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Omega-3s work as anti-inflammatories so keeping your omega-3 levels high generally help with a host of other conditions. Omega-3s have been shown to help:
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, which means your body cannot produce it naturally. As well as getting it from supplements, there are various foods that have high levels of omega-3 in them.
EPA stands for Eicosapentaenoic Acid and DHA stands for Docosahexaenoic Acid. Which ratio is best varies slightly depending on the research. True Omega 3 is at a 4:3 ratio of EPA to DHA.
Several foods have omega-3s in them. Fish is well known as a major source of omega-3, but you can also find it in various nuts and seeds as well as eggs from grass-fed chickens and also grass fed beef, although this is in smaller quantities.
Omega-3s and omega-6s are both essential fatty acids, but whilst omega-3s work as an anti-inflammatory, omega-6s do the opposite. Instead of one being good and the other bad, it’s more that there needs to be a balance between the two and for most people, they have far more omega-6s in their diet than they should.
Signs of an omega-3 deficiency can be subtle, but research suggests that it can lead to dermatitis as well as rough scaly skin. There have also been links made between an omega-3 deficiency and age-related cognitive decline.
Find out more about signs of an omega-3 deficiency in the Ask Coach section.
There aren’t really side effects as such when it comes to taking omega-3s. Any adverse effects are usually mild and can only really stretch as far as unpleasant tastes and the occasional loose bowel when you start introducing supplements to your diet.
Find out more about side effects of omega-3s in the Ask Coach section.
Fish oil is an excellent way to get omega-3s into your diet. It can be an excellent way of getting a large amount of omega-3s without having to eat more fish, which can be especially beneficial to those with certain types of fish allergy.
As with a lot of these supplements, it’s not always an either-or situation. The answer is going to vary from person to person and you might find that a mixture of all three is beneficial. Krill oil for example has some benefits not found in fish oil whilst fish oil can give you massive boost of omega-3s. Flaxseed might have comparatively smaller amounts of omega-3, but it’s easy to include in a wide range of foods.
Fish oil does act as a blood thinner. As it’s packed with omega-3s, these act as an anti-inflammatory, thus thinning the blood. This is usually a great thing, but you do need to let a doctor know about your omega-3 supplements if you are about to have surgery as that can complicate things if a surgeon isn’t expecting it.
Krill oil is a great of way getting your omega-3 levels up, but it also includes an antioxidant called astaxathine and is phospholipid based which allows the omega-3s to be absorbed faster and more efficiently.
The answer to this will depend on your own circumstances and really, the question isn’t quite right.
Check out our article in the Ask Coach section about whether you should take krill oil or fish oil for cholesterol related issues.
1 – Find out what omega-3s are and who needs them
2 – Discover exactly what omega-3s can do for your health
3 – Learn how to balance Omega-6s and Omega-3s
4 – Explore the different sources available for Omega-3s
5 – Reveal the best way to introduce more omega-3s to your diet
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