Be sure to buy omega-3
fatty acid supplements made by established companies who certify that their
products are free of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium.
Dosing for fish oil
supplements should be based on the amount of EPA and DHA in the product, not
on the total amount of fish oil. Supplements vary in the amounts and ratios
of EPA and DHA. A common amount of omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil capsules
is 0.18 grams (180 mg) of EPA and 0.12 grams (120 mg) of DHA. Five grams of
fish oil contains approximately 0.17 - 0.56 grams (170 -560 mg) of EPA and
0.072 - 0.31 grams (72 - 310 mg) of DHA. Different types of fish contain
variable amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, and different types of nuts or oil
contain variable amounts of a-linolenic acid. Fish oils contain
approximately 9 calories per gram of oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids
should be used cautiously by people who bruise easily, have a bleeding
disorder, or take blood-thinning medications, including warfarin (Coumadin)
or clopidogrel (Plavix), because excessive amounts of omega-3 fatty acids
may lead to bleeding. In fact, people who eat more than three grams of
omega-3 fatty acids per day (equivalent to 3 servings of fish per day) may
be at an increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke, a potentially fatal
condition in which an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures.
Fish oil can cause
flatulence, bloating, belching, and diarrhea. Time-release preparations may
reduce these side effects, however.
Omega 3 health benefits
are for just about every system in the body. The most important omega 3
health benefit is its anti inflammatory properties. Some scientists believe
that inflammation is the cause of most of our western diet health issues.
This seems to come from too much omega-6 and not enough omega 3.
We generally consume low levels of omega 3s, a fat primarily found in Omega
3 Sources. Meanwhile, our intake of omega-6 is too high. This fat is common
in corn, soy, sunflower, margarine and other oils rich in linoleic acid.
But always research into
the correct supplements and ask your doctor about them.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug
Administration. The products and information contained herein are not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases
or medical problems. This is not intended to replace your
doctor's recommendations. The information is provided for educational
purposes only. Nutritional benefits may vary from one person to another.