Omega 3 Supplements – What can they do for your health?

Mark Mercure, Pharmacist

Home Health Care Pharmacy

Omega-3 supplements are a great way to include healthy essential fatty acids in your diet. Many people will take an omega-3 supplement to improve a certain aspect of their health, such as heart health, brain health, rheumatoid arthritis, and dry eye disease. But, do omega-3 supplements work for these conditions? Do the type and quality of the supplements matter?

Clinical studies have shown that taking omega-3 supplements can lower your triglyceride levels, and can help people with rheumatoid arthritis manage pain. These are excellent reasons to consider taking an omega-3 supplement.

A large recent study called the DREAM study showed that taking an omega-3 supplement provided no more benefits than a placebo for helping with dry eye symptoms. Despite the lack of evidence to support the use of omega-3 supplements for treating dry eye disease, many patients pay high prices for omega-3 supplements for dry eye which claim to be of higher quality. While I am not one to disparage high quality products, there should be evidence to support the use of the product in the first place in order to justify the higher cost. In other words, if a hammer is not the right tool for the job, I wouldn’t advise spending extra money on a better hammer.

While omega-3 supplements can be a healthy way to supplement your diet, the first choice for most people should be to aim for a healthy, balanced diet which includes food sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, seafood, nuts and seeds. Omega-3 supplements also help support the health of those with certain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and high triglyceride levels where clinical evidence exists to support supplementation. I caution patients against paying high prices for omega-3 supplements which make claims which are not supported by clinical evidence. If you’re considering taking an Omega 3 supplement, your Super Thrifty pharmacist can help you choose one that is right for you.