Vitamins and Minerals 6 MIN READ 77 VIEWS September 14, 2021

Omega-3 Fatty Acids : Benefits, Uses, Risks & Dosage

Omega 3
What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Benefits Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Risks
Omega-3 Dosage Guidelines
Omega-3 Dosage For Specific Health Conditions
Omega-3 Supplement Dosage
Excess Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Be Harmful
A Word From Healthkart 

Omega-3 fatty acid have a slew of health advantages. Consuming fatty fish at least 2 times a week is the ideal way to gain the benefits, but if you don’t consume fatty fish much, you might consider taking supplements. Therefore, make sure your supplement has adequate amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They’re found in fatty fish and algae, and they’re the most beneficial omega-3 fats.

Omega-3 can also be found in seeds and nuts, such as flax seeds and walnuts. These items include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can be turned to EPA and DHA in your body in tiny amounts .

What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Foods and nutritional supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids. They aid in the proper functioning of the membranes that enclose all of the body’s cells.

Omega-3 fatty acids are divided into three categories:

  • alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
  • eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

Cold-water fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, herring, and sardines are high in DHA and EPA.

Small quantities of ALA can be converted into DHA and EPA by the human body. Most people in the United States receive sufficient ALA in their diet, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). Experts are still debating how much DHA and EPA a person requires.

Benefits Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

In addition to the basic upkeep of cells in the body, preliminary research has connected omega-3 fatty acids to a variety of other health advantages.

However, much of the research demonstrating these linkages is either in its initial stages or depends on animal tests.

In general, it is unclear to what level omega-3 fatty acids aid a person further than the fundamental upkeep of their body’s cells unless experts perform more research.

According to the ODS, research has shown that persons who consume fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, have a reduced chance of developing a variety of long-term ailments than those that don’t eat fish.

However, it is unclear if this is due to the omega-3 fatty acids found in the fish or something else. Furthermore, if it’s due to the omega-3s found in fish, it’s unclear if people who take omega-3 supplements will reap the same advantages.

May Reduce Inflammation

According to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, DHA and EPA help to reduce inflammation, which has been linked to a variety of cardiovascular diseases.

Although similar effects were seen in animal investigations, human clinical trials were less clear.

Consuming fish oil supplements appeared to help those with rheumatoid arthritis, but there was no obvious effect for people having inflammatory bowel disease or asthma.

May Reduce The Risk Of Heart Attack

According to the ODS, there is some proof that consuming omega-3 supplements can help people avoid heart attacks. Other trials, however, have not found a link between omega-3 supplementation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in general, according to the ODS.

According to a review article published in the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, this is a contentious field of research that is currently being debated.

Omega-3s have been demonstrated to help reduce triglyceride levels, according to the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Triglycerides are fats, and having too much of them puts a person at risk for cardiovascular disease.

The NCCIH notes that drugs containing omega-3s and other substances have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat excessive triglyceride levels, whereas omega-3 supplements really haven’t.

May Help Combat Obesity

According to a paper published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, human research has yet to establish that omega-3 supplementation can assist people to lose weight. They may, however, be able to assist a person in avoiding regaining weight, although it is unclear how they will do so.

May Contribute To Infant Health

The NCCIH points to research that found that children whose mothers took a high-dose fish oil supplement had a lower risk of developing asthma than children whose moms took a placebo. Other studies, however, dispute this finding, according to the NCCIH.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Risks

Nausea and headaches are two common side effects of omega-3 supplementation.

Omega-3 supplement side effects, according to the NCCIH, are usually minor and also include:

  • Bad Breath
  • Sweat with a foul odor
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

If a person is using anticoagulants, which are medications that prevent blood clots from forming, using high amounts of omega-3 supplements may cause bleeding difficulties, according to the ODS.

Omega-3 Dosage Guidelines

Expert opinions have been provided by several major health organisations, however, they differ significantly.

For healthy people, most of these organizations suggest a daily dose of 250–500 mg of mixed EPA and DHA .

Higher doses, on the other hand, are frequently suggested for certain health issues.

Alpha-linolenic acid has a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 1.6 grams a day for males and 1.1 grams a day for females.

Omega-3 Dosage For Specific Health Conditions

Omega-3 supplements have been demonstrated to help with the following health issues.

Heart Disease

One 3.5-year trial monitored 11,000 participants who administered an 850-mg daily dosage of mixed EPA and DHA. They had a 25% decrease in heart attacks and a 45 percent decrease in unexpected death .

Patients with coronary heart disease should consume 1,000 mg of mixed EPA and DHA every day, while those with excessive triglycerides should take 2,000–4,000 mg daily, according to the American Heart Association and other organisations .

However, multiple comprehensive reviews have shown that omega-3 fatty acids have no positive benefits on heart disease .

Depression and Anxiety

Large doses of omega-3, ranging from 200–2,200 mg per day, have been shown in studies to lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety.

When it comes to mood and mental illnesses, a supplement with more EPA than DHA may be the best option.

Cancer

Breast, prostate, and colon cancers have all been related to high consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids .

Correlation, on the other hand, isn’t always the same as causation. Controlled research is needed to determine if omega-3 fatty acid consumption influences cancer risk.

For Children & Pregnant Women

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, are essential before, during, and after pregnancy, according to research.

Almost all official standards advocate taking 200 mg of DHA in addition to the regular dose during pregnancy or breastfeeding .

Many international and national organisations have issued recommendations for newborns and kids, varying from 50 to 100 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day.

Omega-3 Supplement Dosage

The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are found in omega-3 supplements, especially fish oil.

It’s crucial to check the label of your omega-3 supplement to see how much EPA and DHA it has.

The amounts fluctuate, and the labeling can be difficult to decipher. For example, a product may have 1,000 mg of fish oil but significantly lower quantities of these two fats.

To get the necessary quantity of EPA and DHA, you may need as many as eight capsules, based on the content of EPA and DHA in dosing.

Excess Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Be Harmful

Omega-3 supplements including EPA and DHA, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are healthy if the dosage does not exceed 3,000 mg a day.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), on the other hand, states that supplements containing up to 5,000 mg a day are appropriate.

There are numerous explanations for these warnings. Omega-3s, for example, might induce heavy bleeding or blood-thinning in some patients.

As a result, several organisations advise people who are about to have surgery to discontinue taking omega-3 supplements 1–2 weeks before the procedure.

The second reason is vitamin A deficiency. In high doses, this vitamin can be harmful, and certain omega-3 supplements, such as cod liver oil, contain a lot of it.

Lastly, there has never been any evidence that taking over 5,000 mg of omega-3s provides any further benefits, thus the risk is not worthwhile.

A Word From Healthkart 

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of a person’s diet since they help to maintain the general health of all bodily cells. The majority of people consume sufficient omega-3 fatty acids in their meals to meet this requirement.

Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. There is strong evidence that eating more fish can significantly curb a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. However, clear evidence that consuming omega-3 supplements offers similar benefits has yet to be discovered.

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