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Omega-3, a type of polyunsaturated fat found mainly in seafood, contains essential nutrients for optimal health.

What are its health benefits?

Omega-3, 6 and 9 are all fatty acids, with the main essential fatty acids in our diet being omega-3 and omega-6. Not only does the body need omega-3 to function, it offers a number of other benefits, including lowering the risk of heart disease, improving cholesterol levels and curbing stiffness and joint pain related to arthritis.

Omega-3 has also been shown to be beneficial for the following conditions:

Do you have a deficiency?

Signs of omega-3 deficiency include heart problems, mood swings, fatigue, memory loss, eczema, arthritis, low energy levels and obesity. Symptoms will normally first appear in the form of dry skin and brittle nails. Over time, mild symptoms can lead to heart disease and several other serious illnesses.

To avoid these potential conditions, ensure your diet is high in omega-3. Remember that, even though dietary sources of omega-3 provide higher blood levels of this fatty acid than supplements, supplementation is recommended as most people never meet their daily requirement from food sources.

Find it in these foods

Omega-3 rich foods include fish oil and certain plant and nut oils.

Recommended foods include:

  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Flax
  • Canola Oil
  • Walnuts
  • Wild rice
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Meat and milk from pasture-fed animals

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

There is no RDA for omega-3, as needs differ according to age and circumstance. Some people ingest more than others in their diet, thus affecting their supplementary needs. Consult your Clicks pharmacist or your doctor before you start supplementation or make dramatic changes to your diet.

Know the overdose risks

There can be side effects and safety concerns when taking high doses of omega-3. Taking more than 3g per day might keep blood from clotting and can increase the chance of bleeding. High doses might also inhibit the body’s immune system.

It is also important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications.

Shop online at Clicks.co.za for your omega oils

Clicks' pharmacists have selected the most trustworthy and affordable supplements for you. If you'd like to stock up on your monthly intake via the convenience of online shopping, go here for your omega oils.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in February 2015