Our Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Heart Attack Prevention Series Main Article provides a comprehensive look at the who, what, when and how of Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Heart Attack Prevention Series

Definition of Fatty acids,omega-3

Fatty acids,omega-3: Any of several polyunsaturated fatty acids found in leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils, and fish such as salmon and mackerel, capable of reducing serum cholesterol levels and having anticoagulant properties. A class of fatty acids found in fish oils, especially from salmon and other cold-water fish, that acts to lower the levels of cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoproteins) in the blood. (LDL cholesterol is the "bad" cholesterol.)

Omega-3 fish oil is therefore thought to be a nutraceutical, a food that provides health benefits. Eating fish has been reported to protect against late age-related macular degeneration, a common eye disease. The maximum benefit appears to be from eating fish once a week.

(In technical terms, omega-3 fatty acids have a double bond three carbons from the methyl moiety.)


Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

Search MedTerms:



Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.


STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!