omega-3 fatty acid

[oh-mee-guh-three, oh-mey-, oh-meg-uh-]


a polyunsaturated fatty acid, essential for normal retinal function, that influences various metabolic pathways, resulting in lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels, inhibited platelet clotting, and reduced inflammatory and immune reactions.

Nearby words

  1. omdurman,
  2. omega,
  3. omega baryon,
  4. omega meson,
  5. omega minus,
  6. omega-c baryon,
  7. omega-minus particle,
  8. omega-oxidation theory,
  9. omelet,
  10. omelette

Origin of omega-3 fatty acid

so named because its 1st double bond occurs after the 3rd carbon atom counting from the methyl or omega end of the molecule

Also called n-3 fatty acid. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for omega-3 fatty acid

omega-3 fatty acid


an unsaturated fatty acid that occurs naturally in fish oil and is valuable in reducing blood-cholesterol levels
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for omega-3 fatty acid

omega-3 fatty acid


Any of various polyunsaturated fatty acids that are found primarily in fish, fish oils, vegetable oils, and leafy green vegetables, and that seem to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for omega-3 fatty acid

omega-3 fatty acid

Any of several polyunsaturated fatty acids found in leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils, and cold-water fish such as salmon and mackerel. These acids are capable of reducing serum cholesterol levels and have anticoagulant properties. Omega-3 fatty acids are chemically characterized by having a double bond three carbon atoms away from one end of their carbon chain.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.