In recent years, omega 3 deficiency has come into the limelight. Often, the symptoms of an omega 3 deficiency mimic other concerns like low iron or calcium, so the omega 3 problem can slide under the radar. The symptoms can be significant, however, and can impact your health for the worse without you realising it.
When our bodies do not get enough omega 3 fatty acids, a number of problems can develop. Some diets and eating plans can make you prone to this deficiency. For example, diets that are high in red meat and poultry or that significantly restrict fat may lead to fatty acid levels that are too low. While some issues that stem from deficiency may not be apparent to the sufferer, the following more obvious symptoms are all signs that you need to be mindful of your omega 3 levels.
Symptoms caused from low levels of Omega 3
- An increased risk of inflammation in the body, including the stomach, gut and bladder can present when there is a lack of Omega 3 in the body, and this is why I included an high-strength Omega 3 supplement in the Just For Tummies range, as anyone with digestive and gut symptoms, particularly IBS, will have low-grade gut inflammation that doesn’t often show up on blood tests, and research suggests that inflammation perpetuates the symptoms of IBS.
- Problems with skin, hair, and nails. Omega 3s build up cell walls, and when levels are too low, you may experience dry skin, brittle hair, and thin nails that peel and crack. Omega 3 deficiency can cause rashes on the skin and dandruff as well.
- Fatigue and trouble sleeping. It can be very tricky to pinpoint what is causing sleep issues because so many things can contribute to the problem, but a lack of omega 3s is a likely culprit. Boosting your levels can help improve significantly the amount and quality of sleep you get. Once you’re enjoying higher-quality rest, you will see many other health benefits, too.
- Deficits in concentration and attentiveness. Sub-par levels of essential fatty acids contribute to difficulty with memory and focus and can lead to irritability and anxiety as well. Children and adults who seem to anger quickly for no reason may actually be suffering from omega 3 deficiency.
- Joint pain and leg cramps. Omega 3s derived from fish oil have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. They naturally reduce swelling and inflammation in the joints and throughout the body. If you do not yet experience joint pain, proper intake of omega 3s can prevent the damage that triggers the pain in the first place.
- Allergy symptoms. Hives, asthma, and eczema can all indicate lowered omega 3 levels.
- Excessive ear wax. This symptom is a strange one, but if you find that the ‘gunk’ in your ears is increasing, increasing your omega 3 levels can help alleviate it. Aside from the annoyance of excessive ear wax, the build-up can lead to hearing loss. Consuming enough omega-3s can help protect your hearing. One study showed a 14% reduction in the risk of hearing loss for those who added sufficient fatty acid supplements into their self-care routine.
- Cardiovascular concerns. The research is clear that omega 3s are critical for heart health. If you are experiencing heart problems, it may be that you need to increase your intake of this vital nutrient. It protects against heart disease and helps control your harmful cholesterol levels.
- Difficult menstrual cycles for women. Women who experience prolonged, heavy periods with clotting may get relief by increasing their omega 3 consumption.
In short, omega 3 fatty acids are crucial nutrients for overall health.
Given all the health benefits associated with this vital nutrient, it is pretty much a no-brainer that you should be ensuring you consume enough omega 3s. Your body doesn’t produce omega 3s on its own, which means you have to consume them regularly from food and supplement sources.
Omega 3s can be found in the following foods:
Plant-based sources (provide ALA):
- Flax seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Brussels sprouts
Animal-based sources (provide EPA and DHA):
There is not a strong consensus in the medical world about how much is an adequate intake of omega 3s, but many experts suggest consuming fatty fish at least twice a week. If you are not consuming fatty fish regularly, the simplest way to keep your levels topped up is to take a supplement, such as my high-strength Omega 3 capsules.
I talk about all their health perks, including reduced risk of heart disease, decreasing levels of inflammation, maintaining the health of our immune system, our skin, hair, and bones, boosting mood, and more in this video.
If you are interested in reading further studies on the efficacy of Omega 3, this one is a good read – findings indicate that supplementing with omega 3s may reduce some inflammation caused by fat accumulation in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
I explore more about how Omega 3s can help reduce Alzheimer’s risk in my blog post here.
And how they can help menopausal symptoms here.
So many benefits!
If you would like more information about any of our supplements, or have any questions about a digestive and gut health issue, please get in touch.