Monthly Archives: June 2007

Ask the expert: Omega-3 fatty acids

The Expert: Dr. Frank Sacks


Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health

1. What are omega-3 fatty acids, and why should I make sure to include them in my diet?

Omega-3 fatty acids (also known as n-3 fatty acids) are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health. We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain, and since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with many health benefits, including protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. New studies are identifying potential benefits for a wide range of conditions including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

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