107 Views

Should You Take Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplements?

Omega 3 is essential for a healthy body and mind, and it can even aid fat loss. But fish is the best source and with ocean pollution at an all-time high, fish isn’t as healthy a food as it used to be – so you need to strike a balance between food and supps. Here’s what you need to know.

What is it?

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid, which means that our bodies can’t manufacture it so we need to consume it through diet. It is found in high concentrations in oily fish, especially those that live in colder waters. There are three types you need to know about: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are found in fish, are the two that have the greatest health benefits. The other, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is found in plant oils and doesn’t deliver as many health benefits.

Why do I need it?

Omega 3 fats are crucial for normal metabolic function, and research suggests adequate consumption provides numerous health benefits including reducing the risk of heart disease, some cancers, mental illness and inflammation. It can also help you lose weight by improving insulin sensitivity so your body burns fat more efficiently, according to a study in the Journal Of Physiological Research.

RECOMMENDED: The Best Supplements

What should I take?

In the UK there is no official recommended daily dose of omega 3 for the general population. However, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition suggests we aim for two 140g portions of fish a week, one white (like cod or haddock) and one oily (like salmon or mackerel), which would provide a weekly omega 3 intake of around 3.15g. Unfortunately current UK fish consumption sits well under even this modest target, with only 27% of UK adults eating oily fish regularly, according to the SACN. And, in case you were wondering, a cod fillet covered in batter with chips and mushy peas doesn’t count.

There is also no official UK recommendation for how to supplement with omega 3. However, the US Food and Drug Administration recommends that adults can safely consume 3g of combined DHA and EPA per day, with no more than 2g coming from supplements. Without being a complete substitute for eating fish, omega 3 supplementation can ensure adequate intake without the risk of consuming heavy metals such as mercury.

Browse Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplements on amazon.co.uk

How do I know if I am deficient?

Symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, according to the University of Maryland. But even if you eat fish frequently you may still be effectively deficient in omega 3 because of its relationship with another essential fatty acid, omega 6.

The ideal healthy consumption ratio between the two is around 1:3, but in most Western diets it’s closer to 1:16. Excessive consumption of omega 6 is increasingly common because it’s found in cooking oils, specifically palm, soybean, rapeseed and sunflower, which are used in the cooking and production of many snacks and convenience foods.

Such an imbalanced ratio has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas a more equal intake has a suppressive effect on all these illnesses, according to the same journal. So try to restrict your consumption of these oils by avoiding convenience foods and not using them in cooking.

What are the best food sources?

Oily fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines, are among the best sources of omega 3. Fresh tuna counts as an oily fish but, according to NHS nutrition advice, canning reduces its omega 3 to a level similar to those in white fish.

However, the tissue of many species of fish contain high levels of toxic compounds, especially mercury. Consumption of mercury can have a serious impact on your brain health, immune system and reproductive system and it has also been linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, according to the journal Environmental Toxicology And Pharmacology.

Mercury accumulates with age and in relation to the position within the food chain, so large, predatory species such as tuna, halibut, shark and swordfish contain the highest levels of mercury. It’s not dangerous to eat in itself but experts recommend limiting your intake of these fish to once a week. The Food Standards Agency says the best choices for high levels of omega 3 fats and low levels of mercury are Atlantic mackerel, wild salmon and sardines.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Posts

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 at just Rs 999 on Flipkart; Guess what! You can almost buy this phone for free, here’s how
Tech News
3117 views
Tech News
3117 views

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 at just Rs 999 on Flipkart; Guess what! You can almost buy this phone for free, here’s how

admin - June 15, 2018

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 comes in two storage and RAM combinations of 32GB/3GB and 64GB/4GB with a price tag of Rs 9,999 and Rs 11,999, respectively.…

Core exercises
Exercises
302 views
Exercises
302 views

Core exercises

admin - February 25, 2018

The Police’s 1983 classic “Every Breath You Take” is not about your core muscles. It’s about a creepy, creepy guy who can’t let a relationship go. But…

Recovery Tips For Your Marathon Training
Fitness
359 views
Fitness
359 views

Recovery Tips For Your Marathon Training

admin - February 23, 2018

To complete a marathon, it’s obviously essential to do a lot of running beforehand to condition your body for the challenge ahead. However, it’s also essential to…

Upgrade Your Gym Workouts
Cardio
329 views
Cardio
329 views

Upgrade Your Gym Workouts

admin - February 20, 2018

We're well aware that time spent on the treadmill can often stand still. If you're bored of your gym routine, help is at hand. With our favourite…

27 Running Tips To Help You Become A Better Runner
Cardio
248 views
Cardio
248 views

27 Running Tips To Help You Become A Better Runner

admin - February 16, 2018

We humans rose to the top of the food chain because our big brains helped us out-smart both predators and prey. Stands to reason, right? But it…

How To Do An Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Exercises
299 views
Exercises
299 views

How To Do An Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

admin - February 15, 2018

Take a glance around at your fellow gym-goers next time you visit the weights room and it’s almost certain that you’ll see one or two of them…

The Best Cross-Trainers Of 2018
Cardio
289 views
Cardio
289 views

The Best Cross-Trainers Of 2018

admin - February 12, 2018

Pity the gym-goer of the early 1990s, for their cardio workout options were limited to the treadmill, exercise bike and rowing machine. That’s because it wasn’t until…

Protein Powder: Everything You Need to Know
Cardio
934 views
Cardio
934 views

Protein Powder: Everything You Need to Know

admin - February 11, 2018

If you’re putting in the hours in your gym’s weights room, lifting dumbbell after barbell after kettlebell, it’s only natural to expect bigger, stronger muscles. Unfortunately, if…

The Mighty Squat: The Exercise Everyone Should be Doing
Exercises
285 views
Exercises
285 views

The Mighty Squat: The Exercise Everyone Should be Doing

admin - February 10, 2018

What Is A Squat? A squat is a movement where you start in a standing position and bend your knees to bring your bum as close as…

How To Stay Motivated To Lose Weight
Healthy Eating
240 views
Healthy Eating
240 views

How To Stay Motivated To Lose Weight

admin - February 10, 2018

No-one, and we do mean no-one, can stay motivated all the time. Even the most dedicated Olympians have moments when they want nothing more than to ditch…