Pharmacist’s Corner: Why do I Take These Omega Supplements?

There are a lot of us out there who take our daily vitamins in the morning, often including either a fish oil or omega-3 supplement. Everyone seems to tell us that these supplements are good for us.

But it boils down to one question, what do they do?

Essential Fatty Acids

Omega-3 is known as an essential fatty acid. What’s interesting is that our body can’t synthesize omega-3 itself so we must get it from our regular diet or through supplements.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are omega-3 fatty acids. They are found in fish and sometimes called “fish oil.” Fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines, albacore tuna, lake trout, and halibut contain the highest concentrations. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is also a type of omega-3 fatty acid, and it is found in soy, canola oil, flaxseed, and walnuts.

However, ALA supplements and food sources should not be considered replacements for fish oils, but they should be incorporated into the diet where possible.

Omega-3 helps in the formation of cell membranes and assists in improving circulation and oxygen uptake. Omega-3 is essential to brain growth (although it won’t just make you smarter…reading helps for that one!).

O! Mega Benefits

Omega-3 has been proven to have a multitude of benefits behind it. Although studies are conflicting, it might help to prevent heart disease and stroke.

Triglycerides are one of the main components of human body fat, and omega-3 can help reduce the number of triglycerides in the body.

A study also indicates that fish oil supplementation may help in people with a chronic dry eye condition.

Breastfeeding mothers may consider consuming omega-3, particularly DHA, as evidence suggests it may benefit their child’s psychomotor development.

Omega Warnings

The main warning here is that you need to be careful to select the right omega supplement for your diet. Taking the time to talk to the friendly pharmacists at Capsule can help you make the right decision for your supplement needs.

Fish oil supplements can have some side effects like nausea, heartburn, or a bad reaction if you’re allergic to fish. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect so may increase the risk of bleeding or bruising, so talk to your doctor or pharmacist first.

Supplemental Information

For most healthy people, fish is a better source than fish oil supplements. But fish oil supplements are a good choice for patients who want to take fish oil daily. Fish is a healthy source of protein, including the amino acids arginine and glutamine, and selenium, which may have cardiovascular benefits as well.

Fried fish is unlikely to have health benefits, and might increase cardiovascular risk, broiled or baked fish will be better options here.

Come down to Capsule Pharmacy or give us a call and we can help you determine what you need to be the healthiest version of yourself.

Until next week, stay well!

by Capsule Pharmacy | | Categories : Categories: Uncategorized

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