Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are essential. This means your body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids itself, as it lacks the necessary enzymes. However, omega-3s are enormously important for your body and offer many health benefits.
A sufficient amount of omega-3s is necessary for a functional hormone balance. Furthermore, the essential fatty acids positively influence your brain function, blood pressure, cardiovascular system, kidney function, blood clotting, and immune system. So getting enough omega-3s in your diet is pretty important.
Omega-3 fatty acids also provide a significant advantage when building muscle. These fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and beneficial for your post-workout recovery. This means you can recover faster from hard training sessions and be ready for the subsequent muscle stimuli in a shorter time.
For this reason, omega-3 supplements, including fish oil capsules, are one of the most popular and valuable supplements for health. Mostly, omega-3 supplements contain the fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These are the forms of omega-3 that our body is best able to process and utilize. These supplements must have a 3:2 ratio of EPA to DPA.
Consuming 2-4 g of omega-3s per day (in total between EPA and DHA) is recommended. In exceptional cases, the dosage should be higher. However, too high a dosage is not recommended, as this could harm your body. Possible side effects include too much thinning of the blood or too many anti-inflammatory effects.
To avoid an excessively high dose, you should also pay attention to the consumption of omega-6 fatty acids. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids should generally be 5:1. To find out exactly how much of both essential fatty acids you need, you can have blood work done by your doctor. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in fatty fish such as salmon, or in other seafood. Algae oil is also suitable. The omega-3 fatty acids in these foods are also called marine fatty acids.
Then there are the vegetable fatty acids ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).
These are found in flax oil, walnut oil, chia seeds, or flax seeds. However, the health benefits of ALA are small because your body can only use these fatty acids to a limited extent.
The conversion rate of ALA is only about 10%. Only about 100 mg of EPA is formed from 1 g of ALA. From the EPA obtained from ALA, your body can also process DHA. To save yourself the conversion, though, you should generally choose a product that already contains EPA and DHA.
However, to get the daily recommended dose of fatty acids, you would have to consume vast quantities of fish, seafood, etc. Therefore, omega-3 supplements are almost inevitable if you want to take care of your health.