Omega-3 fatty acids have been proved to have many health benefits. This explains why the market has different omega3 supplements for people to take. The big question is- how much omega-3 fatty acids should you take in a day?
Supplements have become common today, and people take them for many different reasons. An example of a widely known supplement is the omega-3 fatty acid supplements primarily taken to enhance cognitive abilities. If you are considering taking such supplements in the future, knowing the recommended daily dosages and how the omega-3 supplements might help you will be of great value to you. Dive into this article for information on how many omega-3 supplements you can take and other pieces of information.
The existing situation
While scientists agree that omega-3 fatty acids are of great value to the body, it’s still not unanimously agreed what dosage of the supplement would constitute the appropriate daily intake. However, different researchers tend to accept a combined dosage of EPA and DHA of 250-500mg of omega-3 fatty acids to be tolerable. Alpha-linoleic acids (ALA) are required in the body in slightly high amounts, with women requiring up to 1100mg and men up to 1600mg. In natural settings, omega-3 fatty acids can be reaped from oily fish like salmon and sardines. Therefore, if you take fatty fishy regularly, say two times a week, you might not need to supplement your omega-3 unless recommended by a medical practitioner. Still, nuts and seeds such as sunflower and flax are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, although eating too much of these may contribute to extra pounds in your body.
The existing types of omega-3 fatty acids
There are three major types of omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are found in seeds, nuts, and oily fish;
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – you would expect to find DHA majorly in fatty fish than plant sources. Sperm cells and the brain are some of the body parts with the highest amounts of DHA.
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)- just like DHA, EPA is found in higher amounts in oily fish. Plant sources may have them but in small amounts. EPA has wonderful anti-inflammatory effects, explaining why many supplements focus on it.
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)- this type of omega-3 is mainly found in plant sources, especially seeds and nuts. Oily fish may have ALA, but only in small amounts.
Body organs such as lungs, kidneys, eyes, and the brain all need omega-3 fatty acids. Although the omega-3 types differ, having them in the right proportions helps the body function well. In fact, omega-3 supplements incorporate all the three main types discussed, although there are variants that only constitute one type of fatty acid.
The specific health conditions with which omega-3 fatty acids can help
As stated earlier, omega-3 fatty acids are helpful to the body. In fact, there are specific types of health conditions that can only be solved by adding omega-3 fatty acids to the diet, including through omega-3 supplements. Here are a few of such conditions which necessitate omega-3 intervention;
Omega-3 for heart diseases
Heart disease is among the world’s top killer diseases, apart from diabetes and cancer. Many studies, including recent ones, conclude that omega-3 fatty acids would lead to a good response in people with heart disease and triglycerides. After following a group of people for three-and-a-half years while giving them omega-3 supplements, it was noted that their risks of heart disease and abrupt death were reduced by 25% and 45%, respectively. Because of this and many other positive studies, the American Heart Association recommends a dosage of 1g of combined EPA and DHA for patients with underlying issues and 2g-4g for people whose triglyceride levels have risen up. While many studies have established that omega-3 acids would certainly help with heart disease, some studies have not reached a similar conclusion, calling for more research.
Omega-3 for depression
Depression is a problem affecting many people, and omega-3 supplements are thought to help with this condition. In one study, researchers gave individuals with symptoms of depression about 1400mg of omega-3 DHA and EPA, and the patients reported tremendous improvements after just three weeks. Thus, scientists believe that omega-3 could really help in the management of depression and its symptoms.
Omega-3 for cancer
Cancer is at the top of the world’s killer diseases list and exists in various forms. Recent studies suggest that taking omega-3 acids, primarily in oily fish, seeds, and nuts, can help a great deal can help in lowering the risk of colon and breast cancer. However, these studies are just at the preliminary stages as cancer has lots of mysteries.
Omega- 3 for Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is among the top brain degenerative diseases affecting many people today, besides Parkinson’s and dementia. Some studies suggest that taking omega-3 fatty acids, especially at the initial stages of Alzheimer’s, could help control the symptoms. Still, there is no evidence that taking omega-3 fatty acids at advanced stages of the disease can help control the symptoms.
Pregnant women and children and omega-3
Expectant women and infants are a special category of people who need image-3. A pregnant woman needs omega-3 both for herself and the infant’s cognitive development during and after the pregnancy. That’s why doctors will recommend at least 200mg of omega-3 EPA and DHA to pregnant women. The infants also need omega-3 supplements, whose dosages typically vary between 50-200mg of combined EPA and DHA.
What happens with too much omega-3?
Just like there is no exact amount of omega-3 to be taken daily, and the figure varies from an organization to another, it’s not yet clear how much omega-3 would be deemed too much. Still, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) quotes 3,000mg as the highest limit. Blood-thinning and excessive bleeding are some deadly conditions associated with excess intake of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, some omega-3 supplements feature high amounts of vitamin A, which can be harmful to the body. And still, there is no value to consuming more omega-3.
Omega-3 supplements are among the many supplements taken today. The supplements are thought to help with heart disease checks, and cancer risk reduction are just but two of the main reason people take omega-3 supplements. Peer into this article to understand how much omega-3 you can take per day, although there is no exact figure but ranges.