What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids can be classified into three categories: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids which are found in fish and sometimes called “fish oil.” ALA is found in soy, canola oil, flaxseed, and walnuts.
For what problems are omega-3 fatty acids helpful?
Foods that have omega-3 fatty acids, mainly fish, might prevent heart disease and stroke in some patients. There are numerous studies that show that fish oil when taken over time can help lower triglycerides -a type of fat or lipid found in your blood that when high can increase risk of heart disease.
What is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids?
The best source is to obtain omega-3 from fatty fish such as salmon or by taking a regular supplement of omega-3 fish oil. Ask your prescriber if fish oil capsules are right for you before stocking up on them especially if you take other medications or have any medical condition.
Should I worry about mercury in fish?
Fishes such as salmon, pollock and catfish have low levels of mercury. Fish oil capsules such as Chalice Pharmaceuticals “Omega-3 Fish Oil” are often low in mercury and other pollutants. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not eat as much fish as others.
Are there side effects or drug interactions with omega-3 fatty acids?
Some of the side effects to expect from taking fish oil supplement include nausea, heartburn, or diarrhea -loose stool. Taking the capsules with meals or refrigerating them may help reduce some of these side effects. People who are allergic to fish might react to fish oil capsules and should avoid them. There is a small risk of bleeding or bruising that comes with fish oil consumption but check with your prescriber before taking fish oil at a dose over 3000 milligrams per day. Also check with your prescriber if you are taking aspirin or any medication that is known as blood thinner.
How do I choose a fish oil product?
If you are considering buying a fish oil supplement, my recommendation is to look for EPA and DHA on the supplement facts sheet because both represent the total amount of omega-3 present in the product.
The information covered in this handout should not be used as a replacement for professional medical care. Always follow the instructions from your healthcare provider.