Many people take extra care to look after their health during the winter months, when cold and flu bugs proliferate, yet there's still plenty of reasons to keep up a healthy routine during the milder seasons too. And for nutrients such as omega 3s there's even more reason to keep this routine up throughout the year.
There is no established upper limit of omega-3 intake. According to the NIH, the FDA have suggested that people should take no more than 3 g per day of DHA and EPA combined. Over long periods, scientists say that omega-3 can reduce immune system function because it lowers the body's inflammatory responses.
Now that we know that the omega-3 supplement does not show its beneficial effects immediately, it is important to be consistent and take it over a period of at least three months, to see results.
According to the European Food Safety Authority, omega-3 fatty acid supplements can be safely consumed at doses up to 5,000 mg daily ( 24 ). As a general rule of thumb, if you experience any negative symptoms, simply decrease your intake or consider meeting your omega-3 fatty acid needs through food sources instead.
In fact, the main reason why omega-3s are so incredible is that they reduce inflammation throughout the entire body. It's important to take fish oil year round, and that goes for the summer too. Plenty of supplements reduce inflammation, but fish oil does it in your joints, your blood vessels, and your brain.
Side effects of omega-3 supplements are usually mild. They include unpleasant taste, bad breath, bad-smelling sweat, headache, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, and diarrhea. Several large studies have linked higher blood levels of long-chain omega-3s with higher risks of prostate cancer.
So, people using blood thinners, such as warfarin, should not take fish oil or other omega-3 fatty acid supplements because of the increased risk of dangerous bleeding.
The benefits of taking omega 3 regularly become noticeable in seven to eight weeks. Sold in the form of cod liver oil, fish oil and flaxseed oil supplement, omega 3 is advised to be consumed with a meal preferably at dinner time..
Because most of the benefits of fish oil are associated with long-term use, you can take it at any time of day. That said, splitting your supplement into two smaller doses in the morning and at night can reduce acid reflux.
Omega-3 is an essential part of the diet and supplements like fish oil have been associated with a number of health benefits. However, consuming too much fish oil could actually take a toll on your health and lead to side effects such as high blood sugar and an increased risk of bleeding.
In general, omega-3 helps to reduce risks of heart diseases and cancer. However, women benefit more as omega-3 protects against certain conditions that affect only women such as menstrual pain, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
How long does it take for omega-3's to work? Levels of omega-3's build up quickly in the body once you take supplements. But it may take 6 weeks to 6 months to see a significant change in mood, pain, or other symptoms.
So, how much Omega-3 per day should you consume? Many doctors often recommend 1000 to 1200 mg of fish oil, because that amount of fish oil contains the total amount of Omega-3s the doctor wants you to consume.
Most adults should eat at least 8 ounces or two servings of omega-3-rich fish a week. A serving size is 4 ounces or about the size of a deck of cards.
When taken by mouth: Fish oil is likely safe for most people in doses of 3 grams or less daily. Taking more than 3 grams daily might increase the chance of bleeding. Fish oil side effects include heartburn, loose stools, and nosebleeds. Taking fish oil supplements with meals or freezing them can reduce these issues.
The bottom line
Omega-3s contribute to typical brain and eye development. They fight inflammation and may help prevent heart disease and a decline in brain function. Because fish oil contains a lot of omega-3s, people who are at risk of these health conditions can benefit from taking it.
Expert Analysis. All individuals should aim to consume approximately 2 servings of fatty fish per week as part of a heart-healthy diet. Routine use of non-prescription fish oil is not recommended for primary or secondary prevention of CVD.
Answer: Yes. In fact, vitamin D is best absorbed when taken with a meal containing fats or oils, so fish oil can only help with that. Absorption of the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil won't be affected by the vitamin D.
Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation. It is important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet.
Disclaimer. Even though fish oil supplements are available without a physician's prescription, there may be a possibility that a medical condition or any medications that you may be taking is incompatible with the supplement. Hence it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking any such supplements.
Previous research has linked omega-3s to a lower risk of abnormal heartbeats, less fats in the blood, reduced risk of artery-clogging deposits known as plaque, and slightly lower blood pressure.
Precautions. Before taking omega-3 fatty acids, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to them; or to fish; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as peanut/soy), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Omega 3 fats are a group of fats we need to stay healthy. They're especially good for heart health, and eating them could help to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Omega 3 fats are a type of unsaturated fat – the type of fat that's good for your cholesterol levels.