All You Need to Know About How Much Omega 3 to Take
For quite a while now, we’ve all been told that we should taking Omega 3 supplements but it can be confusing to know how much Omega 3 to take.
What is Omega 3?
Omega 3 is a fatty acid which is vital for our wellbeing. A person with an Omega 3 deficiency will suffer from fatigue, dry skin, poor memory, mood swings and poor circulation. Our bodies need the stuff but they can’t produce it.
Omega 3 is found in fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout and also in plant oils such as flax seed, canola and soybeans. It is found in lesser amounts in some vegetables like spinach, broccoli and cauliflower.
The Reasons Why Omega 3 Supplements are Better Than Eating Lots of Fish
Vegetarians, and people who don’t like seafood, often struggle to obtain enough Omega 3 in their diets because plants are not as rich in Omega 3 as fish is.
In addition to this, plants usually only contain ALA type Omega 3 which needs to be converted to DHA and EPA type, more commonly found in fish.
The problem with not consuming fish is that the ALA to DHA/EPA conversion rate is very slow within the body. The ratio of DHA to EPA found in converted ALA is also usually off-balance and not as beneficial to the body.
Omega 3 supplements are much more effective for people who don’t like to eat fish. Even if you do like fish, Omega 3 supplements are safer than eating large amounts of fish due to the risk of mercury poisoning.
The Benefits of Taking Omega 3
Omega 3 has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower triglycerides, lower bad cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
Scientists are currently studying the effects of Omega 3 on many other illnesses as patients have claimed relief from their symptoms for ailments such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Bipolar Disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Cystic Fibrosis
What to Look for When Buying Omega 3 Supplements
When you are buying Omega 3 supplements, make sure you look for a reputable brand which can prove that their products do not contain dangerous levels of mercury and other heavy metals.
The amount of oil in the supplement is not as important as the amount of DHA and EPA. Experts recommend a ratio of 2:3. This can be two parts DHA to three parts EPA or vice versa. Scientists are not sure why this ratio works best but most agree that this is the most beneficial ratio.
Vegetarians should look for fish-free Omega 3 supplements which contain flax seed oil, soybean oil, canola oil or olive oil. These are rich in EPA and should be taken in conjunction with DHA rich algae oil. Again, try to keep the 2:3 ratio when taking these two types of supplements.
How Much Omega 3 You Should Take
Healthy adults can take up to one gram of Omega 3 daily whereas adults with heart disease or high blood pressure should take between 1 and 3 grams daily. Be careful when taking high doses of Omega 3 as it can cause blood thinning and excessive bleeding.
Always consult your doctor before taking high doses of Omega 3, especially if you are already taking blood thinners.
Omega 3 is vital for your health and wellbeing. The benefits are not so much dependent on how much Omega 3 you take as the quality of the supplement that you take. Remember to look for DHA and EPA rich supplements which contain a ratio of 2:3 and only ever buy products from brands that you trust.