Essential fatty acids are natural, healthy fats the body cannot make on its own — hence the term “essential”. These are called Omega 3 fats and Omega 6 fats. Omega 3 fats are things like fish, fish oil, olive oil, avocado, seeds and green vegetables. Recent research studies are finding these fats benefit the eyes, joints, heart, lungs, immunity and more.
Omega 6 fats include vegetable oils like safflower oil and corn oil, as well as mayonnaise, fried foods, dairy and beef. Many people eat more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3’s and when the balance between the fats becomes imbalanced, many health problems can occur – particularly high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
One study of people with dry eyes was recently published in the journal “Cornea”. They were given a daily dose of fish oil and flax oil. At the end of the 90-day study, 70% of the participants with dry eye had no symptoms and also had an increase in tear production and volume.
In the journal “Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,” researchers analyzed several controlled trials of fish oil use for arthritis. The trials showed a reduction in tender joint counts and a decreased use of anti-inflammatory drugs with fish oil supplementation. An important research note was that anti-inflammatory drugs can adversely affect the heart. Fish oil is known to have a direct, positive effect on the heart.
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