Canadian Medical Guide > Vitamins & Mineral Food Supplement Guide

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Vitamin / Mineral Supplement Overview:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are a dietary supplement found mainly in cold water fish, such as mackerel, herring, halibut, cod, shark and salmon. Lesser amounts of it are found in tuna and shrimp. Another good source of Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained in flaxseed oil. Arthritis sufferers can experience beneficial results by using a supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids. Due to the effects on the immune response and on cell mediators; such as prostaglandins, cytokines, and leukotrienes--in the body that direct the inflammatory response involved in rheumatoid arthritis, use of supplements containing fish oils or plant oils have been shown to reduce the pain, ,swelling and stiffness of arthritis. Also, arthritis medications can be reduced with its use. Two chemicals contained in omega-3 fatty acids are Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

How Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplements Work in Your Body:
Protects against coronary heart disease
Protects against arteriosclerosis
Causes high density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is known to protect against deposits of plaque that can occlude critical blood vessels and causes myocardial infractions (heart attacks), strokes and other major health problems
Raises blood cholesterol
Possible anti-inflammatory response for arthritis sufferers
May protect against strokes
May improve immune response
May hinder blood clotting
May increase risk of anemia in menstruating women
May reduce re-closure of arteries after angioplasty

Foods High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
Flaxseed oil

Using Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
Available as:

Medical Precautions: Do not take if you:
Are pregnant, there is a possibility you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the future.
Are diabetic, due to the high fat content in supplements
Have a blood clotting problem (omega-3 acids may reduce the ability of the blood to clot)
Will undergo surgery

Consult your Medical Doctor If you:
Take any herbs or drugs including aspirin, laxatives, cold and cough remedies, antacids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, supplements, other prescription or non prescription drugs.

Seek advise from your medical doctor before using this supplement. No proven supplement problems exist in pregnant women taking small or usual amounts, however the chance of problems do exist.

Seek advise from your medical doctor before using this supplement. No proven supplement problems exist in breast-fed infants of lactating mothers taking small or usual amounts, however the chance of problems do exist.

Infants and Children:
It is hazardous to treat infants and children under 2 with any supplement.

Vitamin Supplement Storage:
Keep in a cool and dry location and away from direct light, but do not freeze.
Keep safely away from children.
Do not keep in bathroom medicine cabinet. Heat and dampness may alter the action of the supplement.

Safe Vitamin / Mineral dosage:
To date, no safe vitamin / mineral dosage has been established.

Information on the comparative-toxicity rating cannot be found in standard references.

Omega 3 Fatty Acid Side Effects:
Signs and symptoms : What to do
Large amounts may lead to bleeding problems, diminished immunity, predisposition to some malignancies:
Discontinue use. Call your physician immediately


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