What are Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats, which means our body does not produce them and we need to intake them from our food. Some foods high in Omega-3 are fish, flax seed, walnuts, and krill oil.
There are three types of Omega 3 fatty acids:
- ALA – α-linolenic acid, found in plant oils
- EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid, found in marine oils
- DHA – docosahexaenoic acid, found in marine oils
DHA being the most crucial of the three types of Omega-3 fatty acids, can be formed from the other types ALA and EPA. ALA (18 Carbon molecule) in the body can be formed into the EPA (20 Carbon molecule), then EPA can be formed into the most important type DHA (22 Carbon molecule). DHA can then be broken down into both forms ALA and EPA in the body.
Why are Omega-3’s important?
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for cell metabolism and normal growth in our body. There is a high amount of DHA concentration in the human brain and is important for brain growth especially during pregnancy and during the first years of life. Omega-3 fatty acids are also converted into eicosanoids, which are important for anti-inflammatory effects in the body, and into steroids such as cholesterol and ergosterol.
How can Omega-3’s help the eyes?
Omega-3’s help reduce inflammation in the body. The root cause of all dry eyes is low grade inflammation on the ocular surface and eye lid borders. Ocular signs of dry eyes improve after taking omega-3’s for 4-6 weeks, and most will feel an improvement in dry eye symptoms.
How much should I take?
Studies have shown that taking 2-3 grams or 2,000-3,000 milligrams per day has been the most effective to reduce dry eye symptoms.
Where can I get Omega-3 fatty acids?
There both animal and plant based foods that will contain the omega-3 fatty acids we need for our body. Animal sources tend to be the better way to get them because the come in the DHA and EPA forms that are more useful in the body. Here is a list of the top 15 sources of omega-3’s.
Here’s a list of the top 15 omega-3 foods (percentages based on 4,000 milligrams per day of total omega-3s): Source from Dr. Axe – omega 3 foods
- Mackerel: 6,982 milligrams in 1 cup cooked (174 precent DV)
- Salmon Fish Oil: 4,767 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (119 percent DV)
- Cod Liver Oil: 2.664 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (66 percent DV)
- Walnuts: 2,664 milligrams in 1/4 cup (66 percent DV)
- Chia Seeds: 2,457 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (61 percent DV)
- Herring: 1,885 milligrams in 3 ounces (47 percent DV)
- Salmon (wild-caught): 1,716 milligrams in 3 ounces (42 percent DV)
- Flaxseeds (ground): 1,597 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (39 percent DV)
- Tuna: 1,414 milligrams in 3 ounces (35 percent DV)
- White Fish: 1,363 milligrams in 3 ounces (34 percent DV)
- Sardines: 1,363 milligrams in 1 can/3.75 ounces (34 percent DV)
- Hemp Seeds: 1,000 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (25 percent DV)
- Anchovies: 951 milligrams in 1 can/2 ounces (23 percent DV)
- Natto: 428 milligrams in 1/4 cup (10 percent DV)
- Egg Yolks: 240 milligrams in 1/2 cup (6 percent DV)
You can find omega-3 supplements almost anywhere, but not all omega-3’s supplements are created equal. Many of the inexpensive supplements you find in the grocery store may say 1,000 mg in each capsule, but look at the amount of actual omega-3 amount they may be as low as 100 or 200 mg. Here are a couple that I have used and liked for both the quality and quantity of omega-3’s.
- Puritans Pride – Triple strength omega-3 fish oil – highest quantity omega-3’s for price but can have fish aftertaste. (I take these at night and have little to no burp up taste)
- Nordic Naturals – ProDHA eye – These have added Lutein and Xeaxanthin (antioxidants for eye health) on top of high amount of omega-3’s. no burp up taste.
- Savage Fish 60’s – Omega-3 fish oil – no burp up taste with high amount of omega-3’s.
There are many benefits from taking omega-3 fatty acids, and it is very likely you are not getting enough in your current diet so take the supplements.
If you have any question please CONTACT ME and I will be happy to help