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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.)

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=13978
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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