May help to protect and strengthen the cardiovascular system.*
May help to reverse and/or prevent high blood pressure.*
May reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.*
May help reduce total cholesterol, raise HDL's, lower LDL's and triglycerides.*
May decrease pain and inflammation throughout your body.*
May help prevent prostate, breast and colon cancer.*
May help to reverse and prevent depression, ADD/ADHD, Manic/Depression (Bipolar Disorder) and Schizophrenia.*
May help reduce or prevent PMS and other menstrual irregularities.*
May help to prevent macular degeneration.*
May help with certain skin conditions such as acne and photodermatitis.*
May help reduce the incidence of Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia.*.
Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as omega 6 fatty acids, are known as essential fatty acids , which means that they are essential to human health. Essential fatty acids must be obtained by dietary means because the human body lacks the capacity to create them on its own. EFA s enter our bodies primarily in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA), Omega 3 & 6 respectfully. EPA, DHA (omega 3) and GLA gamma linolenic acid (omega 6) are the prime, health promoting, EFA metabolites from the above forms. Wild harvested fish and certain plant seed oils are our main natural sources for these EFA s, with supplements becoming our more reliable source, with each passing day. Note: With our modern food production methods in full force, today s beef, milk, salmon, poultry, eggs and grain contain but sheer traces, if that, of omega 3 fatty acids. I am a true believer that supplements are not only beneficial but MANDATORY for our survival and quality of life. At one time, not so long ago, cancer, heart disease, degenerative disease, Alzheimer s, Parkinson s, autoimmune disease, ADD/ADHD and may other ailments (that we think are so common and INEVITABLE) were practically NON-EXISTENT. Why? We ate real foods that contained dis-ease preventing and life sustaining EFA s, vitamins and minerals.
There are three important omega-3 fatty acids in human nutrition and they are: alpha linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The most important omega 3 fatty acid is ALA. Flax Seed (aka linseed) (Linum usitatissimum) and its oil are perhaps the most widely available botanical sources of this omega-3 and are one of the richest sources of ALA in nature. Flaxseed oil is 55% ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) by volume  and contains approximately three times as much omega-3 as omega-6. Once eaten ALA is converted by the body, via enzyme reaction, to EPA and DHA. To make things simple, ALA is like the mother with EPA and DHA being fraternal twins. The three possess similar traits but each also possesses unique and distinctive qualities.
I wish it was as simple as just having to have enough ALA in our diet, but with today s pro inflammatory diet and lifestyle we need the insurance that, taking extra, EPA and DHA provides. EPA is needed to make potent anti-inflammatory substances that are used throughout the body. DHA is required for brain development, brain function, vision, and sperm formation, and has heart-protective and anti-inflammatory functions as well. DHA is especially important for women during pregnancy and while breast-feeding, to build the child's nerves, brain, and vision (retina).
On September 8, 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave "qualified health claim" status to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids, stating that "supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease."
Omega-6 fatty acids possess both the possibility to heal as well as harm. Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) from the borage seed is a precursor to a substance known a PGE1. PGE1 favorably affects the immune system, blood vessels and is anti-inflammatory. Arachidonic acid (AA), in excess, is the bad omega-6 fatty acid. AA is associated with a variety of inflammation-related diseases (anything with an itis at the end of the word).
Generally speaking the beneficial omega-6 fatty acids come from vegetable sources and the harmful ones come from animal sources such as meat. Note: Again generally speaking, vegetarians infrequently develop conditions ending in itis , where as meat and potato eaters get the loins share of itis conditions.
Omega-9 fatty acids, unlike omega s 3 and 6, are not classed as an essential fatty acid (EFA) because they can be created by the human body. Oleic acid occurs naturally in greater quantities than any other fatty acid. Studies have shown that high concentrations of oleic acid can lower blood levels of cholesterol. Another study done by Dr Javier Menendez, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, found that oleic acid blocks the action of a cancer-causing oncogene called HER-2/neu which is found in about 30 percent of breast cancer patients and it also improved the effectiveness of the breast cancer drug Herceptin. Oleic acid is most abundant in olives and olive oil but it is also present in the cocoa butter of chocolate.
Seed Oil Fatty Acids - SOFA Database Retrieval
US Food and Drug Administration (September 8, 2004). FDA Announces Qualified Health Claims for Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Press release.