Omega-3 deficiency: Symptoms and treatment – Diet

– When it comes to fish, everyone has probably heard of omega-3 fatty acids. But very few people know why these fatty acids are so valuable for the body. An overview.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are among the essential fatty acids: the body cannot produce them itself, but must absorb them through food.
  • Many different symptoms are possible with an omega-3 deficiency, as the fatty acids are used in different places in the body.
  • Consequences of a deficiency can be, for example, muscle weakness or poor vision, fatigue and lack of energy as well as skin problems.

Most people associate the term “fat” with something negative that they want to lose in the form of “fat deposits”. But fats provide a lot of energy and perform important functions in the body. Two fatty acids in particular, omega-3 and omega-6, ensure that the body can function normally.

Why do we need omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential for the human organism. Since the body cannot produce them itself, they must be consumed through food. Fatty acids are, together with glycerol, the main components of fats. Depending on the structure of the molecule, fatty acids are divided into saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 and Omega-6 belong to the latter.

Omega-3 fatty acids have a positive effect on health, more specifically on cholesterol levels and, as a result, on the cardiovascular system, the information portal reports

The term omega-3 fatty acids is a collective term for various fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA carries high contributes to normal cholesterol levels, DHA to normal brain function and normal vision. EPA is important for the heart and blood pressure.

Omega-3 deficiency: the symptoms

An omega-3 deficiency is not so easy to recognize because the symptoms are difficult to distinguish from other causes. An undersupply of omega-3 fatty acids can manifest as follows:

– Concentration problems, forgetfulness
– fatigue
– Reduced vision
– Dry skin
– Delayed wound healing
– Muscle and joint pain
– Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
– overweight
– High blood pressure

Only a blood test can reveal an undersupply of omega-3. A doctor can take this blood test.

What is the daily requirement for omega-3?

The daily need for omega-3 fatty acids depends on various factors such as age or daily physical activity. So there are no uniform specifications for a minimum quantity. The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends about 1.5 grams of omega-3 per day for an adult. This corresponds to the amount in a tablespoon of rapeseed oil or a teaspoon of linseed oil.

How can an omega-3 deficiency occur?

Most people get the daily amount of omega-3 fatty acids they need from their normal diet. A deficiency occurs, for example, when you eat an unbalanced diet. It can also become problematic if you eat an unfavorable ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 can mean that omega-3 cannot be utilized effectively, so

According to the portal, your optimal ratio would be 1:1, but in today’s diet it is more of an imbalance of 1:5 or even 1:10. Eating a lot of omega-6 fatty acids, which are mainly found in vegetable oils, poultry, butter, cheese and eggs, is not necessarily bad. On the contrary, an insufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids is a problem.

Foods that contain omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty foods. In particular, many types of fish such as salmon, trout and tuna as well as vegetable oils such as linseed oil and rapeseed oil are good sources of omega-3. Vegans can also meet their minimum daily omega-3 intake by consuming grains, nuts or seeds every day.

Solve omega-3 deficiency with fish oil capsules?

Omega-3 deficiency can be prevented by eating the right food. This is recommended by the German Society for Nutrition. Supplementation with fish oil capsules is not recommended by DGE. There are also no special rules for athletes and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

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