Several types of dietary supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA is found in fatty cold-water fish, such as salmon, and in fish oil supplements. Vegetarian sources of DHA come from seaweed. To ensure that you consume fish oil supplements that are not contaminated with mercury, read the labels carefully and check their purity.
Some fish oil supplements also have vitamin E added to maintain freshness. EPA supplements may not be recommended for infants or young children because they alter the balance between DHA and EPA during the early stages of development. Pregnant women should consult their doctor before taking fish oil supplements. The National Institutes of Health's dietary supplement label database contains information on the labels of many dietary supplements on the market that contain omega-3s.
Omega-3s are also found in foods such as certain fatty fish; seeds such as flax, chia and hemp; walnuts, soy, red beans and seaweed. LC omega-3s are present in several dietary supplement formulations, such as fish oil, krill oil, cod liver oil, and vegetarian products that contain algae oil. However, omega-3s are available in much higher quantities in a variety of over-the-counter supplements and prescription drugs. Several clinical trials have examined the use of omega-3 supplements with LC in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
People who take blood thinners should be careful and talk to their doctor before starting to take an omega-3 supplement. The results of clinical trials using omega-3 supplements have yielded mixed results in terms of reducing the symptoms and signs of dry eye disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a daily value (DV) of 65 g for total fat, but not for omega-3 fats. See your healthcare provider if you consume 3 grams or more of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet every day.
Omega-3 fatty acids may have a protective association with the incidence of symptoms of allergic diseases in offspring when consumed by pregnant women. Omega-3 supplementation may increase latency (the time from random assignment to birth) by about 2 days and average birth weight by about 103 g. As an expert on dietary supplements, I'm often asked if it's necessary to take additional omega-3 fatty acids if someone is already taking dietary supplements containing these essential nutrients. The answer is that it depends on the individual's needs and health status.
When considering taking additional omega-3 fatty acids through dietary supplements, it is important to read labels carefully to determine the types and amounts of omega-3s contained in these products. It is also important to consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids. Your healthcare provider can help you decide if additional omega-3s are necessary for your health needs.