STANDARD DISCLAIMER: this is not medical advice and you should consult with your medical provider before you make any change.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful, natural medicines. The most important omega-3s are EPA and DHA, and are found in salmon and other cold water fish. Published studies show that Omega-3’s will:
reduce neck, back and joint pain
reduce symptoms of Lupus
fight heart disease
help control high blood pressure
reduce high triglycerides
fight Crohn's disease
**Late Breaking News**
Hot off the press: A new study, published last week, June 16, 2021 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry tested EPA and DHA in the treatment of Major Depression. The patients that took EPA experienced an average 64% reduction in depression symptoms, and those that took DHA had a 71% reduction in depression symptoms.
Compare that to a review in the Lancet that looked at more than 500 studies and concluded that standard prescription antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, Lexapro, etc.) only help about 60% of people who will experience just a 50% reduction in their symptoms. The lead researcher in the Lancet study stated that the combination of poor results and side effects, such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, etc, explains why “about 80% of people stop antidepressants within a month”.
Most people need to supplement omega 3s in pill form to get enough. A review in 2007, of 17 randomized, controlled medical studies showed that patients with joint pain who supplemented omega-3s had:
decreased joint pain
eliminated some joint pain entirely
and used less NSAIDs, (drugs like aspirin and Advil)
People generally see less pain and stiffness in 2-4 weeks, with full benefits taking up to 12 weeks.
Omega-3s are probably the most important natural medicine for most people. If you are only going to use just one natural medicine for your health, it should be omega-3s. Omega-3s will provide more benefit for more people, than any other medicine, natural or prescription.
The Federal Government stated:
“Overall, consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, whether from fish or from supplements, reduces all cause mortality...”
No other drug or supplement is known to reduce mortality from all causes!
How do I choose an Omega-3 supplement? What to look for on the label.
You want near equal amounts of the most important omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, or about a 60/40 ratio.
Ignore the "total amount of fish oil" or "other important omega-3 fatty acids", "fish oil concentrate", or "Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids" etc.
You only care about the total EPA and DHA added together.
Check the Serving Size. Notice on this label the Serving Size is 2 Soft Gels. That means you have to take 2 pills to get the amount of EPA and DHA listed on this label. If you take 2 pills you will get 600 mg EPA and 400 mg of DHA. Add the 400 and 600 together and you will get 1,000 mg of omega 3s by taking 2 of these pills.
The research indicates that most adults need to take 2,000 to 3,000 mg per day of EPA and DHA. To get that amount you would need to take 4 pills for 2,000 mg, or preferably 6 pills to get 3,000 mg, each day, of this product.
How do I take omega-3s?
Read the label as instructed above to determine how many pills you need to take each day.
Generally you need to take between 4 and 10 pills per day to get 2,000 to 3,000 mgs of EPA and DHA per day.
Studies show that people will get faster results if they take double doses (4000 to 6000 mg/day) the first few weeks. When they feel better, they can reduce to the normal therapeutic dose (2000 to 3000 mg/day).
Some people get fish burps or heart burn with omega-3s. This usually gets better after a few weeks.
It will help if you don't take them in the morning and don't take them on an empty stomach. For most people it works best to take half with lunch and the rest with dinner.
After you get used to taking Omega 3s you will be able to take your daily dose all at once, any time of day, on an empty stomach or with food, based on your convenience.
Here are some good Omega 3 products to consider.
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega is a great product. Five and a half capsules per day would supply 3,000 mg. Recently I saw this at Fred Meyer, and the pro-rated cost for 30 days was $57.25. This is a popular product and you can find this at most health food stores.
Triple Strength Fish oil is on the GNC website. You would need to take 3 per day, and the pro-rated 30 day cost was $33.74.
Carlson Super Omega-3 is the product I use, and a pro-rated 30 day cost at a local retailer was around $40.
NatureMade Omega-3, is the best price. You get this at Costco, and you take 10 per day to get the full 3,000 mg per day. The last time I checked the price, which was a couple of years ago, a 30 day pro-rated cost was just a few cents over $13.00. Clearly Costco had the best price.
There are many other good brands. Find a source and a price that is right for you.
To live longer and feel better, take 2,000 to 3,000 mg per day of Omega-3s.
Don't forget to reduce omega 6s at the same time. Click the button for more information.
Coming soon: How to find out what your current omega 6:3 ratio is.