Are You Getting Enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that have long been touted for their health-promoting benefits. Your body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids on its own, hence, it is vital that you obtain them through your diet. However, the intake of omega-3 fatty acids is very low and far from being desirable amongst Malaysians, mainly because our local diets are not particularly high in this healthy fat.

Signs of omega-3 fatty acids deficiency

  • Dry or flaky skins
  • Dry or brittle hair
  • Soft or brittle nails
  • Dry eyes
  • Excessive thirst
  • Poor concentration
  • Anxiety or mood swings

Health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids

  • Decrease triglyceride levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decrease platelet aggregation
  • Prevent plaque formation in the arteries
  • Reduce susceptibility to arrhythmia
  • Delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Ease joint discomfort

Supplementing with fish oil

As the primary dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil provides significant amounts od eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Look out for molecularly distilled formulas for optimum purity.

How much omega-3 fatty acids do you need?

Usage Daily omega-3 fatty acids intake
General cardiovascular health (without documented coronary heart disease) ≥500mg of EPA & DHA
Triglyceride lowering 2-4g of EPA & DHA
Secondary cardiovascular disease prevention (with existing coronary heart disease) ≈1g of EPA & DHA
Hypertension 2-4g of EPA & DHA
Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) 1.8g of EPA & DHA
Rheumatoid arthritis 54mg/kg of EPA & 36mg/kg of DHA