Omega 3 fatty acids are a special type of long chain fatty acid that promote heart, circulatory, brain, immune, digestive and eye health. In order for these fats to work as they are supposed to in your body, you need to get the right total amount of them (at least 250 mg per day). You also need to get the right ratio of omega 3 fatty acids to another type of fatty acids called “omega 6 fatty acids” (around a 1:2 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6).
Omega 3 fatty acids, in the right balance with omega 6 fatty acids, make up an essential part of your cell membranes (the outside “wall” that keeps the content of your cells inside). This ratio is crucial for letting signals from outside your cells get inside your cells properly, which is necessary for the cells to be able to tell what the environment around them looks like. Without healthy amounts of omega 3 fatty acids in your cell membrane, the health of your cells — and the communication between your cells — can start to break down.
Proper signaling between your cells is particularly important for the function of your immune system. If signaling breaks down between your immune cells, it can lead to inflammation throughout your body. This can be a real problem if you have a leaky gut.
A leaky gut is a condition where your intestinal wall lets dangerous bacteria, toxins and food particles into your body, activating your immune system. Without enough omega 3s, this immune activation can be far worse than it needs to be, leading to tons of unhealthy inflammation.
You can help calm the inflammation of a leaky gut by getting more omega 3s in your diet. This can be through consuming:
- flax seeds
- chia seeds
- an omega 3 fatty acid supplement
When choosing an omega 3 supplement, you want to make sure:
- it contains between 250 mg and 2 g, total, of two specific omega 3s: one called DHA and another called EPA.
- it is sourced from algae, to protect you from the heavy metals found in fish oil
- It is made by a reputable company.
While omega 3 fatty acids are generally considered safe, they can cause some side effects. Side effects of omega 3 fatty acid supplements can include:
- an unpleasant taste in your mouth
- bad breath
- stomach aches
- smelly sweat
Omega 3s may also be able to interact with certain blood-thinning medications, so if you take a blood thinner talk to your doctor before starting an omega 3 supplement.
Based on the scientific evidence and product reviews, the best omega 3 fatty acid supplements on the market are:
- Omnibiotics Vegan Omega DHAx
- Testa Omega 3 Algae Oil DHA + EPA
- Amala Vegan Omega 3 DHA + EPA
- Nordic Naturals Algae Omega