Your Guide To The Many Benefits Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

what you should know about omega 3s

We’ve been conditioned to steer clear of fats. They are touted as bad. However, not all fats need to be avoided. Enter the Omega 3 fatty acids. This group of fats are not only good, they are a must to consume. Learn about the many benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids by reading on. 

What Are Omega 3’s?

Omega 3 is a fat that is needed, yet your body cannot produce. Which means you have to add through your diet, or by taking supplements. 

There are three main Omega 3’s:

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): This popular form of Omega 3 is paramount to human growth and development. It’s found in nuts, vegetable oils, red meat, and dairy products. It is used to prevent heart attacks, reverse hardening of the blood vessels, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, to name a few of ALA’s health benefits*. 
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): This fatty acid is found in the skin of cold water fish like salmon, tuna, halibut, cod liver oil, and within the blubber of seals and whales. In prescription form, it’s used to lower triglyceride levels. As a supplement, it can prevent adverse reactions from heart attacks, menopause, and depression*. It has other positive health impacts, as well. 
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): This type of fatty acid is consumed through the meat of fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, and cod liver oil. It is used to treat heart disease, and to lower cholesterol*. Algae is also used to make supplements, which is generally used by vegans and vegetarians. 

Every cell in your body, from the top of your head to your toes, relies on Omega 3’s for optimum health.

Read: Your Vitamins Contain Fillers

What Are Omega 3s Good For?

We all want to live our happiest and healthiest life. That’s why so many Americans have been turned on to Omega 3, whether they are taking supplements or getting it through their diet.

Some of the proven health benefits are:

  • It can lower your blood pressure*
  • It can reduce your triglycerides, which is the ‘bad’ part of your cholesterol*
  • It can help to keep the plaque in your arteries from accumulating quickly*
  • It may reduce your chances of a heart attack or stroke*
  • It may lessen the chance of sudden death if you have heart disease*
  • It may help fend off depression and anxiety*
  • It can improve the health of your eyes*
  • It can improve the brain health of unborn babies*
  • It may reduce ADHD symptoms in children*
  • It may fight inflammation in your bones and joints*
  • It helps you control autoimmune diseases*
  • It can help to improve many types of mental conditions*
  • It may help against the onset of Alzheimer’s, as well as age-related mental decline*
  • It may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer*

What Foods Are Rich In Omega 3s?

As with any other nutrients, it’s always best to get your Omega 3’s through your diet. This is fairly easy to accomplish since so many popular food options are loaded with these fatty acids. 

Foods rich in Omega 3’s:

  • Cold water fish and seafood
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds and Flaxseed oil
  • Chia seeds
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Fortified dairy products such as eggs, yogurt, and milk
  • Some brands of juice
  • Soy milk and soy beverages
  • Some infant formulas

Side Effects Of Too Much Omega 3

Generally, Omega 3’s are safe to take as prescribed. High doses need to be monitored by your doctor because of the possibility of medication interactions, bleeding problems, and potential immune function issues. 

Even small doses of Omega 3s can cause unpleasant, but harmless side effects such as:

  • Fish taste in your mouth
  • Stomach upset
  • Bad breath
  • Smelly perspiration
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn

Some of those side effects may decrease over time. Keep in mind, experts have not established recommended amounts of Omega 3’s, aside from ALA. Proper dosing is based on age and biological gender. It is highly suggested that you stay within the following range.

Recommended dosing for ALA Omega 3’s ONLY

  • Birth to 12 months: .5 grams
  • Age 1-3 years: .7 grams
  • Age 4-8 years: .9 grams
  • Boys 9-13 years: 1.2 grams
  • Girls 9-13 years: 1.0 grams
  • Boys 14-18 years: 1.6 grams
  • Girls 14-18 years: 1.1 grams
  • Men: 1.6 grams
  • Women: 1.1 grams
  • Pregnant Females: 1.4 grams 
  • Nursing Females: 1.3 grams

Read: What To Look For In A Prenatal Vitamin

Do Omega 3s Interact With Medications?

Drug interactions with Omega 3’s are definitely possible depending on what you’re taking. If you are on any type of anticoagulant, then avoid high doses of Omega 3’s unless prescribed and monitored by your medical team.* 

Taking Omega 3’s, if you are on a blood sugar medication, can cause problems with your sugar levels. 

There are some medications, such as statins, NSAID’s, and topical steroids, when taken with Omega 3’s, may work more effectively and reduce side effects associated with those medications. 

Related reading:

Water Soluble Vs. Fat Soluble Vitamins

FDA Label Changes

*Disclaimer: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that you consult with a health care professional before using any dietary supplement. Many supplements contain ingredients that have strong biological effects, and such products may not be safe in all people.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease

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