OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fats that are not made by the body and
must be obtained from a person's food. There are two groups of families of omega fatty
acids, omega-3 fatty acids family and omega -6 fatty acids family. They are essential to
human health because they play important roles in biological processes in the body. In spite
of their important roles they are not synthesized in the human body by any means and
have to be supplied from out side.
Important nutritional essential omega-3 fatty acids are: α-linolenic acid (ALA),
eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA. The human body cannot
synthesize omega-3 fatty acids de novo, but it can form 20- and 22-carbon unsaturated
omega-3 fatty acids from the eighteen-carbon omega-3 fatty acid, α-linolenic acid. These
conversions occur competitively with omega-6 fatty acids, which are also essential and
closely related chemical analogues that are derived from linoleic acid. Both the omega-3 α-
linolenic acid and omega-6 linoleic acid are essential nutrients which must be obtained
from food. Synthesis of the longer omega-3 fatty acids from linolenic acid within the body is
competitively slowed by the omega-6 analogues. Thus accumulation of long-chain omega-3
fatty acids in tissues is more effective when they are obtained directly from food or when
competing amounts of omega-6 analogs do not greatly exceed the amounts of omega-3.
Two types of omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and
docosahexanoic acid (DHA), which are found mainly in oily cold-water fish, such as tuna,
salmon, trout, herring, sardines, bass, swordfish, and mackerel. These omega -3
unsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA)
appear to change blood chemistry, reducing blood clotting and may lessen the risk of heart
With the exception of seaweed, most plants do not contain EPA or DHA. However,
alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is another kind of omega-3 fatty acid, is found in dark
green leafy vegetables, flaxseed oil, fish oil, and canola oil, as well as nuts as walnuts and
beans like soybeans. This alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), can be converted by Enzymes in a
person's body to EPA and DHA, which are the two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids easily
utilized by the body.
Omega-6 fatty acids exist in Cereals, whole grain bread, margarine, and vegetable
oils, such as corn, peanut, and sunflower oil. In addition, people consume a lot of omega-6
fatty acid simply by eating the meat of animals that were fed grain rich in omega-6.
It is important to remember that the fish by itself does not produce or supply
omega-3 fatty acids by itself. The weeds in deep water on which the fish lives on, supplies
the omega-3 fatty acids.
In recent years, a great deal of attention has been placed on the value of eating a low
fat diet. In some cases, people have taken this advice to the extreme by adopting a diet that
is far too low in fat or, worse yet, a diet that has no fat at all. But the truth is that not all fat
is bad. Although it is true that trans and saturated fats, which are found in high amounts in
red meat, butter, whole milk, and some prepackaged foods, have been shown to raise a
person's total cholesterol, the polyunsaturated fats can actually play a part in keeping
cholesterol low. Two especially good families of fats are the omega-3 fatty acids and the
omega-6 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated and they are:
w-3 fatty acids:
eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA (20:5)
docosahexaenoic acid or DHA (22:6)
w-6 fatty acids:
gamma –linolenic acid or GLA (18:3)
dihomo –gamma-linolenic acid or DGLA (20:3)
arachidonic acid or AA (20:4)
w-9 fatty acids
These fatty acids are not essential in humans, because human generally possess all
the enzymes required for their synthesis.
Types of Fats in Food
o Monounsaturated fat
o Polyunsaturated fat
o Trans fat
o Omega: 3, 6, 9
o Interesterified fat
The Biological Effects / Functions of the W-3 And W-6 Fatty Acids:
They are mediated by their mutual interactions. In each of these functions, the
balance between dietary w-3 and w-6 strongly affects following function.
A. They make:
the classic eicosanoids (affecting inflammation and many other cellular functions)
the endocannabinoids (affecting mood, behavior and inflammation)
The lipoxins from w-6 EFAs and resolyins from w-3 (in the presence of aspirin,
the isofurans, neurofurans, isoprostanes, hepoxilins, epoxyeicosatrienoic acids
(EET) and Neuroprotectin D
B. They form lipid rafts (affecting cellular signaling)
C. They act on DNA which is linked to pro-inflammatory cytokine production.
The experts agree that it is important to maintain a healthy balance between omega-
3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton and her colleagues reported
in their article published in the American Journal of Nutrition an over consumption of
omega-6 fatty acids has resulted in an unhealthy dietary shift in the American diet. The
authors point out that what used to be a 1:1 ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
is now estimated to be a 10:1 ratio. The experts suggest that though ideal ratio between
omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids should be a 1:1, this ratio can be well tolerated up to one
to four times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. This is considered a
reasonable ratio. The dietitians often consider it a healthy and a balanced diet.
This poses a problem, researchers say, because consuming some of the beneficial
effects gained from omega-3 fatty acids are negated by an over consumption of omega-6
fatty acids. For example, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, whereas
omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.
People living in industrialized western countries eat up to 30 times more omega-6
than omega-3 fatty acids, resulting in a relative deficiency of omega-3 fats. Omega-6
metabolic products (inflammatory prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes) are
formed in excessive amounts causing allergic and inflammatory disorders and making the
body more prone to heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. Eating diets rich in omega-3 acids
or taking fish oil supplements can restore the balance between the two fatty acids and can
possibly reverse these disease processes.
The most frequently used systematic nomenclature, names the fatty acid after the
hydrocarbon with the same number and arrangement of carbon atoms, with –oic being
substituted for the final –e (Genevan system). Thus, saturated acids end in –anoic, eg,
octanoic acid, and unsaturated acids with double bonds end in –enoic, eg, octadecenoic acid
Carbon atoms are numbered from the carboxyl carbon (COOH) (carbon No. 1).
The carbon atoms adjacent to the carboxyl carbon (No. 2, 3, and 4) are also known as the a,
b, and y carbons, respectively, and the terminal methyl carbon is known as the w or n-
Various conventions use ^ for indicating the number and position of the double
bonds eg, ^9 indicates a double bond between carbons 9 and 10 of the fatty acid; w9
indicates a double bond on the ninth carbon counting from the w-carbon. In animals,
additional double bonds are introduced only between the existing double bond (eg
w9,w6,w3) and the carboxyl carbon, leading to 3 series of fatty acids known as the w9,w6
and w3 families, respectively. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids which
have in common a carbon-carbon double bond in the ω-3 position
For detail on omega (ω) nomenclature and numbering, see the underneath chemical
Chemical structure of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid,
(18:3Δ9c,12c,15c). Although chemists count from the carbonyl carbon (blue numbering),
physiologists count from the omega (ω) carbon (red numbering). Note that from the omega
end (diagram right), the first double bond appears as the third carbon-carbon bond (line
segment), hence the name "omega-3"
Omega-3 fatty acids which are important in human nutrition are: α-linolenic acid
(18:3, ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5, EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6, DHA).
These three polyunsaturates have either 3, 5 or 6 double bonds in a carbon chain of 18, 20
or 22 carbon atoms, respectively. All double bonds are in the cis-configuration, i.e. the two
hydrogen atoms are on the same side of the double bond.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS:
There is strong evidence that omega-3 fatty acids protect a person against:
1. ATHEROSCLEROSIS and therefore against heart disease and stroke, as well as
abnormal heart rhythms that cause sudden cardiac death
This group of unsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and
docosahexanoic acid (DHA) found in some fish oils and linseed oil, appear to change
blood chemistry, reducing blood clotting and may lessen the risk of heart disease.
In fact, Drs. Dean Ornish and Mehmet Oz, renowned heart physicians, said in a
2002 article published in O Magazine that the benefits derived from consuming the
proper daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce sudden cardiac death by as
much as 50%.
In fact, in an article published by American Family Physician, Dr. Maggie Covington,
a clinical assistant professor at the University of Maryland, also emphasized the value
of omega-3 fatty acids with regard to cardiovascular health and referred to one of the
largest clinical trials to date, the GISSI-Prevenzione Trial, to illustrate her point. In the
study, 11,324 patients with coronary heart disease were divided into four groups: one
group received 300 mg of vitamin E, one group received 850 mg of omega-3 fatty acids,
one group received the vitamin E and fatty acids, and one group served as the control
group. After a little more than three years, "The group given omega-3 fatty acids only
had a 45% reduction in sudden death and a 20% reduction in all-cause mortality," as
stated by Dr. Covington.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the ways in which omega-3
fatty acids may reduce cardiovascular disease are still being studied. However, the AHA
indicates that research as shown that omega-3 fatty acids:
decrease the risk of arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden cardiac death
decrease triglyceride levels
decrease the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque
lower blood pressure slightly
2.OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS LOWERS ALL FRACTIONS OF LIPIDS:
As shown above, The American Heart Association (AHA) endorses the use of omega-3
fatty acids for different diseases of heart. The effect of omega -3 on different fraction of
lipid is very beneficial:
a) The omega-3 oils increase the concentrations of good cholesterol (high density
b) While it decreases the concentrations of bad cholesterol (triglycerides).
c. In addition, eating omega-3-rich food will result in a moderate decrease in total
cholesterol level. In a clinical study of 38 women, flaxseed flour, which contains high
amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, decreased total cholesterol level by 6.9% and LDL
cholesterol by 14.7%.
d) In addition, lipoprotein (a), which is associated with heart attacks in older women,
decreased by almost 10%. Thus, omega-3 fatty acids are natural protective
Interestingly, researchers have found that the cholesterol levels of Inuit Eskimos
tend to be quite good, despite the fact that they have a high fat diet. The reason for
this, research has found, is that their diet is high in fatty fish, which is loaded with
omega-3 fatty acids. The same has often been said about the typical Mediterranean-
3. PREVENTION OF BLOOD CLOTS: Omega-3 oils protect the heart by
preventing blood clots or keeping other fats from injuring the arterial walls. They not
only relax arteries and increase blood flow to heart muscle, but also help to decrease
constriction of arteries and thickening of blood.
4. OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS SEEM TO STABILIZE THE RHYTHM OF
THE HEART BY EFFECTIVELY PREVENTING THE HYPEREXCITABLE
CELLS WHICH MAY PRODUCE ARRHYTHMIA AND SUDDEN CARDIAC
In congestive heart failure, cells that are only barely receiving enough blood flow
become electrically hyperexcitable. This, in turn, can lead to increased risk of irregular
heartbeats, which, in turn, can cause sudden cardiac death. Omega-3 fatty acids seem to
stabilize the rhythm of the heart by effectively preventing these hyperexcitable cells
from this by increasing the blood flow, thereby reducing the likelihood of irregular
heartbeats and sudden cardiac death. For most people, this is obviously beneficial and
would account for most of the large reduction in the likelihood of sudden cardiac death.
5. AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS, SUCH AS LUPUS AND RHEUMATOID
It is known to reduce joint inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements have
been the focus of many studies attempting to validate its effectiveness in treating
rheumatoid arthritis. According to a large body of research in the area, omega-3 fatty
acid supplements are clearly effective in reducing the symptoms associated with
Omega-3 fatty acids inhibit the action of inflammatory prostaglandins and
leukotrienes, they can help control arthritis symptoms. Significant reduction in the
number of tender joints and morning stiffness, as well as an increase in grip strength,
have been observed in patients taking fish oil capsules. Studies have shown that patients
taking fish oil supplements for rheumatoid arthritis require fewer pain medications;
some are able to discontinue their nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory treatment.
Despite the beneficial effects of omega-3 fats, regular anti- rheumatic drugs and
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications most likely still are required to control this
6. DEVELOPMENT OF NEWBORNS AND BABIES BRAIN,
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for normal development of vision and brain
function, especially in newborns and children. Very low birth weight pre-term infants
often have poor vision and motor skills, possibly because they receive less than one-
third of the amount of omega-3 fatty acids outside the mother's womb that they would
have received as a fetus. Human breast milk contains the appropriate amount of
omega-3 and -6 fats and is believed best for babies. If mother's milk is unavailable,
formulas with soybean oil that provide higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids are more
beneficial than those made from cow milk. Even full-term babies benefit from the
addition of essential fatty acids to cow-milk formulas. Studies have shown that babies
given formulas supplemented with EFAs have better vision and score higher in skills
and problem-solving tests compared to babies on formulas that do not contain
It is useful in treating the children eating disorders, attention deficit disorder
and depression. Some studies have indicated, that children with behavioral problems
and attention deficit disorder have lower than normal amounts of omega-3 fatty acids
in their food.
7. MILD HYPERTENSION
Several studies have shown that eating 200 g of fatty fish or taking six to 10 capsules
of fish oil daily will lower blood pressure (BP). Therefore, omega-3 can benefit patients
with borderline high blood pressure. Omega-3 oils also effectively prevent hypertension
in cardiac patients after transplantation.
Early studies in laboratories indicate that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils might
prolong life in people with autoimmune disorders like diabetes. A new study looked at
substituting fish oil for corn oil in diets and found a tendency to suppress immune
system dysfunction and prolong life. More studies are required to prove the diet's
benefits in humans.
9. INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE
High-dose fish-oil supplements have shown to decrease abdominal cramping,
diarrhea, and pain associated with Crohn's disease. In one study of 96 patients, patients
who received 4.5 g of omega-3 fatty acids (15 fish oil capsules) required significantly less
steroids to control symptoms. In another study of 78 Crohn's disease patients, 59% of
patients who received nine fish oil capsules (2.7g of omega-3 fatty acids) daily did not
have any disease flare-ups for at least one year compared to 26% recurrence rate in
patients who were not given fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids also are effective in preventing
reappearance of Crohn's disease after surgery to remove sections of diseased bowel. In
a clinical trial involving 50 patients, patients who received 2.7 grams of omega-3 fats as
fish oil cut their rate of disease reappearance in half compared to patients receiving
placebo. However, the effectiveness of omega-3 oils varies depending on the type of
omega-3 oils being used, length of use, and the patient's diet
The scientist have found that high dose omega-3 fatty acids can reduce
inflammation of the airways and reduce asthma attacks. According to Donald Rudin,
the author of the book titled Omega-3 Oils, allergic disorders such as asthma may be
triggered by too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 fats in our body. Excessive
amounts of omega-6 prostaglandins cause the body to produce antibodies that cause
allergic reactions. Flaxseed or fish oil supplements can keep the omega-6 fats in check
and decrease the inflammatory reactions associated with asthma. This suggests that a
proper ratio has to be kept in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to maintain health.
11. AUTO IMMUNE DISEASE AND NEPHROPATHY.
Omega-3 fats may be effective in treating this autoimmune disease in which kidney
function fails over time with few treatment options available. In a large, randomized
study of 150 patients, those who received 3 g of omega-3 fatty acids daily for two years
had significantly less reduction in renal function than those treated with placebo.
Therefore, omega-3 fatty acids appear to have protective effects and may stabilize renal
function in these patients.
12. RAYNAUD'S DISEASE
There have been few studies evaluating the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in treating
Raynaud's disease; however, it appears that fish oil supplements may alleviate some
blood clotting disorders.
13. MENTAL DISORDERS, CHILDREN EATING DISORDERS,
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER, AND DEPRESSION
According to some studies, many common mental disorders, such as depression,
bipolar disorder (manic-depression), attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD),
anxiety, or schizophrenia, may be triggered by deficiencies of omega-3 fatty acids
and/or B vitamins. The rates of depression are low in countries that eat a lot of fish,
while the rate of depression steadily rises in the United States as Americans eat
increasingly more processed food and less fresh fish and vegetables containing omega-3
fats. In one study, 53% of bipolar patients on placebo (olive oil) became ill again within
four months, while none of the patients who were given 9.6 g daily of omega-3 fatty
acids (as fish oil) did. Supplements containing omega-3 fats also reportedly have been
effective in children with ADHD precipitated by essential fatty acid deficiencies.
Furthermore, a 25% decrease in schizophrenic symptoms was observed in patients
receiving eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), one of the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish
A report in 2001 revealed that omega-3 fatty acids may have effects on stabilizing
mood and relieving depression
14. ACQUIRED IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AIDS)
In a small study of 20 AIDS patients, those who received fish oil supplement at dosage
of 10 g of omega-3 fatty acids per day for 30 days gained more weight (2.4 kg) and
significantly lowered their concentrations of tumor necrosis factor, which is believed to
cause wasting in AIDS patients, compared to those who did not.
15. CANCER PREVENTION
Omega-3 fatty acids inhibit tumor growth when injected into animals. Flaxseed oil,
which is a plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to prevent cancer of the
breast, colon and prostate. The Mediterranean diet, which is heart healthy, also can
decrease risk of getting cancer. Omega-3 fats, it seems, strengthen the immune systems
and inhibit the inflammation and blood circulation of the tumors.
16. THE METABOLIC SYNDROME
The metabolic syndrome is increasingly prevalent in worldwide. The quality and
quantity of dietary lipids could be important modulators associated with the
cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. At present, functional lipids such as
conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and phospholipids have attracted considerable attention
because of their beneficial biological effects in attenuating metabolic syndrome.
Experimentally it has been shown that supplementation of CLA reduces abdominal
white adipose tissues, serum triacylglycerol (TAG) level, and liver TAG level in obese
Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats. These effects were attributed to
enhanced fatty acid beta-oxidation and suppressed fatty acid synthesis in the liver.
According to an Internet survey, approximately 30% of parents use omega-3
supplements as a therapy for children with autism. There are currently only a few
studies on the effectiveness of essential fatty acid supplementation as a treatment of
autism and none of these has been well-controlled.
In last 5 years, several perspective scientific double blind studies all over the
world have been done. They all support the use of omega-3 fatty acids in the
above disease entities.
SOURCES OF OMEGA -3
i). BOTANICAL SOURCE OF OMEGA FATTY ACIDS
The following table lists omega-3 content as the percentage of ALA in the seed oil.
Common name Alternate name Linnaean name % Omega-3
Chia chia sage Salvia hispanica 64%
Kiwifruit Chinese gooseberry Actinidia chinensis 62%
Perilla Shiso Perilla frutescens 58%
Flax Linseed Linum usitatissimum 55%
Lingonberry Cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea 49%
Camelina Gold-of-pleasure Camelina sativa 36%
Purslane Portulaca Portulaca oleracea 35%
ii). FISH SOURCE:
The fish which are found mainly in oily cold-water, such as tuna, salmon, trout,
herring, sardines, bass, swordfish, and mackerel.
Krill, which are small, shrimp-like zooplankton, also contain the omega-3 fatty acids
EPA and DHA. One advantage of extracting omega-3s from krill, as opposed to
sources higher in the food chain, is that krill contain fewer heavy metals.
Amount of omega -3 fatty acids in different Sources is different and is as
3 ounces of pickled herring = 1.2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids
3 ounces of salmon = 1.3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids
3 ounces of halibut = 1.0 grams of omega-3 fatty acids
3 ounces of mackerel = 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids
1 1/2 teaspoons of flaxseeds = 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids
These fish contain roughly 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids per 3.5 ounces of fish.
If one likes to improve dietary intake of fish oils, many experts recommend eating up
to 2 fish servings per week in the diet. Eating fish as part of a low fat diet may
improve heart health and have other health benefit.
iii). EGGS: Eggs produced by chickens, fed a diet of greens and insects produce
higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids (mostly ALA) than chickens fed corn or
iv). BEEF: GRASS-FED BEEF: The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of grass-fed beef
is about 2:1, making it a more useful source of omega-3 than grain-fed beef,
which usually has a ratio of 4:1
v). GRASS-FED LAMB: The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of grass-fed beef is
about 2:1, making it a more useful source of omega-3 than grain-fed beef,
which usually has a ratio of 4:1.
vi). MILK AND CHEESE: Milk and cheese from grass-fed cows may also be good
sources of omega-3. One UK study showed that half a pint of milk provides 10% of
the recommended daily intake (RDI) of ALA, while a piece of organic cheese the size
of a matchbox may provide up to 88%"
vii). MICROALGAE:The microalgae Crypthecodinium cohnii and Schizochytrium are
rich sources of DHA (22:6 ω-3) and can be produced commercially in bioreactors. Oil
from brown algae (kelp) is a source of EPA.
viii). PALM FRUIT: Acai palm fruit also contains omega-3 fatty acids.
As of 2001, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board had not issued the recommended
daily allowance (RDA) for omega-3 fatty acids.
However, researchers suggest that 100-200 mg daily of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
and 200-400 mg daily of eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) were adequate for the majority of
The best way to achieve this dietary requirement is by eating fatty fish two or three
times a week and/or eating vegetables and oils containing omega-3 fatty acids. If fish oil
supplement is preferred, then one to two capsules a day is sufficient. Each 1 g fish oil
capsule normally contains 180 mg of EPA and 120 mg of DHA.
THE AHA RECOMMENDS THAT:
Normal people eat two servings of fish, such as tuna or salmon, at least twice a week.
According o the AHA:
Coronary Heart Disease Patient, should consume 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids
daily through food intake, most preferably through the consumption of fatty fish.
People With Elevated Triglycerides may need 2 to 4 grams of EPA and DHA per day
provided as a supplement," which is available in liquid or capsule form.
Ground or cracked flaxseed can easily be incorporated into a person's diet by
sprinkling it over salads, soup, and cereal.
SIDE EFFECTS TO WATCH & PRECAUTIONS:
1. Fish oil supplements can cause diarrhea and gas. The fish oil capsules also leave
odor in the mouth.
2. Women who are or may be pregnant, as well as breastfeeding mothers and
children, should avoid eating fish that typically contain high levels of mercury
such are shark, swordfish, and mackerel. Instead they should take shrimp,
canned light tuna, salmon, and catfish because they are generally thought to
have low levels of mercury.
3. Conflicting information exists whether it is safe for patients with macular
degeneration to take omega-3 fatty acids in supplement form.
4. Since fish oils are derived from marine life, allergic reactions are possible. Stop
using this product if you develop a rash. You may need to see your health care
5. It may take several weeks of fish oil use before you notice an improvement in
your symptoms and/or blood tests that are monitored by your prescriber. You
should contact your health care professional for advice prior to prolonged use of
6. If you are going to have elective surgery, you may need to stop taking this
supplement before the procedure to avoid unnecessary bleeding during surgery.
Let your surgeon / health care professional know you are taking fish oil capsules
prior to scheduling the surgery.
7. Anemia from excessive bleeding may occur occasionally.
8. Watch for Changes in your moods or emotions, easy bruising and nose bleeds etc.
Health Risks From Overuse
The United States Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied
Nutrition, reported the known or suspected risks from the overused (normally over 3
grams per day) by a patient who is also taking aspirin or coumadin (warfarin).of EPA and
DHA omega-3 fatty acids and may include:
There have been reports that increased bleeding can occur if overused (normally
over 3 grams per day) by a patient who is also taking aspirin or coumadin
(warfarin). However, this is disputed.
The possibility of hemorrhagic stroke.
Oxidation of omega-3 fatty acids forming biologically active oxidation products.
Reduced glycemic control among diabetics.
Suppression of immune and inflammation responses, and consequently, decreased
resistance to infections and increased susceptibility to opportunistic bacteria.
An increase in concentration of LDL cholesterol in some individuals.
What drug(s) may interact with fish oil/ capsule?
For many nutritional supplements, interactions with other medications are unknown.
But when mixing fish oil supplements with traditional medications, one should always be
careful. Always inform your health care professional about all the medicine including non-
prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products prior to taking fish oil.
Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of
drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect
the way your medicine works.
• dalteparin, enoxaparin or other injectable blood thinners
• herbal products like danshen, dong quai, garlic pills, ginger, ginkgo biloba,
horse chestnut, willow bark, and others
• medications for high blood pressure