The Facts on Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Where to Get Omega 3s continued...
While eating more fatty fish is a good idea, some are likely to have higher levels of mercury, PCBs, or other toxins. These include mackerel, wild swordfish, tilefish, and shark.
Farm-raised fish of any type may also have higher levels of contaminants. Children and pregnant women should avoid these fish entirely. Everyone else should eat no more than 7 ounces of these fish a week. Fish like wild trout and wild salmon are safer.
Good food sources of ALA are:
flaxseed and flaxseed oil
- canola oil
- soybean oil
While foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have health benefits, some -- like oils and nuts -- can be high in calories. So eat them in moderation.
Should You Supplement?
Fish oil has both EPA and DHA. Algae oil has DHA and may be a good option for people who don't eat fish.
Talk to your doctor about taking a supplement first. He or she may have specific recommendations, or warnings, depending on your health and the other medicines you take. Your doctor can also recommend the right dose.
People with heart disease are usually advised to take 1 gram (1,000 milligrams) daily of a combination DHA /EPA from fish oil.
People with some health conditions may take doses of up to 4 grams a day -- but only under a doctor's supervision.
The most common side effects from fish oil are indigestion and gas. Getting a supplement with a coating might help.
Omega-3 supplements (DHA/EPA) can make bleeding more likely. If you have a bleeding condition -- or take medicines that could increase bleeding, like Coumadin, Plavix, Effient, Brilinta, and some NSAIDs -- talk to a doctor before using any omega-3 supplements.