Accumulating evidence in both humans and animal models clearly indicates that a group of very-long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, the n-3 fatty acids (or omega-3), have distinct and important bioactive properties compared with other groups of fatty acids. n-3 Fatty acids are known to reduce many risk factors associated with several diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer. The mechanisms whereby n-3 fatty acids affect gene expression are complex and involve multiple processes. As examples, n-3 fatty acids regulate 2 groups of transcription factors, such as sterol-regulatory-element binding proteins and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, that are critical for modulating the expression of genes controlling both systemic and tissue-specific lipid homeostasis. Modulation of specific genes by n-3 fatty acids and cross-talk between these genes are responsible for many effects of n-3 fatty acids.