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How can you get non-food omega-3 fatty acids?

ANSWER

If you can't or don't want to change what you eat, then supplements may help you make up the omega-3s you're missing. You can buy them without a prescription. Omega-3 supplements come in different doses.

In addition to diet, exercise, and weight loss if needed, your doctor might prescribe them if your levels of triglycerides -- a type of fat in the blood -- are over 500 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Omega-3s may help lower your risk for heart disease. Lowering very high triglycerides can also lessen your risk of pancreas inflammation, called pancreatitis.

SOURCES:

Harvard School of Public Health: "Ask the Expert: Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Omega-3 Supplements: An Introduction."

Rizos, E. , Sept. 12, 2012. The Journal of the American Medical Association

American Heart Association: "Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

Macchia, A. , December 2012. Journal of the American College of Cardiology

FDA: "Summary of Qualified Health Claims Subject to Enforcement Discretion."

Collins, N. , 2008. Journal of the American College of Nutrition

Chan, Eric J. , April 2009. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine

Lee, Y.-H. , July 2012. Archives of Medical Research

Bays, H. , March 2008. Expert Reviews

National Institutes of Health: "Fish Oil."

News release, Oregon State University.

Miller, M. , May 2011. Circulation

AstraZeneca.

UpToDate: Omega-3-acid ethyl esters (fish oil).

FDA: Access data: Omtryg.

Reviewed by Carmen Patrick Mohan on June 12, 2017

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

Harvard School of Public Health: "Ask the Expert: Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Omega-3 Supplements: An Introduction."

Rizos, E. , Sept. 12, 2012. The Journal of the American Medical Association

American Heart Association: "Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

Macchia, A. , December 2012. Journal of the American College of Cardiology

FDA: "Summary of Qualified Health Claims Subject to Enforcement Discretion."

Collins, N. , 2008. Journal of the American College of Nutrition

Chan, Eric J. , April 2009. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine

Lee, Y.-H. , July 2012. Archives of Medical Research

Bays, H. , March 2008. Expert Reviews

National Institutes of Health: "Fish Oil."

News release, Oregon State University.

Miller, M. , May 2011. Circulation

AstraZeneca.

UpToDate: Omega-3-acid ethyl esters (fish oil).

FDA: Access data: Omtryg.

Reviewed by Carmen Patrick Mohan on June 12, 2017

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