Why Women Need an Omega-3 Supplement

December 09, 2019

Why Women Need an Omega-3 Supplement

Before we dive in, let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Omega-3 fatty acids are a necessity for every human being, regardless of their age, health condition, and gender. However, today we’re switching our focus to women’s health, as there are particular aspects in which omega-3s are truly essential.

Aside from their enormous impact on overall human health, omega-3s have been recognized as vital when it comes to female reproductive health, pregnancy, fetal development, as well as breastfeeding. Therefore, we will dig into each of these roles separately, while also discussing some additional benefits.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Overview

When it comes to fats, our body is usually able to manufacture most of them, utilizing raw material or other fats. However, that’s not the case with omega-3s, as they belong to the category of essential fats - meaning that they cannot be produced naturally. So it is safe to say that we are responsible for providing our bodies with a sufficient amount of these fatty acids from quality sources.

Exactly what are the roles these fatty acids perform in our bodies? First and foremost, omega-3s are known to be cell receptors, as well as vital components of cell membranes. What’s more, they have been found to contribute to the production of hormones responsible for blood clotting, artery wall contractions and relaxation, as well as inflammatory processes. These fatty acids are in fact polyunsaturated acids, divided into 3 primary groups: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and finally alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

In regards to the categorization of omega-3 fatty acids, ALA seems to be largely present in modern diets, whereas the same cannot be said for EPA and DHA. Namely, EPA and DHA are mostly obtained from marine sources, hence the recommendation of algae-based omega-3 supplementation.

Heart, Eye and Joint Health

When considering omega-3 benefits, an aspect that certainly should not be ignored when talking about these fatty acids is cardiovascular health. According to Harvard’s study on omega-3 fatty acids, these healthy fats have been found to positively influence heart rate, while also lowering blood pressure, easing the symptoms of inflammation, and improving the function of blood vessels. In addition, the aforementioned study highlights the results of the 3-year GISSI Prevention Trial, which involved heart attack survivors who agreed to include an omega-3 supplement in their daily nutrition. For 3 consecutive years, participants of this trial took a 1-gram omega-3 capsule a day, which resulted in a decreased risk of sudden cardiac death by an outstanding 50%.

Furthermore, the earlier mentioned acid, DHA, has been found in the very structure of the eye retina, hence the importance of omega-3s for eyesight and health. What’s more, these fatty acids have been found to significantly reduce liver fat and inflammation levels, a study conducted by Bouzianas D. G. et al. suggests. By promoting calcium production in bones and joints, omega-3 fatty acids also promote their strength and overall health, a study by Kruger M. C. and colleagues finds.

Pregnancy and Infant Health

The Role of Omega-3s in Pregnancy and Infant Health

Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous roles in pretty much every single aspect concerning female health. In fact, they are vital in pregnancy, especially when it comes to fetal development, both in early visual and neurological development of the fetus. According to a study on the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and women’s health, a balanced diet including omega-3s as an essential component is absolutely crucial during both pregnancy and lactation. First and foremost, obtaining a sufficient amount of these fatty acids has been linked to fetal brain development. Furthermore, providing the body with a substantial amount of omega-3s during pregnancy has been shown to result in increased birth weight, longer gestation, and fewer cases of hypertension in pregnant women.

It is safe to say that supplementing with omega-3s is associated not only with fetal development, but with infant development as well. Namely, studies indicate a clear connection between optimal levels of omega-3s in mother’s milk and satisfactory parameters concerning the baby’s weight, body mass index and height. Moreover, a mother’s choice to keep omega-3 levels high during pregnancy may also lower the chances of inflammation and cardiovascular issues in infants. Additionally, a study conducted by A. McManus et al. further casts light upon permanent effects of omega-3s when it comes to a child’s developmental scores, particularly regarding speaking skills and language performance, as well as visual-motor skills and development.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, there is yet another pivotal role of omega-3 fatty acids when it comes to motherhood, and it regards milk production. Namely, EPA and DHA have been recognized as key factors when it comes to breastfeeding, as well as immunity, as research suggests that instances of allergies in infants have been significantly reduced due to consumption of omega-3s. Furthermore, regular consumption of these acids has also been linked to a lesser chance of both premature labor and delivery, as well as preeclampsia.

That Time of the Month

Omega-3s for Menstrual Pain

A quality omega-3 supplement should be a must in the life of every woman, regardless of whether she’s expecting or not. Another health matter exclusive to women is the menstrual cycle, often followed by a range of unpleasant (to say the least) physical and emotional symptoms.

Menstrual pain is an issue a great number of women have to deal with every month, which may negatively impact every single aspect of their lives. Luckily, creating the healthy habit of consuming omega-3s on a regular basis has been shown to reduce painful symptoms including cramps and abdominal discomfort, due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

What’s more, a study comparing the effects of ibuprofen and an omega-3 supplement on severe menstrual pain states that elevating omega-3 levels has been shown as a far more effective solution. In addition, a study focused solely on dietary omega-3 fatty acids for women suggests that this kind of supplementation could aid in the prevention of menstrual syndrome, as well as postmenopausal hot flushes.

And to add to the litany of menstrual symptoms, many women also tend to experience emotional discomfort, anxiety, and mood swings due to hormonal changes. As well, it is not uncommon for pregnant women, as well as new moms, to experience similar emotions, including postpartum depression.

Therefore, yet another beneficial effect of omega-3s is particularly appealing to women, as it concerns mood. Frequent omega-3 consumption has been linked to a decrease in depressive symptoms, as well as postpartum depression. Furthermore, inadequate nutrition during pregnancy has been shown to lead to a nutrient deficiency which could result in depression. Clearly, a strong relationship between a higher content of omega-3s in breast milk and decreased levels of postpartum depression has been confirmed.

Reproductive Health and Other Health Concerns

Over time, women have been found to deal with more and more reproductive issues, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This particular condition is the most frequently encountered endocrine disorder among women, which has also been associated with other health conditions such as cardiovascular issues and non-alcoholic liver disease, where in both instances supplementing with omega-3s has yielded impressive results.

When considering certain health conditions affecting both men and women, statistics show a higher level of risk as well as greater severity of symptoms for women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Apparently, elevating the omega-3 levels has been shown to ease the symptoms of this painful condition, including joint stiffness and aches.

It is common knowledge that hormonal changes, such as a rise in androgens, affect every aspect of female health, and skin quality and structure are no different. Skin issues, such as hormonal breakouts and acne, represent one of the most complex issues for women, since they affect both physical and mental state, significantly compromising one’s confidence. Luckily, dietary omega-3 fatty acids have been found to alleviate symptoms of skin issues such as acne by promoting skin hydration, managing sebum production, releasing anti-aging properties, and preserving the collagen in the skin.

With so many benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for female health, how can you not make room for an all-natural Vegan Omega-3 supplement on your counter? For more non-GMO, all-natural supplements packed with numerous health benefits, make sure to check out our online store.

Vegan Omega-3 Fatty Acids Sourced from Algae

Article References:

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution. (2019). Retrieved 26 November 2019, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/omega-3-fats/
  2. Anderson, G., Connor, W., & Corliss, J. (1990). Docosahexaenoic Acid Is the Preferred Dietary n-3 Fatty Acid for the Development of the Brain and Retina. Pediatric Research, 27(1), 89-97. doi: 10.1203/00006450-199001000-00023
  3. Bouzianas, D., Bouziana, S., & Hatzitolios, A. (2013). Potential treatment of human nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Nutrition Reviews, 71(11), 753-771. doi: 10.1111/nure.12073
  4. Kruger, M., & Horrobin, D. (1997). Calcium metabolism, osteoporsis and essential fatty acids: A review. Progress In Lipid Research, 36(2-3), 131-151. doi: 10.1016/s0163-7827(97)00007-6
  5. Omega-3 Fish Oil and Pregnancy: Benefits & Proper Dosage. (2019). Retrieved 26 November 2019, from https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/omega-3-fish-oil/
  6. McManus A, Hunt W. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and women?s health. OA Women's Health 2013 Aug 01;1(2):11.
  7. (2019). Retrieved 26 November 2019, from https://www.healthxchange.sg/food-nutrition/supplements/omega-three-reasons-women-need-it
  8. Zafari, M., Behmanesh, F., & Agha Mohammadi, A. (2011). Comparison of the effect of fish oil and ibuprofen on treatment of severe pain in primary dysmenorrhea. Caspian journal of internal medicine, 2(3), 279–282.
  9. Bourre, J. (2007). Dietary omega-3 fatty acids for women. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 61(2-3), 105-112. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2006.09.015
  10. Hormonal acne: Causes and treatment. (2019). Retrieved 26 November 2019, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313084.php
  11. Spencer, E., Ferdowsian, H., & Barnard, N. (2009). Diet and acne: a review of the evidence. International Journal Of Dermatology, 48(4), 339-347. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.04002.x




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