Health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids

Nurs Stand. 2004 Aug;18(48):38-42. doi: 10.7748/ns2004.


Evidence suggests that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids play an integral role in cell membrane function and development of the brain and eyes. Optimising intake appears to confer many benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and possibly a reduced likelihood of behavioural problems, depression and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Although there is some disagreement on what level of intake is optimal, British diets are low in omega-3 fatty acids. Good sources include oily fish and novel sources include fortified eggs and oils derived from microalgae.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3*
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care
  • United Kingdom


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3