Omega 3 fatty acids are usually no longer in sufficient quantities in our diet. As a result, a large number of people suffer from an omega 3 deficiency. However, most of them do not recognize it and do not even know about their need for these vital fats.
In this article I want to give you some clues on how you can recognize a possible Omega 3 deficiency and how you can deal with it. In addition, I want to explain to you how such a deficiency occurs and how you can prevent omega 3 deficiency.
In the course of the article I want to answer the following questions:
- What causes a deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids
- How you can recognize your Omega 3 deficiency
- What to do if you think you are affected
- How to avoid an Omega 3 deficiency
In the end, you should be able to assess for yourself how you should deal with the inherent risk of deficiency symptoms due to insufficient intake of omega 3 fatty acids.
What causes a deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids?
The omega 3 fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are essential fatty acids. They are vital for the human body because it cannot produce them from other nutrients itself. They cannot (easily) be replaced or compensated for by other substances.
As elementary components of cell membranes and building blocks of various vital substances (such as hormones and enzymes), a deficiency of these important nutrients is of course noticeable.
While ALA is mainly found in plant-based omega 3 sources, DHA and EPA can (almost) only be obtained from fatty fish (e.g. herring, salmon or sardine). To ensure a good supply, I would have to eat around 200-300 grams of such fish a day.
Most people are not aware of this need and do not eat as much fish, so there is an undersupply of omega 3 fatty acids. Personally, I know what I need and still find it difficult to eat enough fish. That’s why I help out a little with nutritional supplements. I’ll get to that later.
How to recognize an Omega 3 deficiency
The symptoms of an omega 3 deficiency are often diverse and cannot be clearly assigned. They also do not appear so quickly or severely that the person concerned will notice it as a symptom or even force them to act. Often an overall condition that is slowly deteriorating (partly also due to deficiency symptoms) is perceived, which is not questioned.
If you find out from the following list that one of these things applies to you, this can also have various other causes. However, it can and should be an occasion to investigate what is behind these phenomena.
The following are the most common symptoms that can indicate an Omega 3 deficiency:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Visual disturbances
- Tiredness despite getting enough sleep
- Weakened immune system
- Long-lasting muscle soreness
- Dry skin
- Pain in the limbs
- Poor muscle maintenance in a diet
Many of these effects can be traced back to the central role of omega 3 fatty acids in enzyme and hormone production as well as in inflammatory reactions in the body. With an omega 3 deficiency, the body simply does not have enough building blocks in many places to keep all processes stable. In the medium term, such a deficiency can even significantly promote the occurrence of heart and circulatory diseases.
What to do if you think you are concerned
If you have one or more of the above-mentioned complaints, then I would advise you to consult a doctor first.
Of course, if you suspect you could start compensating for the deficit by regularly consuming large quantities of fish and nutritional supplements such as Omega 3 fish oil capsules *. However, I would not advise you to save yourself a visit to the doctor. Complaints of this kind can have a wide variety of causes, which can be clarified directly at a doctor’s visit.
If you say now that you don’t go to the doctor about such little things, I can understand. I know this from myself, as I sometimes did not go to the doctor even if I had major complaints. In 9 out of 10 cases I still had to see a doctor and it would always have been better to see him earlier.
In general, it really makes sense to have a medical check-up at regular intervals, do a complete blood count and keep an eye on your state of health. You may not even notice some deficiency symptoms because they have slowly crept in. Still, they can affect your life. If something is found during an examination (such as deficiency symptoms) that can be remedied, you will be very grateful for the additional quality of life gained.
If an Omega 3 deficiency is actually found, then you should start to regularly consume a sufficiently large amount of fatty fish or corresponding dietary supplements such as Omega 3 fish oil capsules * as soon as possible. A sufficient amount of DHA and EPA is crucial. Your body needs at least 250 milligrams of it a day. Since you want to make up for a deficiency, I would take at least one gram per day in your place. Depending on the type of fish, 100 grams of fish a day can be sufficient. Alternatively, you can take two of the linked capsules per day.
However, there is no reason to be particularly frugal here, as positive effects of an additional omega 3 intake have been found.
How you can avoid an Omega 3 deficiency
Whether you have noticeable deficiency symptoms or not, it always makes sense to consume enough omega 3 fatty acids. It does not matter whether you are on a crash diet and want to lose weight as quickly as possible, you want to effectively build muscle mass as quickly as possible or you just generally become fitter and more athletic want. Even if you don’t do any sport at all, it makes sense to consume these essential fatty acids. Although in this case I would also strongly recommend you to start doing sports. 😉
In addition to Vitamin D *, Omega 3 fish oil capsules belong * therefore to the dietary supplements that I can only recommend to everyone (including those who do not do sports). As a rule, almost every Central European cannot get enough of these two through diet and lifestyle. Adequate care then simply leads to a significantly higher quality of life. I can confirm from my own experience that this is really often the case.
In my article about sensible supplements I go a bit more into the further needs of physically active people. The omega 3 fatty acids also appear there, of course.
With one to three grams of EPA and DHA a day you are on the safe side if you want to prevent deficiency symptoms and benefit from the positive effects of a good supply. As a rule of thumb you can remember that you should consume either 200-300 grams of fatty fish or 5-6 high-quality, large fish oil capsules every day.
Your conclusion on the topic of Omega 3 deficiency
An undersupply of omega 3 fatty acids is widespread in our society. Accordingly, various deficiency symptoms also occur frequently. If you suspect that you are suffering from such a deficiency, first consult a doctor to clarify possible other or further causes. Often, deficiency symptoms have crept in slowly and are not particularly noticeable to you. A regular check-up by the doctor therefore always makes sense.
Regardless of whether you have noticeable deficiency symptoms or not, a not only minimal but optimal supply of omega 3 fatty acids always makes sense. If you can’t do that with your diet, you still have the opportunity to help with nutritional supplements. In addition to avoiding deficiency symptoms, this offers a lot of advantages, especially for athletes, as you can see in my article Omega 3 fish oil capsules – essential fatty acids for your health can also be read more closely.