Omega-3 fatty acid supplements (also called fish oil) have received a lot of publicity over the past several years. They have been found to have a positive effect on prevention of many health conditions, including but not limited to:
- heart disease
- lower cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- type II diabetes
- nervous system function
- gastrointestinal disorders
WHO SHOULD TAKE OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENTS?
Anyone who doesn't eat at least 2 meals of oily fish (salmon, tuna, trout, cod, and others) per week and/or has a high risk for the above conditions should take an omega-3 supplement. Having a high risk means you have a family history of the above conditions, you have had them yourself, or you are developing them. To find out if these conditions are beginning to affect you, have blood work done, specifically to find your C-Reactive Protein levels and your Omga-3 levels.
HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO TAKE?
For people with a low risk or history of these conditions who eat fish weekly, 0-1 grams/day should be suffecient. For those that don't eat fish often, they should take 1 gram/day.
People with a high risk or history of these conditions who eat fish weekly should take 1-3 grams/day. Those who do not eat fish often should take 2-4 grams/day.
WHAT BRAND SHOULD I BUY?
- Buy a high quality brand, purified product with an approximate DHA:EPA ratio of 2:3 for an anti-inflammatory effect, and a 3:2 ratio for cognitive funtion support.
- Hemophiliacs and people taking blood thinners should consult their physician prior to taking omega-3 supplements.
- Flax seed oil is an option for vegetarians and people who are allergic to shellfish.
- Flax seed oil has been shown to have similar benefits to fish oil, but in most studies is not quite as effective.
- We recommend fish oil over flax seed oil to those whose bodies can tolerate it.