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How effective are non-prescription omega-3s to your health?

ANSWER

Omega-3 supplements can help make up for a lack of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

Many studies have not found much benefit in low daily doses of omega-3 supplements for preventing or treating disease. Only prescription-strength omega-3 has been found to have health benefits.

However, if you have heart disease, the American Heart Association recommends higher amounts of omega-3s that may be hard to get from diet alone. So, ask your doctor if supplements or prescriptions are right for you.

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

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

NEXT QUESTION:

How are prescription omega-3s different from nonprescription?

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