What Every Person Should Know About Omega 3

These advertisements usually feature the benefits of this fatty acid but do not really offer one of the basic information to consumers – how much Omega 3 should a person take in a day? The answer to this question is very important since it is a fact that anything taken excessively could pose danger to a person’s health.

Omega 3: The Basics

Before Omega 3 dosage is delved into, it is critical that the basic information about Omega 3 is known. There are two types of essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and Omega 6. They are termed essential because, basically, the body needs them in order to achieve optimum health so they are also called the “good fats”. While Omega 6 is derived from plant and animal oils, Omega 3 is mostly found in oil-rich fish.

Omega 3 comes in three forms which are ALA or Alpha Linolenic Acid, DLA or Docosahexaenoic Acid and EPA or Eicosapentaenoic Acid. ALA, the parent fatty acid, can be converted to EPA or DLA which are actually long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids or, in short, LC omega 3 PUFAs. EPA or DLA are the more potent forms of these essential fatty acids.

To some extent, the body can convert ALA to EPA or DLA but the process could take long and is not enough to sustain the needs of the body. Thus, it is not enough that people eat plant sources of Omega 3 as these only have the essential fatty acid in ALA form. As such, eating fish like trout, sardines, mackerel, salmon and herring which are rich in Omega 3 in EPA or DLA form is advisable. It does not matter whether these fishes are eaten fresh, tinned or frozen because they still contain fish oils in any of these conditions. Fresh or frozen tuna, on the other hand, can be counted on more than the canned ones because most of the oils are lost in the process of canning.

The Good Thing about Omega 3

Omega 3 is good for all people in whatever age group. In a study conducted on pregnant women numbering to 9,000, it was found out that those who eat fish once a week while in their first trimester has a 27% lesser risk of premature birth and low birth weight than those who did not eat fish at all. This goes to show that a child benefits from the intake of Omega 3 by his mother even while in her womb.

The importance of Omega 3 is even made apparent by the fact that it is one of the nutrients found in infant milk. Even at this early stage, it is already being emphasized that there is a need to take in Omega 3 because it helps in proper brain and eye development which begins at this stage. As such, it can also be especially helpful for babies who are born prematurely.

Omega 3 has even been found helpful to children who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD as it is shown to manage symptoms related to this disorder.

When a person grows older, he will be eventually faced with some of the downsides of aging like high blood pressure or rheumatoid arthritis and begin facing the risk of heart strokes or even Alzheimer’s disease. By making sure that he takes a regular dose of Omega 3 needed not only for normal growth and development but also in the maintenance of cardiovascular health and brain function, his body is sure to be equipped to fight off these conditions.

Omega 3 is also helpful in preventing other health conditions like inflammatory skin diseases, inflammatory bowel disorders and even depression. Thus, this good fatty acid offers a long range of health benefits, thus, it is rightfully tagged as one of the essential fatty acids.

Omega 3: How Much is Safe?

As earlier noted, anything taken excessively could give you side effects and this applies to the intake of Omega 3. Basically, the recommended intake of Omega 3 in its three forms – ALA, DHA and EPA varies depending on your age or health condition. Pregnant and nursing women should take 300 mg of DHA per day. Children and healthy adults, on the other hand, should take 250 mg of DHA per day. This was affirmed by the National Institute of Health and the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids (NIH/ISSFAL). Usually, Omega 3 supplements combine DHA and EPA. So the ideal ratio of DHA to EPA in these supplements should be 2:1. People who are not suffering from any health conditions should make sure that the supplement should have at least 250 mg of DHA.

According to the American Heart Association, patients who have coronary heart disease should have a daily dose of 1 gram of DHA and EPA. Those patients, who are advised to lower their triglycerides, should take Omega 3 in 2-4 grams daily. People who no coronary heart disease or have normal health condition are advised to include a variety of fatty fish in their diet at least twice a week and top it with foods that are rich in ALA like flaxseed and walnuts.

Although getting your daily Omega 3 dosage from fish is advised, there are times when some people just do not have the luxury of time to buy fresh fish from the market or canned ones from the grocery. Thus, some people turn to supplements to get their daily supply of Omega 3. In this case, the quality of the supplement should be taken into consideration.

Fish Oil For Cardiovascular Health – Omega 3 For High Cholesterol

Omega 3 or fish oil is polyunsaturated fat found in fish oil, fish, and in food supplements form. It typically has of a mixture of polyunsaturated fatty acids which include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (ECA). Polyunsaturated fats, especially DHA and EPA, are heart friendly fats since they don’t promote atherosclerosis related with heart disease causes.

Previous studies have shown that a person who is taking omega 3 fish oil for cardiovascular health has reduced the risk of sudden death from cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have indicated that it can as well lower the risk for cardiovascular diseases by improving the lipids of our body. So, does this Omega 3 help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels?

The common dose tested in these studies ranges about 900 milligrams to 5 grams each day of a combination of DHA and EPA. To get this amount of polyunsaturated fats, one needs to consume a lot of fish.

Therefore, food supplements are usually used. Ingesting 900 milligrams of omega 3 fatty acids every day resulted in a four percent drop off in triglyceride levels after five to six months. The average dose used which was effective in most studies was about two to four grams, and this had resulted in decrease in triglycerides for about twenty five to forty-five percent.

Omega-3 fatty acid’s effectiveness on triglycerides is dose dependent; this means that the more omega-3 fatty acids ingested the lower triglyceride levels in our body will fall. This will work best if you follow a healthy diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids seemed to affect newly consumed triglycerides more. Moreover, people with high triglyceride levels (more than 500 mg / dL) appear to gain the most benefit from omega-3 supplementation.

Even though it could lower triglyceride levels, it can slightly elevate low density lipoproteins (also known as “bad” cholesterol or LDL). However, this change is modest and could range from three to ten percent. On the other hand, high density lipoproteins (also known as the “good” cholesterol or HDL) don’t appear to be affected by omega-3 supplementation, if not increased to some extent.

Omega 3 fish oil for cardiovascular health are available as a supplement or as a prescription at any nutritional store or local pharmacy or can be bought online and shipped to your home. Just a gram of omega 3 fish oil for cardiovascular health supplement a day could cause triglycerides to decrease and would help prevent sudden death from cardiovascular diseases.

An average of 4 grams of omega 3 fatty acids is normally used to lower triglycerides in people with elevated triglyceride levels. It is suggested that people taking more than three grams each day must consult a health care provider, because high doses of omega 3 fatty acids could decrease the platelets that may cause the occurrence of bleeding more easily.

You have to know that prescribed omega-3 fatty acids have certain amount of DHA and EPA. They are purified and carefully rid of impurities like mercury, trans-fats, and other contaminants.

Supplements purchased OTC are classified as “foods”. Therefore, they don’t have to go through the efficacy studies or thorough purification processes that prescribed drugs have to go undergo.

Can Omega 3 Fatty Acids Help Prevent Osteoporosis?

Omega-3 fatty acids are closely linked to promotion of better heart and brain function. It is also linked to prevention of inflammation, relief from depression and decreased risk from developing certain cancers. Recent studies on omega 3 fatty acids and osteoporosis reveals that there is more to omega 3 than we know today – and that omega 3 in fish oil can actually help promote better bone health as well.

So the question to ask is: how can fish oil improve bone health, specifically bone health density? According to a study published at the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there is a clear link between omega-3 and bone health. This can be qualified by what they call as the BMD (Bone Mineral Density). The study revealed that high levels of omega 3 arelinked to higher BMD of the spine. As is obvious, a higher bone density is important for significant prevention of osteoporosis.

Now, how can we link omega 3 and bone loss? Similar studies reveal that omega 3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, play certain important roles in bone metabolism. Insufficient amounts of omega 3 are linked to increased deposits of calcium in the arteries and kidneys, suggesting that bone calcium metabolism is impaired without DHA and EPA.

In a separate study on omega 3 fatty acids and osteoporosis, it seems that EPA significantly affects estrogen levels in women. This hormone is known to play a major role in maintaining bone mass in women.

What do all these empirical studies suggest? Although more experimental evidence is needed to establish the exact connection between omega 3 fatty acids and osteoporosis, there seem enough studies that prove that omega 3 can indeed promote bone health.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important in prevention and improvement of many diseases, and it can prevent osteoporosis the same way. But where can we get sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids? There is only one answer – fish oil. Fish oil is rich in the most potent omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. DHA and EPA is abundant not just in any fish, but in fatty fish including anchovies, herring, mackerel, halibut and tuna. An intake of 4 servings per week appears sufficient to enjoy all the health benefits of omega-3. Those who do not like eating fish can take their protective dose of omega-3 through fish oil supplements available today.

Osteoporosis does not have to affect us, thanks to many recent studies on omega 3 fatty acids and osteoporosis. Omega-3 richly found in fish oil can prevent a wide array of diseases. So there is no better time than today to start with fish oil supplementation – 1 gram per day is enough to enjoy all the health goodness of omega-3.