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These days, omega-3 fatty acids are in the news a lot. You might think that those involved in “holistic” health pursuits would be the ones touting these amazing little gems, but in fact, the mainstream medical profession, too, has taken note.
In fact, our diets are woefully inadequate when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids. We need to consume omega-3 fatty acids daily for best health. Most experts say that we need about 2 g a day. You may even be advised to take more than that if you suffer from depression or other ailments that omega-3 fatty acids can help.
It wasn’t always true that we were deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, but our poor diets in recent years have given us an abundance of omega-6 fatty acids (which we need as well, just in the proper amounts) in the form of such things as corn oil, while our consumption of omega-3 fatty acids has dropped off to almost nothing.
What health conditions can omega-3 fatty acids possibly help? The list is long. Omega-3 fatty acids may be good for your heart and may also ease the pain in your aching joints. They also may help improve your cholesterol profile, lower triglycerides, and may also help lower blood pressure and even help improve your memory and ease depression. This is because omega-3 fatty acids (especially those that come from fish) are high in DHA, docosahexaenoic acid. It’s been shown that the brain prefers DHA over other types of omega-3 fatty acids. This may be beneficial to brain health especially, and a deficiency may contribute to learning problems. DHA is absolutely essential for infants’ proper brain development. In adults, DHA is necessary for proper brain function. And in fact, it may even forestall or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Now, it should be noted that there are many foods other than fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, soybeans, and flax seed oil. However, with these foods, the body must convert alpha linoleic acid (ALA) into those omega-3 fatty acids naturally already present in fish, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Because of the conversion process, benefits are not as quick. These foods also contain lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids than fish do.
Recently, mercury levels found in fish have caused people to be concerned about eating fish. This is a legitimate fear, but taking fish oil capsules can address this concern while you still get an adequate dosing of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a good solution if you don’t like fish but want the benefits of EPA and DHA in your diet. Simply taking two 1000 mg capsules a day is an adequate dose for most people but always discuss this with your doctor. Your health practitioner may prescribe more if you suffer from depression or other ailments. It should also be noted that fish oil may be contraindicated in certain cases, such as if you are on blood thinners. Fish oils can thin the blood, which is a healthy function for most people but not all. Again, your health care practitioner will know whether you should take fish oils and how much you should take.
Unless otherwise contraindicated, though, taking fish oils especially in the form of fish oil capsules is an easy way to increase your omega-3 fatty acid consumption and improve overall health.
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.
Lori Matthews studies health, nutrition and wellness. She enjoys writing articles on health for both people and pets. Please visit fish oil omega 3 supplements for more information.