Omega-3 Fatty Acids Factsheet

Omega-3 is a type of essential fatty acid; our body cannot produce it and must be obtained from our diet. The most common omega 3 fatty acids are called ALA, DHA and EPA. Good dietary sources of omega 3 include fatty fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon, rainbow trout and mackerel, plant sources such as flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil, legumes, green leafy vegetables, tofu and walnuts.

Why is Omega-3 beneficial for our health?

Omega 3 is needed for the optimal functioning of brain and central nervous system, enhancing our memory, boosting concentration and focus. Omega 3 can contribute to our heart health by thinning our blood, strengthening the blood vessels and regulating our heart beat. Omega 3 is important to keep our joints healthy, supporting active individuals in physical training, and reducing the risk of developing arthritis later in life. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3 can reduce muscle soreness and promote recovery after exercise. Lastly, omega 3 is beneficial for eye health, preventing the deterioration of our vision.

Symptoms of Omega-3 deficiency

  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased concentration

Omega-3 can help with:

  • Optimal brain functions
  • Improve memory
  • Boosting concentration and focus
  • Thins blood
  • Stronger blood vessels
  • Regular heart beat
  • Decrease risk of heart diseases
  • Healthy joints
  • Reduce muscle soreness post-workout
  • Speed up recovery post-workout
  • Healthy eyes

Side effects and toxicity

Too much omega 3 fatty acid can lead to an increase blood cholesterol level, raising our risk of heart diseases. Omega 3 may increase bleeding tendency; therefore, it is contraindicated for those taking blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder. High dose of omega 3 can also affect our immune system, increasing the frequency and length of colds and infections. Omega 3 may promote the absorption of vitamin A; therefore, it should not be combined with high doses of vitamin A to avoid toxic effects. If omega 3 oil supplement is made from fish oil, certain people may experience fishy aftertaste, bloating and nausea. Allergic reaction to omega 3 supplements is rare; symptoms may include skin rash, swelling of face, throat and tongue, as well as wheezing.

Here are some trusted products we recommend:

Blackmores Omega Triple Concentrated Fish Oil (150 Capsules)

Swisse Ultiboost High Strength Odrls Wild Fish Oil 1500Mg 400 Capsules

Blackmores Flaxseed Oil 1000mg (100 Capsules)

Published by EZ Dietitian

Elena Zhang​ is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) based in North Brisbane, Queensland.

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