Guide to Omega-3s
Carmi Remedy’s Rx Guide to Omega-3
At Penticton’s Carmi Remedy’s Rx, we get a lot of questions about Omega-3s – questions like:
- Should I be supplementing with Omega-3?
- What if I am Vegan or Vegetarian?
- What is the difference between Krill Oil, Fish Oil, and Vegetarian Sourced Omega-3s?
- What are the benefits of Omega-3 and do we really need fatty acids?
So What Are Omega-3s?
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that you must get from the diet. They are termed essential because they are necessary for health but the body cannot produce them on it’s own like other fats. These incredibly healthy fats have important benefits for your body and brain.
The three most important types are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). ALA is mainly found in plants, while DHA and EPA are mainly found in animal foods and algae.
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed for optimal function of the human body, and they may also provide numerous powerful health benefits.
More On The 3 Main Types of Omega-3 Fats
1. EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)
EPA is mostly found in animal products, such as fatty fish and fish oil. However, some microalgae also contain EPA.
This fatty acid has many essential functions. Most importantly, it is used to form signalling molecules called eicosanoids. This can lead to reduced inflammation. EPA has been found to be particularly effective against certain mental conditions, especially depression.
2. DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)
Like EPA, DHA is mostly found in animal products like fatty fish and fish oil. Meat, eggs, and dairy products from grass-fed animals also tend to contain significant amounts. Microalgae supplements also contain DHA
The main role of DHA is to serve as a structural component in cell membranes, particularly in nerve cells in the brain and eyes.
DHA is very important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is absolutely crucial for the nervous system during development, and breast milk contains significant amounts of DHA.
3. ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid)
ALA is found in high-fat plant foods, especially flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts.
Despite being the most common omega-3 fat in the diet, ALA is not very active in the body. It needs to be converted into EPA and DHA in order to become active. Unfortunately only a small amount gets converted into EPA and DHA. Most of the ALA you eat will simply be used for energy.
Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most comprehensively studied nutrients on earth.
They have been shown to have powerful health benefits for various body systems.
- Blood Triglycerides: Omega-3 supplements can lower blood triglycerides significantly
- Cancer: Some studies indicate that consuming foods high in omega-3 has been linked to a reduced risk of colon, prostate and breast cancer.
- Fatty Liver: Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help get rid of excess fat from the liver
- Depression and Anxiety: Taking omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil, can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Inflammation and Pain: Omega-3s can reduce inflammation and symptoms of various autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. They are also very effective at reducing menstrual pain
- ADHD: In children with ADHD, omega-3 supplements can significantly improve various symptoms
- Asthma: Omega-3s may help prevent asthma in children and young adults
- Baby Development: DHA taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding can improve the baby’s intelligence and eye health
- Dementia: Some studies link a higher omega-3 intake to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Read 17 Science-Based Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for more information on health benefits of omega-3.
Should You Take an Omega-3 Supplement?
The best way to ensure optimal omega-3 intake is to eat fatty fish 2-3 times a week. The following is a list of foods that are high in Omega-3:
- Salmon (EPA and DHA)
- Cod Liver Oil (EPA and DHA)
- Sardines (EPA and DHA)
- Anchovies (EPA and DHA)
- Flax Seeds (ALA)
- Chia Seeds (ALA)
- Walnuts (ALA)
If you don’t eat a lot of fatty fish or seafood, then it is probably a good idea to take a supplement.
Safety and Side Effects
When it comes to nutrition, more is not always better, and taking too much of anything can lead to side effects. Always follow the instructions on the label.
What Supplements Should I Take?
Here are a few supplements we recommend and carry at Carmi Remedy’s Rx – your Penticton Pharmacy:
Vegetarian-Sourced DHA Blended with Udo’s Oil™
Made with DHA sourced from unrefined algae, not fish, Udo’s Oil™ DHA 3+6+9 Blend offers you vitally important omega-3 fatty acids made from completely sustainable plant sources. A renewable resource, cultivated tank-grown algae has no detrimental impact on worldwide fisheries. We get our DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) the same way fish get theirs—directly from algae. Because it’s tank grown-algal sourced, this DHA product is free from ocean-borne contaminants.
DHA supports the proper functioning of our brains as adults, and supports the normal physical development of the brain, eyes and nerves, primarily in children under two years of age. One serving of Udo’s DHA Oil Blend provides 100 milligrams of DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
Udo’s Oil™ DHA 3+6+9 Blend combines DHA-rich algae with a special formulation of natural, unrefined oils from fresh organic flax, sunflower, sesame and evening primrose seeds as well as oils from coconut and rice bran. DHA is one of the most important long-chain fatty acids in the omega-3 family: the majority of the fatty acids found in the brain and in the retina are in the form of DHA. The body can convert DHA to EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid that is a precursor to the production of prostaglandins which help promote good health.
- Source of omega-3 and omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids in 2 to 1 ratio
- Contains algal-sourced DHA, a vegetarian, sustainable alternative to fish oils
- Supports the brain, eyes and nerves
- One serving of Udo’s Oil™ DHA 3+6+9 Blend provides 100 mg of DHA
- 100 mg of DHA is 33% of the Adequate Intake (AI) of DHA for pregnant/nursing women and 45% of the AI of DHA for general adult population as recommended by ISSFAL (International Society for the Study of Fats and Lipids)
- This blend contains organic unrefined seed oils from flax, sunflower, sesame and evening primrose along with organic coconut, rice bran, and oat bran oils, organic soy lecithin and non-GMO mixed tocopherols
- Freshly-pressed, organic and unrefined
- Expeller-pressed in a low heat, light and oxygen-free environment and thoughtfully packaged in brown glass, nitrogen-flushed and stored in a box for further protection
- All the ingredients in Udo’s Oil™ DHA 3+6+9 Blend pass rigorous quality control testing and are produced under Good Manufacturing Practices
- Formulated by Udo Erasmus, author of Fats that Heal Fats that Kill
- Kept refrigerated in storage and ice-packed for transit to maintain the stability of the heat-sensitive Essential Fatty Acids
- Use in salads, salad dressings, smoothies, casseroles, dips, on all your favourite meals once cooking is complete
- Do not cook with Udo’s Oil™ DHA 3+6+9 Blend as direct heat will diminish the healthful properties of the Essential Fatty Acids
- You can find Udo’s Oil™ DHA 3+6+9 Blend in the refrigerator section of your favourite health food store
Jamieson Omega COMPLETE Super Krill
Jamieson Omega COMPLETE Super Krill is made from 100% Antarctic krill oil. Its unique phospholipid form of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) prevents the fishy aftertaste often associated with fish oils and help maintain cardiovascular healthy by reducing levels of harmful LDL cholesterol and increasing levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
Omega COMPLETE Super Krill is derived from 100% Antarctic Krill oil, extracted only from fresh-caught krill harvested sustainably in the icy waters of the Antarctic during the winter. It’s free from potentially harmful levels of PCBs, dioxins and heavy metals such as mercury and is certified by Friend of the Sea (FOS). Jamieson ensures all Omega COMPLETE Super Krill products are fully traceable and use only the most advanced technology. Jamieson does not engage in bottom-trawling, thus avoiding by-catch and ensuring the marine habitat is left as untouched and undisturbed as possible.
Jamieson Omega COMPLETE 100% Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
Omega COMPLETE 100% Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is as close to eating the whole fish as you can get. This unique product not only supplies the well-known essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, which help to support cognitive heath and brain function, it also contains a spectrum of EFAs-8 in total- in the same ratios you would find in fresh wild salmon. Omega COMPLETE 100% Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil also has several additional naturally occurring nutrients including vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K and the antioxidant Astaxanthin. Omega COMPLETE 100% Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is easily absorbed by your body and beneficial to your diet.
The Alaskan Venturer – a state of the art processing ship- navigates the cold, salmon-filled Alaskan waters during the commercial salmon harvest season, ensuring only the freshest salmon are caught. Using the patented and unique cold-pressed processing method, the oil is then carefully extracted onboard. Because the oil is made exclusively with 100% wild Alaskan salmon, the raw materials are traceable to the place and date of harvest.
Your Penticton Pharmacy Is Here To Help!
Always check with your Carmi Remedy’s Rx Pharmacist when starting a new vitamin or supplement. We are here to help ensure that you have no drug interactions and that you are taking the recommended dosage.
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