|Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Vital to a Longer, Healthier Life |
By Dale Kiefer
Shining Eyes, Glowing Skin, and All the Rest
Omega-3s are under investigation for the treatment of conditions ranging from chronic (post-viral) fatigue syndrome57 and psoriasis to atopic dermatitis and post-menopausal bone loss.58 Results generally have been encouraging, but further research is needed. Supplemental fish oil has even been used in the treatment of pancreatitis, a painful condition often accompanied by abnormally high levels of triglycerides.59 Fish oil has been proven to reduce triglyceride levels, even among otherwise healthy individuals.
Getting Yours— How Much Is Enough?
Attention also must be paid to the concentration of EFAs in a given supplement. Some supplements have such a low concentration of DHA and EPA, that seven or more capsules a day are needed to obtain minimum potencies. Higher concentrated supplements are available that provide more DHA/EPA in fewer capsules. Taking supplements with food is generally recommended for better tolerability. Omega-3s decrease blood viscosity and platelet aggregation, an action that explains at least some of the cardiovascular benefits conferred by these EFAs. Because of this, however, individuals taking blood-thinner medications should consult with their physicians before beginning supplementation in order to avoid the risk of excessive bleeding.
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