Home Blood Pressure Omega-3 Supplements May Improve Your Health in 10 Ways, Here’s What Research Reveals!
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Omega-3 Supplements May Improve Your Health in 10 Ways, Here’s What Research Reveals!

Omega-3 supplements can do great things for the body. These essential fatty acids have been found to help people with high blood sugar and blood fat levels. Some experts also claim it also benefits brain and heart health.

Luckily, they can be found in certain foods and supplements. Read on to discover how they might enhance health:

  • Understand the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Know how it works for your body
  • Get it from both dietary sources and supplements
  • Be aware of potential risks and adverse reactions
  • Learn the recommended amount and schedule for intake
  • Familiarize yourself with its safety and efficacy

What are Omega-3 Supplements Potential Health Benefits?

Omega-3 supplements date back to fatty acids history in 1929. George and Mildred Burr made a crucial discovery that your health could seriously suffer without fatty acids in your diet. They also coined the term “essential fatty acids” to describe this vital nutrient.

Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fats with three main types. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or known as “marine” omega-3s. It’s because most come from fish. In contrast, Ala lipoic acid (ALA) is the most common omega-3 in Western diets. You can get it from vegetable oils, nuts, and animal fat. 

However, the body has limited ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA. So even though your body can convert small amounts of ALA into DHA and EPA, getting enough of these fatty acids in your diet is still important.

Cell membranes throughout the body have these healthy fats. They impact how cell receptors function. Moreover, they reduce inflammation and protect against several chronic conditions. Here are 10 potential benefits based on scientific research.

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are Good for the Heart 

Previous studies have shown mixed results about whether omega-3 supplements improve heart health. So, researchers conducted a review of studies in 2018. The review included 86 trials of 162,796 participants. Most trials involved capsules rather than oily fish; the results were observed over at least a year.

It reveals that increasing omega-3 intake with EPA and DHA had little or no effect on heart-related incidents and death. However, it may reduce the risks. 

Notably, EPA and DHA reduce triglycerides or total circulating blood fats. Also, they may slightly protect against some heart and blood circulation diseases. 

Increasing your omega-3 intake may offer some benefits. But it doesn’t totally prevent heart disease, stroke, or death. A healthy diet and regular exercise remain key factors in reducing your risk of heart disease.

Another 2022 review looked at the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on heart health. They reviewed  28 trials involving over 136,000 people to get a clearer picture.

The review found omega-3 was linked to a lower risk of heart-related incidents and death. But compared to the control group, there was no significant difference in the risk of all-cause death, heart attack, or stroke.

The review suggests that omega-3 supplements may be a helpful addition to heart health routine. However, they may not have a significant impact on other health outcomes. Thus, speaking with your healthcare provider before taking fatty acid supplements is best.

2. Reduce High Blood Sugar Levels

Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) involves high blood sugar levels, abnormal fat levels, inflammation, and gut issues. Omega-3 fatty acids in certain foods and supplements are thought to play a critical role in managing T2DM. 

Studies on omega-3 and diabetes are also conflicting. However, here is some recent research and its promising findings. 

A study shows omega-3 influences gut microorganisms, which can impact T2DM and its related health problems.  Combining omega-3 fatty acids with other practices may be even more effective. For example, adding probiotics and prebiotics to a healthy diet gives better results. 

EPA and DHA are often considered beneficial for heart health. But do they affect heart risk factors in people with T2DM? 

Researchers reviewed 46 randomized clinical trials involving 4,991 people with T2DM to find out. They discovered that taking omega-3 supplements significantly improved the following when compared to control groups:

  • Total blood fat or cholesterol
  • Total circulating blood fat or triglyceride
  • “Good” fats or high-density lipoprotein (HDL)
  • HbA1c test for blood sugar levels
  • CRP test for protein the liver makes 

Although, there was no significant effect on the following:

  • Kidney function
  • Fasting blood sugar
  • Insulin resistance
  • “Bad” fats or low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
  • Hormones that fat tissues make 

This review suggests that omega-3 improves heart risk factors for people with T2DM.

Additionally, researchers analyzed data from 10 clinical trials to see how omega-3 fatty acids affect people with T2DM. They found that taking omega-3 supplements for at least 24 weeks can help reduce protein in the urine. However, the same results were not found for people with type-1 diabetes.

3. Help with High Blood Fat Levels and Weight Issues

This fatty acid has been studied extensively in heart disorders and high blood sugar levels. However, experts seem to disagree on the benefit of omega-3 on cholesterol levels and obesity. Nevertheless, omega-3 could help people with weight and high blood fat levels.

Scientists aimed to determine if omega-3s could help with “good” cholesterol or HDL. So they gave 147 people with a high risk of heart problems either an omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids supplement for eight weeks. 

The people who took omega-3s had more of the big HDL (which is a good thing) and less of the small HDL (which is not so good). They also had less of a certain type of fat in their HDL. Plus, the omega-3s helped some of the enzymes in the HDL. 

All of these changes could lower your risk of heart problems, but, of course, you should always talk to your healthcare provider before taking omega-3 supplements. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are also crucial for protecting against metabolic disorders like T2DM. Moreover, they keep your body mass healthy. A study investigated the relationship between the omega-3, body mass index, and dietary intake of young women aged 18-35.

The study found that overweight young women had significantly lower omega-3 levels than those with an average weight. Additionally, those who took fish oil supplements had higher omega-3 levels than those who didn’t. However, this effect was more noticeable in healthy-weight women.  

These findings suggest that maintaining healthy omega-3 levels may be especially crucial for people struggling with being overweight. It’s because they are at higher risk of metabolic disorders. More research is needed to understand the underlying action behind this relationship better.

4. Omega-3 Supplements to Ease Autoimmune Disorders

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and multiple sclerosis (MS) are autoimmune diseases. They occur when the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells and organs. Inflammation is a key component of the immune response. Hence, it can contribute to a health condition’s development and progression.

Studies on fish oil supplements yield mixed results. It’s likely due to differences in dosage and fish oil sources. Although, some studies have found that omega-3s can help reduce inflammation. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are Good for Arthritis

Some studies have shown that omega-3s may help reduce the number of swollen and tender joints in people with RA. For example, researchers investigated whether omega-3 fatty acids could improve RA, inflammation, and heart disease risk. 

They looked at 20 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 717 people with RA in the intervention group. Another 535 people with RA participated in the control group. But, the quality of trials was overall low. 

Results show that omega-3 fatty acids significantly improved eight disease-activity-related markers and reduced leukotriene B4. Moreover, they found a positive effect on the blood lipid profile of people with RA. Therefore, omega-3 fatty acids help improve RA activity and lower heart disease risk.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

A review looked at whether omega-3 fatty acids can help people with SLE. The researchers reviewed five studies that compared omega-3 supplements to a placebo or standard treatment. 

The studies included 274 patients with SLE, mostly women in their 40s. Results show that omega-3 reduced SLE disease activity by 0.9 points on a scale that measures disease activity. 

This review suggests omega-3 could help treat SLE, mainly when used with other therapies. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and determine the optimal dose and duration of treatment.

Similarly, researchers reviewed 13 articles on omega-3 fatty acid supplements. They found that it may improve SLE activity. But, it did not show benefits for kidney or systemic factors. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements may benefit people with SLE with minimal side effects. 

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system by damaging the myelin sheath. A review aimed to investigate the impact of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DPA, and DHA) on MS progression in adults. 

The review chose only seven studies that met the criteria out of 5,554. These studies exhibited the positive effects of omega-3 supplements on inflammatory markers. It includes glutathione reductase, relapsing rate, and achieving balanced omega-6 to omega-3 ratios. As a result, omega-3 improves the quality of life for people with MS. 

Hence, omega-3 fatty acids help reduce relapsing rates and inflammation. For those living with MS, adding omega-3 supplements to their diet may also positively change their overall well-being.

5. Potential COVID-19 Therapy

You’ve probably heard much about COVID-19 spreading worldwide since late 2019. Symptoms can range from nothing at all to something severe. It all depends on how your immune system reacts to the virus. 

Experts suggest that COVID-19 can cause inflammation and blood clots in some people, making things worse. Researchers are looking for ways that address these issues.

According to the experts, one possible treatment is omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon and tuna. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory action. At the same time, they can also help regulate blood clotting. 

Other experts suggest omega-3 supplements help prevent COVID-19. It does this by changing the fats in the cell membrane. Additionally, it can boost the immune system’s ability to fight infections. It does this by helping macrophages to engulf and kill harmful viruses. 

Moreover, studies show that people with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to die from COVID-19. A clinical trial also found that critically ill people with COVID-19 who took omega-3 had better survival rates than those who didn’t. 

A review probed into four studies about omega-3 and COVID-19. They showed that omega-3 could lower the risk of getting COVID-19. It also helped people feel better faster and even improved their survival rates. 

However, more studies are needed to confirm whether omega-3 supplements benefit COVID-19.

6. Relieve Skin Problems

Many studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent or ease skin conditions. For instance, DHA and EPA can help prevent diseases by stopping inflammation. Researchers reviewed other studies to see what the findings say about using omega-3 for skin health. 

They looked at 38 studies and found that omega-3 may help with conditions like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne, and skin ulcers. There were also results that supplements can lower the risk of skin cancer and reduce the severity of side effects caused by some medicines. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are safe and easy to take. It’s a good idea to consider them as a supplement to improve inflammatory skin conditions. They are also helpful in protecting against UV damage and as an added acne therapy.

Some metabolites of omega-3, called resolvins, have strong anti-inflammatory effects in allergic and inflammatory problems. However, there’s little research yet on how they affect skin diseases. Experts suggest that more research is needed. 

There have been many studies on using omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for skin issues, like reducing skin inflammation. 

According to scientists, there is no one-size-fits-all solution because everyone’s genes differ. Eating a balanced diet or omega-3 supplements might help some people with skin problems.

7. Omega-3 Supplements and Dental Health 

Do you have bleeding gums and loose teeth? Periodontitis is a bacterial infection that affects your gums, teeth, and bones. It’s caused by plaque and tartar buildup and can lead to tooth loss if not treated. 

Host modulation therapy is an interesting new way to remedy periodontitis. Plus, EPA and DHA have anti-inflammatory and protective properties.

Researchers reviewed six studies to see if omega-3 fatty acids could help with this therapy. The results showed that omega-3 could help reduce gum inflammation. Moreover, it improved healing after the therapy. Hence, if you are getting treatment for periodontitis, you might benefit from omega-3-rich foods and supplements.

Another review evaluated the effect of omega-3 supplements as an add-on to host modulation therapy. Eight studies showed promising results. Omega-3 fatty acids significantly improved clinical attachment levels. It also improved pocket depth after three months and, in four studies, after six months. 

Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene habits can help prevent gum problems. At the same time, adding omega-3 to the diet while undergoing host modulation therapy could have better results.

8. Might Support Brain Health

Scientists disagree on whether omega-3 benefits behavior, mood, and brain health. Here are some of the promising findings.

A lack of omega-3 in your diet can increase your risk of developing mental disorders. Crazy, right? EPA and DHA are important for maintaining good mental health. 

According to a study, people may be more likely to experience mental health problems if they don’t get enough of them. The downside? Omega-3 supplementation might increase cancer risks due to PUFAs, their oxidation products, or added vitamin E. Long-term effects might not be immediately noticeable. 

Experts advise caution for prolonged omega-3 supplementation, especially during sensitive life stages. It includes pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence. Recommendations should be made carefully.

Autism (ASD) and ADHD are brain-related issues that seem to be on the rise. Scientists say that one reason might be that kids are getting more omega-6 fats and less omega-3 fats from their diet. 

DHA, an important omega-3 fat, helps with brain development in babies. Some kids with Autism and ADHD have been found to have low DHA. If moms have the right amount of DHA when pregnant or breastfeeding, it might help protect kids from these issues. But other things like family income and lifestyle might also play a role.

In general, Omega-3 can be beneficial for various conditions based on a 2020 review of studies:

  • ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s Diseases
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality
  • Depression
  • Hostility
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Suicidal ideation

Getting enough omega-3s may positively impact mental health. But there is still much to learn about whether it can help. Speaking with a healthcare provider is crucial before taking omega-3 supplements. 

9. May Improve Brain Function

Some scientists wanted to determine if DHA and EPA (omega-3 oils) could improve brain function. They gave healthy adults a DHA-rich oil, EPA-rich oil, or an olive oil placebo for 26 weeks. 

The results showed that EPA helped adults think faster and more accurately than DHA or placebo groups. Memory was also better with the EPA group, but both EPA and DHA oils may have made the brain work more efficiently. Adding more omega-3 fatty acids to the diet could improve brain function and memory. 

Similarly, a review says that DHA is especially important because it helps the brain work well. It also looked at how omega-3 affects the brain. They found nine studies with a total of 1,319 people. The review reveals that taking omega-3 can improve learning, memory, and how well the brain works. 

The review also reveals it’s safe and good for lonely older adults. At the same time, it’s good for people who don’t eat enough healthy foods with omega-3. It’s better to get omega-3 from food, but a supplement could also be helpful.

10. Omega-3 Supplements Could Enhance Sleep

Some people have been tired from counting sheep just to get a good night’s sleep. A new study suggests that taking enough DHA and EPA may improve sleep quality. Researchers gave either a DHA-rich or EPA-rich oil to healthy adults who typically don’t eat much oily fish.

After 26 weeks, the DHA group had better sleep efficiency. They also took less time to fall asleep. However, they reported feeling less energetic and rested than the placebo group. Additionally, the EPA group had a trend toward better sleep efficiency, but unlike the DHA group, they had less time in bed and less total sleep time. 

This study provides the first evidence of how omega-3s can improve sleep in healthy adults. It also shows that different types of omega-3s may affect sleep quality differently. Although, more research is needed to understand how omega-3s impact sleep patterns.

A more recent study wanted to see if there was a link between how much omega-3 people had in their blood and their sleep habits. The researchers probed at data from over 1,300 adults. They found that people with lower levels of omega-3 tended to have shorter sleep. But those who had trouble falling asleep or had sleep disorders didn’t seem affected by their omega-3 levels.

It’s important to note that this study doesn’t prove that omega-3 supplements will improve your sleep. More research is needed to know for sure. 

How Does Omega-3 Work?

Omega-3s have many mechanisms in how they act on the body. The three general actions concern cell function, inflammation, and blood fats.

First, EPA and DHA maintain optimal cell membrane structure and function. They change how cells communicate with each other, how proteins in the membrane work, and how genes are expressed. As a result, they play a role in your endocrine, heart, immune, and lung systems.

Second, experts suggest EPA and DHA can help reduce inflammation. They work by decreasing the levels of pro-inflammatory substances and increasing anti-inflammatory molecules. They also produce resolvins and protectins, which have potent anti-inflammatory effects.

And third, the body makes VLDL, a triglyceride type. But EPA and DHA can help reduce the amount of VLDL the body makes. It makes the body’s total fat levels go down. Also, EPA and DHA can help get rid of another type of fat called chylomicrons. 

Where Can You Find Omega-3?

Sources of omega-3 that contain both EPA and DHA come from marine life. For example, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are top sources of EPA and DHA. These cold-water fishes eat algae and seaweed, also rich in omega-3s. 

Experts point out that farmed fish may have higher levels than wild-caught fish. It depends on what they feed on. Other fish like bass, cod, tilapia, and shellfish contain smaller amounts of EPA and DHA. It includes clams, mussels, and oysters. But take heed since seafood can cause allergies in some people.

Omega-3 Supplements

You can find EPA and DHA in fortified foods and omega-3 supplements. It also serves as an option for those who dislike eating seafood. Examples are dairy products, eggs, yogurt, and various drinks. 

Fish oil supplements can go bad easily, which may make them harmful or ineffective. Even though animal studies have shown the dangers of spoiled oils, human studies often don’t differentiate between fresh and spoiled fish oil. This inconsistency might be the reason why some studies find benefits, while others do not.

Supplements are available to help increase intake. But the body absorbs some of them poorly without a fatty meal. 

That’s where absorption enhancement technology comes in – it helps the body absorb EPA and DHA even without a fatty meal. Recent studies have shown that these technologies can significantly improve the bioavailability of EPA and DHA. 

For example, omega-3 crystals don’t go rancid easily and are absorbed better by the body. Not all supplements are created equal. Read the labels carefully on fortified foods to ensure they contain EPA and DHA, other than ALA. 

Moreover, supplements may also have vitamins. So, compare which has the most potent dose of EPA and DHA. With so many products, check the one free from soy, gluten, GMO, and artificial ingredients. 

What are the Potential Side Effects of Omega-3 Supplements?

Common side effects of omega-3 supplements are usually mild and go away on their own. They may include the following:

  • Change in the sense of taste or fishy aftertaste
  • Loss of appetite
  • Belching
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation 

Chest pain or uneven heartbeats are rare but need immediate medical attention. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider If you have any concerns. They can help you decide whether to take supplements and monitor your condition.

What is the Suggested Dose and Timing?

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends 8 ounces of assorted seafood. But other than seafood, the 2020-2025 DGA suggests regular food intake high in omega-3 is appropriate. 

So far, there is no standard amount for EPA or DHA. Generally, experts suggest not taking more than 3 grams daily.  

But experts recommend DHA doses of 400 mg – 800 mg and EPA doses of 1- 2 grams daily for up to six months. The 2015-2020 DGA suggests 250 mg of combined EPA and DHA daily.

Healthcare providers also suggest supplements for certain people. Breastfeeding mothers may take 250-275 mg daily of DHA plus EPA. For children 7 to 12 years old with special health issues, the suggested intake is 90 mg – 120 mg of DHA and EPA. 

Supplement doses vary because it depends on health conditions. There is also no specific time of the day to take omega-3 supplements. Some experts suggest taking it with meals for better absorption. So, it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the right dose and time.

Who Should Not Take It?

Experts caution people with irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias to refrain from taking EPA. Moreover, people who are sensitive to aspirin should not take it. A study shows that it made breathing worse for people with aspirin-intolerant asthma.

People allergic to seafood should not take them, even if omega-3 is usually not known to cause allergies. It’s best to avoid taking it altogether if you’re allergic to any of the ingredients in omega-3 supplements.

Always check with your healthcare provider before adding new supplements to your routine.

Experts allow pregnant and breastfeeding women and children to take EPA and HDA for specific reasons. However, it’s best to seek advice from your healthcare provider to ensure safety.

Omega-3 Supplements Interact with Some Substances 

Omega-3 doesn’t go well with two substances. First, antiplatelet or anticoagulant medications are also called blood thinners.  EPA supplements may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood thinners. If you’re taking this form of drug or herbal supplement, it can make your platelets less active.

Second, if taken with medicines, EPA supplements may decrease blood pressure even more, and herbal supplements for hypertension.

Are Omega-3 Supplements Safe?

EPA and DHA supplements are generally safe when taken in the correct dose. According to the European Food Safety Authority, a long-term intake of 5 grams of EPA and DHA supplements daily appears safe. While the U.S. FDA recommends that you should not consume more than 2 grams daily of EPA and DHA supplements. 

However, there has been a buzz about its negative heart effects. The European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy published a study in 2021. Scientists looked at other studies on omega-3 supplementation. 

Despite some studies showing benefits, most trials found an increased risk for atrial fibrillation (AF). An abnormal heart rhythm makes your heart beat rapidly or irregularly.

The findings mean that omega-3 supplements may increase the risk for AF. It applies to people with high heart risk and elevated plasma triglycerides. The scientists suggest that healthcare providers should consider the risk of AF when recommending omega-3 to certain people.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3s are healthy fats with three types: EPA, DHA, and ALA. Most EPA and DHA come from fish, while ALA is from nuts and vegetable oils. However, the body has limited ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA. Omega-3 supplements may play a crucial role in cell function, inflammation reduction, and protection against chronic diseases. 

Question 2: Are omega-3 fatty acids good for you?

Increasing intake of EPA and DHA may reduce your risk of heart disease. But it doesn’t completely prevent it. Omega-3 supplements may lower the risk of heart-related incidents and death. But, they may not have a significant impact on other health outcomes. Remember to talk to your healthcare provider before taking fatty acid supplements.

Question 3: Where are omega-3 fatty acids found?

The healthy EPA and DHA naturally come from salmon, tuna, and mackerel that eat algae and seaweed rich in omega-3s. People who don’t like seafood or have allergies can get them from fortified foods and omega-3 supplements. Check the labels carefully to ensure they contain EPA and DHA and are free from harmful ingredients.


Omega-3 supplements have been widely studied and found to offer many benefits. It may improve blood sugar and blood fat levels. It may also support brain and heart health and more. 

Certain foods contain omega-3. Moreover, supplements can also work for people not getting enough from the diet. 

However, it may not be for everyone, especially those with heart conditions. Awareness of potential risks, adverse reactions, and recommended amounts is essential. Talk to your healthcare provider today.

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