, muscle maintenance or quality of life in cancer patients.

Omega−3 fatty acids can also reduce heart rate, an emerging risk factor. 

Chronic kidney disease

Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to the production of eicosanoid molecules that reduce clotting. There was also moderate certainty that supplementation did not prevent hospitalization or death within a 12-month period.


The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. has concluded that “supplements containing omega−3 fatty acids .may help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms”. but warns that such supplements “may interact with drugs that affect blood clotting”.

Developmental disabilities

One meta-analysis concluded that omega−3 fatty acid supplementation. demonstrated a modest effect for improving ADHD symptoms. .

Brain and visual functions

A major structural component of the mammalian brain, DHA is the most abundant omega−3 fatty acid in the brain. Omega 3 PUFA supplementation has no effect on macular degeneration or development of visual loss.


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