Omega 3 Health Benefits, Supplement Sources and Side Effects24 Mar 2023
Omega 3s are a family of polyunsaturated fats and are important for the overall health of your body. Your body does not produce Omega 3 naturally, and so has to be obtained from foods or supplements. These essential fatty acids are nutrients that support the growth and well-being of your body. Omega 3s are vital for the composition of every cell wall you have. The various Omega 3 health benefits include supporting the healthy functioning of your immune system, heart, blood vessels, and lungs. They are also a powerful energy source.
Among the three fatty acids, the most important ones are EPA and DHA are primarily present in some fish. Another Omega -3 fatty acid called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) can be derived from plant sources like nuts and seeds. The levels of the fatty acid DHA are high in the brain, sperm, and retinal cells.
Omega 3 Health Benefits
Omega 3 fatty acids are incredibly important for various functions of your body. Considering the amazing omega 3 health benefits, it is recommended to include fish rich in unsaturated fats in your diet at least twice a week. The various Omega 3 health benefits are given below:
#1. Helps Fight Depression And Anxiety
One of the most prevalent mental illnesses in the world is depression. Some of the symptoms of depression are sluggishness, sadness, and a general lack of interest in life. Another common mental disorder is anxiety and the common characteristics of this disorder are constant worry and nervousness. Studies have shown that people who consume omega 3 either through food sources or supplements are less likely to get into depression. Omega 3 health benefits include reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The three fatty acids that help fight depression and anxiety are EPA, DHA, and ALA. Studies have shown that EPA is the most effective in combating depression and just as effective at treating depression as a common antidepressant medication.
#2. Supports Eye Health
DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, plays a significant structural role in the retina of your eye
If you don't consume enough DHA, you could experience vision issues. An interesting fact is that getting enough omega-3 is associated with a lower risk of macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness and permanent eye damage worldwide.
#3. Reduces The Risk Of Heart Diseases
The major causes of death worldwide are heart attacks and strokes. Studies conducted decades ago observed that fish eaters were less prone to heart attacks and strokes. Subsequently, it was inferred that it was due to the consumption of omega-3s available in fish. Since then, heart health has been associated with omega 3 health benefits.
Some of the omega 3 health benefits linked to heart health include reduction in triglycerides and blood pressure levels, increase in ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels, and prevention of plaque buildup that hardens arteries.
Though omega 3 helps in reducing the risk of heart diseases, there is evidence lacking to establish the benefit of omega 3 supplements in preventing heart attack or stroke.
#4. Keeps metabolic syndrome at bay
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of physiological and biochemical abnormalities like fluctuation in blood pressure levels, a spike in triglycerides and a decline in good cholesterol, insulin resistance, and obesity. It is a cause of concern as these abnormalities can lead to several other serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. One of the most important omega 3 health benefits is keeping this metabolic syndrome at bay.
#5. Combats Auto-immune Diseases
Auto-immune disease is a condition when your immune system starts attacking healthy cells. In type 2 diabetes which is considered an auto-immune condition, your immune system attacks pancreatic cells that produce insulin.
Omega 3 can prevent some of these diseases and is crucial during infancy. Studies have shown that not receiving adequate omega-3 during the early years of life raises the risk of several auto-immune diseases like multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, etc. Aiding treatment of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and psoriasis are other important omega 3 health benefits.
Sources of Omega 3s
Your body does not produce omega 3 naturally and so has to be sourced from either your diet or supplements. To derive omega 3 health benefits, getting enough of omega 3 is imperative. Many food sources are rich in Omega 3. You can get adequate levels of omega 3 by including foods rich in omega-3 like certain varieties of fish, seeds, and nuts.
The fish varieties rich in omega-3 are:
If you are a vegan or vegetarian or are not a fish eater you can include the following seeds and nuts in your diet to derive omega 3 health benefits.
- Chia seeds
The easier way of deriving omega 3 fatty acids is by including omega 3 supplements in your diet. Omega 3 Fish oil supplements contain both EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) that reduce the risk factors leading to cardiovascular issues. You can consider including Setu: Fish Oil 1000 mg, the fish oil supplement from one of the leading brands. Setu: Fish Oil is extracted from fish like sardines, mackerel, and cod.
Every Setu Fish Oil gel consists of 1000 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids. Every soft gel has 180 mg of EPA, 120 mg of DHA, 100 mg MCT Oil, and 100 mg Lecithin. This supplement helps in reducing the risk of heart disease, keeps joint inflammation at bay, promotes cognitive health, and controls blood pressure levels. It is especially good for pregnant women as it helps in foetal development.
Side effects of Omega 3s
Some of the not-so-serious side effects of Omega 3 are:
- A fish after-taste
- Fish Breath
- An upset stomach
Omega 3 health benefits are manifold and the reason why omega 3 fatty acids are considered vital for the body. You can derive adequate levels of omega-3 by including certain varieties of fish, nuts, and seeds in your diet. If you are unable to incorporate any of these in your diet the easiest and most economical way is to include omega-3 supplements into your diet. Get the benefit of lowered risk of heart disease, robust brain health, reduced joint inflammation, etc by getting adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
How much omega 3 is considered safe?
According to Heart Associations, consuming 3 mg of omega-3 from fish oil supplements is considered safe. For higher dosages, it is suggested to consult your physician.
Who should take fish oil supplements?
People with cardiovascular problems, joint problems, hypertension, and skin problems can get their daily dose of Omega 3 fatty acids from omega 3 supplements
Which is the ideal time to take fish oil supplements?
You can take fish oil at any time of day because the majority of its advantages are linked to long-term use. Nevertheless, dividing your supplement into two smaller doses and taking them at night and in the morning can help to prevent acid reflux.
Who should avoid taking fish oil supplements?
People who are on specific anticoagulant medication or blood thinners should avoid fish oil supplements as they may increase the risk of bleeding. Also, a person who experiences gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhoea should stop taking fish oil supplements.
How long does it take for fish oil supplements to work?
For any visible results, you should take fish oil supplements consistently for about 12 weeks.
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