Fish Oil – Are you getting enough Omega-3’s?

In CategoryHealth News, Pharmacy, Product Info
ByJon

What Are Omega-3’s?

Omega 3’s are a type of fatty acid required by the human body to function properly. Our bodies cannot make Omega 3’s on our own, so humans must consume fish oil through the diet or with supplementation.

There are two types of omega 3’s:  DHA and EPA. Both are found naturally in fish.

 

 

The Uses and Dosing of Fish Oil (Omega-3s)

When determining the correct dose of fish oil for omega-3s, you must read the label carefully.  The front label of most products will say “Fish Oil 1,000mg” however this is NOT the amount of omega-3s in the product.  Omega-3s are only a portion of the fish oil capsules and are the ingredient directly responsible for supporting vital health processes.

Fish oil products should have labeling to describe the amounts of omega-3s (DHA + EPA) in the capsules.   The “serving size” may be listed as 1 or 2 capsules, depending on the product selected.  This is important in determining the cost of taking fish oil, as serving size differs from product to product.

*As you can see from this example, although each capsule is 1,000mg, only 300mg are the DHA and EPA!*

The most common uses of fish oil are to support healthy cholesterol (primarily high triglycerides), blood pressure support, prevention of secondary cardiovascular events, cardiovascular support, and support of brain function. The chart below describes how dosing may differ based on medical literature available for each condition.

 

Most Common Uses

Recommended dosing of omega-3s (EPA plus DHA)

High cholesterol

(primarily triglycerides)

2000-4000mg daily

High Blood Pressure

3000-4000mg daily

Secondary Cardiovascular Prevention

2000mg dailiy

Heart Disease

1000mg daily

Summary of Scientific Evidence:

High Cholesterol (primarily triglycerides):   There is strong evidence that omega-3s help in reducing triglyceride levels.  On average, omega-3s reduce triglyceride levels by 27mg/dl.

High Blood Pressure: There is strong evidence that omega-3s support small reductions in blood pressure.

Secondary Cardiovascular Prevention: There is strong evidence that omega-3s reduce the risk of heart attacks and death in patients who have previously had a heart attack or stroke.

Other theoretical (unproven) benefits:

Arthritis/inflammatory disorders

Dementia

Auto-immune disorders

Asthma

If you have additional questions about fish oil, talk to one of our pharmacists today!

Yours in Health,

Jon Lehan, Pharm D