Taking omega-3 supplements can be a great way to support your health, but it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right amount to experience maximum health benefits.
Consuming too little omega-3 may lead to a deficiency – this is often characterised by dry skin, as well as brittle hair and nails.
Dietary Consumption of Omega-3
It’s recommended by the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care that people consume two portions of oily or fatty fish per week, as the likes of tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring and anchovies are packed with essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids.
Most people avoid eating too much fish, because fish can contain small amounts of toxins. Pesticides, chemicals and metals caused by pollution in the ocean could cause harm if consumed in large quantities.
Some types of fish, including shark and swordfish, may contain harmful traces of mercury, so it’s advised that no more than one portion of these is consumed per week – and none at all for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive. For women who fall into these categories, the advice is to consume two portions of oily fish at most.
This is why it’s advised that a person’s fatty fish intake is supported with omega-3 supplements made using fish oil or the plant-based alternative of algae oil to deliver the health benefits associated with omega-3 in a safe, concentrated, controlled dose.
Omega-3: Health Benefits
There are many proven health benefits of omega-3. The following benefits have been recognised by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and apply to specific doses of EPA and DHA:
- DHA supports brain function and vision (250mg per day)
- DHA and EPA support normal blood pressure (3g per day) and normal blood triglyceride levels (2g per day)
- DHA and EPA support heart function (250mg per day)
Omega-3 and Pregnancy
Pregnant women should begin to increase their omega-3 intake from week 12 of pregnancy onwards, making sure they are getting an extra 200mg of DHA each day on top of the 250mg of DHA and EPA that’s recommended for all adults.
Taking omega-3 supplements during pregnancy can help to support their own and their unborn baby’s health.