Omega-3 FAQs

What are omega-3s?
Omega-3s are a type of fat found in oil-rich fish, including salmon, mackerel, sardines, and some plant oils. They are from the family of "good" fats, or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), that are beneficial for our health and essential for our diets. The most effective omega-3s are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Why is the American diet low in EPA and DHA?
The typical American diet is high in saturated fats from meat products and low in omega-3 PUFAs from foods like fish and calamari. As a result, the average American consumes an inadequate amount of EPA and DHA. Those who follow a vegetarian diet have even lower levels of EPA and DHA because vegetables don't contain them, so vegetarians must rely on their bodies' limited ability to convert alpha linolenic acid (ALA) into EPA and DHA.

Why are fish oils preferable to flax oils?
While flax and soybeans are a wonderful source of ALA, the conversion efficiency of ALA to EPA and DHA is very low. Those who take fish oils bypass the need for extra conversion and experience immediate benefits.

Why is it important to take an omega-3 supplement?
Although our bodies have the ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA, the efficiency of this conversion is very low, so we often don't get the amount of omega-3s our body needs for optimal function. For this reason, omega-3s are recognized as "essential fats" because we must get them through our diet. However, the average person doesn't get enough omega-3s through diet alone.

What is the recommended daily intake of omega-3s?
According to the American Heart Association, "At least two servings of fish per week are recommended to confer cardio-protective efforts." Two 3.5-oz servings of salmon contain approximately 500 mg each of EPA and DHA. Omega-3s are also found in fish like halibut, sardines, and anchovies. Since most Americans don't eat the suggested amount, a fish oil supplement can be a great option.
AHA Dietary Guidelines. Kraus and other Circulation 2000; 102:2284

Do Carlson fish oils contain preservatives?
Carlson fish oils may contain a variety of natural antioxidants to help preserve the freshness of our high-quality fish oils. These antioxidant preservatives may include natural mixed tocopherols, natural vitamin E, and natural rosemary extract.


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