Omega-3 supplements are polyunsaturated fatty acids and key components to the human diet. They include: Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), found in various food sources, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), found in fish, and Docosahexenoic acid (DHA), found in both seaweed and fish. Vegetable oils, seeds, beans, nuts and leafy greens contain ALA, which is converted on a small scale to EPA and DHA when ingested. EPA and DHA are the primary types of Omega-3 fatty acids found in dietary supplements.
Humans are not able to produce Omega-3 independently, which is why we depend on external sources to help aide in the normal function and development of the brain, eyes and nerves. Supplements are taken by those who are eighteen years of age or older, unless prescribed by a health care provider, in combination with a varied diet.
Omega-3 supplements have been used to reduce joint swelling and pain, and also to prevent blood clots which can lead to heart conditions. According to sources, further uses of Omega-3 supplements include: Improved blood circulation, the reduction of symptoms for those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and acting as an aid in the prevention of stroke, breast cancer and prostate cancer.
The FDA has approved Omega-3 supplements from fish sources as safe for consumption. For adults, the daily intake should not exceed 3 grams of Omega-3 unless prescribed by a doctor. Those who suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease or other serious ailment should consult with a medical professional concerning the recommended intake frequency of Omega-3 supplements as well as treatment duration.