Omega 3: About, Benefits, Uses, Dosage and recommendations
You must have heard of Omega-3 fatty acids as a super nutrient group essential for good health. However, do you know what exactly is Omega-3? How it works in the body, and why the body needs it? How to ensure you get enough of it? How to ensure you don’t overdose on it?
We bring you a simple, easy-to-grasp article that gives you a good overview of Omega-3 as a nutrient group and a supplement.
What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The food we eat has fat in it. All fats are made up of smaller units called fatty acids. There are two types of fatty acids – essential (the body can’t make these) and non-essential (the body can make these). Omega-3s are an essential fatty acid group that the body needs for several biochemical processes but cannot make on its own.
The body needs Omega-3s to regulate its inflammatory response and blood clotting mechanisms. Healthy development and functioning of eyes and brains also need Omega-3s.
There are 11 types of Omega-3 fatty acids that are collectively called Omega-3s. Of these, three types - eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) are the most important ones as these are bioavailable forms i.e. the body can absorb and use in ways other than just for energy.
Actually, the body can use only EPA and DHA Omega-3s. However, the body can convert ALA into DHA/EPA and then utilize it.
Natural Foods Rich in Omega-3
As we mentioned that there are three key types of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Two of these EPA and DHA are found in seafood like algae, fatty fish such as salmon, trout, eel, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel, and fish/ krill oils. For this reason; EPA and DHA are also called marine Omega-3s.
ALA on the other hand is found in plant based foods such as flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, canola oil, and chia seeds.
EPA and DHA are highly bioavailable forms of Omega-3s i.e. the body can absorb these fast and put to work. AHA is much less bioavailable as not all of it gets converted to EPA/DHA to be useful for body’s biochemical functioning.
Health benefits and uses of Omega-3
Omega-3s support multiple areas of health. Here is a brief look:
Benefits for heart
Omega-3s help lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in blood. Actually, Omega-3s also help lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) count. Do note that as both high triglyceride and cholesterol counts are linked to higher chances of heart attack, Omega-3s can help protect from coronary disease.
Benefits for immunity
The body uses Omega-3s to regulate its inflammatory response. That’s why Omega-3s consumption may help reduce joint pains, especially those associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Infant health benefits
In infants, consumption of Omega-3s helps support visual (sight) and neurological (brain and nerves) development.
Neurological health benefits
Omega-3s are vital for healthy functioning of brain and nerves. As these also support body’s blood clotting mechanism, these help protect from brain strokes happening due to blood clotting/vessel burst.
Note: Low amount of Omega-3s are also linked to depression, dementia, memory loss, pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), breast cancer, and many inflammatory diseases.
Why take Omega-3 as a supplement
Any nutrient is best taken in its natural form, as part of regular diet. However, how does one ensure that you are getting sufficient amounts of Omega-3s?
You can eat lots of fish, of course, but most fishing is now done in polluted and contaminated waters rich in heavy metals such as mercury. So, if you take too much fish, it can have adverse effects.
If you are a vegetarian depending on seeds and nuts for your Omega-3 requirement, do note that most of AHA doesn’t get converted to EPA and DHA. Also, nuts and seeds are calorie dense foods that can upset your diet.
Then there is another factor. EPA and DHA work best when taken in a ratio of 3:2 i.e. for every 3 molecules of EPA, you should be consuming 2 molecules of DHA
So how do you get the correct amount of Omega-3s in the right proportion? The answer is by taking a good quality omega3 supplement.
Potential side effects of Omega-3
It is always good to consult your healthcare professional before starting on any supplement.
That said, Omega-3 supplements are fairly safe. Excessive intake of Omega-3s can at the most cause indigestion and gas in most people. To minimize these, we advise you to consume these with fatty meals along with plenty of water.
However, as Omega-3s are linked to blood clotting mechanism, if you have any kind of bleeding disorder, or if you are on any blood thinning medicines, you must check with your doctor on whether or not you should start on Omega-3 capsules.
Omega-3s are a vital nutrient for optimal health. These are essential fatty acids that the body cannot make on its own but needs for effective immunity, brain and eye functions, anti-inflammatory response, and several other biochemical processes. Omega-3s have to be consumed from external sources. Seafood, fatty fish, alga and seeds and nuts are some good sources of Omega-3s. But if your diet lacks sufficient Omega-3 sources, you can also take a good quality supplement for the same.
We recommend WOW Life Science Omega-3 Capsules
WOW Life Science Omega-3 Capsules offer pure and healthy Omega-3s in easy to consume of soft gel capsules. Each capsule contains 100 mg of premium, bio-available Omega-3 essential fatty acids – 350 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 550 mg eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and 100 mg other Omega-3s fatty acids. This is an optimized dosage for maximum health benefits. The recommended consumption is 2 capsules a day – one in morning, one in evening – at mealtimes with water. We do remind you again that before starting on any supplement, it is a good idea to read contraindications and consult your healthcare professional.
What are Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids – a group of about 11 types – are a “good” type of fat that have numerous health benefits. These are called ‘essential fatty acids’ because the body cannot make these on its own but requires for various physiological processes including cardiac and brain function and inflammatory response. These fatty acids also help lower the risk of heart disease, arthritis, depression and dementia.
What are EPA and DHA? What’s special about them?
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of about 11 fatty acid types. Two of these are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA). EPA and DHA are the most important because the body first converts any other type of Omega-3 fatty acids to either EPA or DHA and then uses them to carry out vital tasks. It has been conclusively proven through multiple clinical researches that that a supplement with 3:2 EPA: DHA ratio is most effectively absorbed and utilized by the body.
Why should one opt for an Omega-3 Supplement?
Our bodies need Omega-3 fatty acids for several vital functions but cannot make these. They can only absorb Omega-3s from food or supplements we consume. Omega-3s are found mostly in fish, marine alga and a few plant seeds. However, our modern diets are rarely able to provide the required quantity in a bioavailable form. A quality supplement like WOW Life Science Omega-3 fulfills body’s Omega-3 needs by providing best quality and highly bioavailable nutrition.
Are there any negative effects of taking this supplement?
WOW Life Science Omega-3 is a fairly safe dietary supplement. However, these can cause fishy burps. To minimize these fishy burps, we advise you to consume these with fatty meals along with plenty of water. Also, as a general precaution, if you are pregnant or nursing or under 18 or on prescription medicines, please consult your healthcare professional before use.
Are there any contraindications for taking an Omega-3 supplement?
Yes, those with blood disorders or taking blood thinning medicine should first check with their doctor before starting on Omega-3.
Is WOW Life Science Omega-3 suitable for vegans and vegetarians?
No, it is not suitable for vegans and vegetarians. The capsule is soft gel made from gelatin, an animal-origin substance. The contents are derived from fish oil, again non-vegetarian.