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Omega-3 Fatty Acid: How Does This Affect My Appearance? - CAPT. Hibbeln, M.D.

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CAPT. Hibbeln, M.D., describes how an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency can negatively affect your appearance.

CAPT. Hibbeln, M.D.:
Let’s talk about how deficiencies of omega-3 fatty acids can affect your hair, skin, acne and the ability to get kids, especially teenagers to eat omega-3 fatty acids.

We know many of the biological mechanisms whereby a deficiency or inadequate intakes of omega-3s affect hair growth and skin tone and elasticity and wound healing.

And I can almost sometimes spot people who are omega-3 fatty acid deficient, especially if they are trying to be healthy and eating a vegetarian diet but are getting inadequate intakes of omega-3 fatty acids.

You know, there’s a great variety of vegetarian diets, some might call French fry vegetarians, who simply avoid meat and avoid flesh probably mostly because they are squeamish, and they are inadvertently doing health damage.

There’s other very healthy vegetarian diets, as well, and it’s a challenge for vegetarians to get adequate omega-3 status.

One of the ways, incidentally, that the English solved this is by separating out vegans or totally avoiding fish to vegetarians who still eat fish, which is morally acceptable in most major religions and has been throughout time to eat fish.

At any rate, the omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies can really affect skin and hair and many young teenage girls when they restore their omega-3 status find that their acne goes away and find that their hair starts to glow better and their skin gets better.

So that’s a very important role for young women, specially, but women of all ages who simply wish to look more healthful and beautiful.

And also we think that we know that omega-3 fatty acids restore dopamine function in the brain and restore reward and happiness.

And so I think that a secondary function is that it helps you smile better which also is a nice piece.

About CAPT. Joseph R. Hibbeln, M.D.:
Joseph R. Hibbeln, M.D., is a Captain in the United States Public Health Service. He is the acting chief on the Section of Nutritional Neurosciences at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. CAPT. Hibbeln is a psychiatrist, a lipid biochemist, and an epidemiologist.

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