People who cannot meet their omega-3 dietary requirements and those who experience high levels of inflammation may benefit from taking omega-3 supplements.
There are several types of omega-3 supplement to choose from, including:
- Fish oil: Fish oil is the most common omega-3 supplement, and it offers the highest available dose. Fish oil supplements include both DHA and EPA.
- Cod liver oil: Cod liver oil is rich not only in DHA and EPA omega-3s but also in vitamins A and D.
- Krill oil: Krill oil is another seafood oil that is rich in DHA and EPA.
- Algae oil: For people following a vegetarian or vegan diet, algae oils are an excellent source of omega-3s. However, they contain a lower dose than most fish oil supplements, so people may need to take more of them. There are also fewer brands, and they may be more expensive. Some brands include only DHA, but a brand with both DHA and EPA will be more beneficial.
- ALA supplements: Flaxseed, chia seed, and hemp seed supplements contain only the plant-based omega-3 ALA, which is not sufficient on its own. The seeds also contain omega-6 fatty acids, which can be inflammatory. This means that these supplements do not contribute to a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 in the body. Although ALA supplements are not a substitute for fish or algae oil, they can be an excellent additional supplement to include in the diet.
The amount of omega-3 in each of these supplements depends on the type of supplement and the specific brand(RCM).