Omega 3 Fatty Acids: An Introduction
Over the years, the Omega-3 family of essential acids has received frequent attention by the scientific community. Researchers have been investigating the impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on human health. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are a type of fat commonly found in some foods and dietary supplements. Two of the most commonly discussed members of the Omega-3 family, are EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). These two Omega-3 Fatty Acids are also commonly found in fish, shellfish and in nutritional supplements such as fish oil supplements.
Research and Scientific Interest
According to research gathered by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, high doses of Omega-3s can reduce triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a type of fat present in the human blood and high triglyceride levels may increase the risk of developing heart disease. Recommended actions to reduce triglyceride levels include making dietary changes and weight control. Research has also indicated that Omega-3 supplements may help in easing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Recommendations on Diet and Nutrition
The Federal Government has published recommendations on the amount of fish to be consumed in its Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. It recommends that adults eat 8 or more ounces of a variety of fish or shellfish per week due to the beneficial nutrients found in seafood. Additionally, the National Health Interview Survey of 2012 indicates that fish oil supplements are the most commonly taken nonvitamin/nonmineral natural product by adults and children in the United States. According to the survey, 7.8% of adults (18.8 million) had consumed a fish oil supplement within the last 30 days.
Be an Informed Consumer
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recommends that consumers consult with their qualified healthcare providers before taking any nutrition supplements.
It is important for all consumers to do their research and to make informed decisions about their diet and their nutrition.