Omega-3 refers to a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids and is sometimes written as n-3 or w-3. This family includes alpha- linolenic acid, EPA, and DHA. Alpha-linolenic acid is a precursor of EPA and DHA. Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of our diet and can be found in foods like oil-rich fish, fish oil, nuts, plus fortified foods like eggs, bread and fruit juices.
Omega-3s are essential in maintaining overall health. They are found in every cell in your body and help regulate biological functions, including those of the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. In fact, the American Heart Association now recommends all adults eat a variety of fish, particularly oily fish, at least twice a week to maintain healthy levels of Omega-3.
Omega-3s play an important role in eye health
It is also now thought that Omega-3 play an important role in eye health. DHA is naturally concentrated in the retina of the eye (the layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and receives the image formed by the lens) and is thought to promote healthy retinal function. In fact, results of several studies, including one published in the February 2001 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) indicate that eating larger amounts of fish or Omega-3s may help promote macular health1. Studies also show that Omega-3s can help reduce dry eye syndrome, a chronic eye disease caused by a decrease in tear production or increase in tear evaporation.