The Why on Omega 3's

What is an omega 3? Why should I take a fish oil supplement? How will fish oil/omega 3 supplements help my joints and why should I take them when I am in pain?  You may have asked one of these questions at one point or another. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that our bodies need but can’t produce on their own. They are found in certain types of fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as in some nuts and seeds. However, not everyone may consume enough of them or even like to consume them, which is why many people turn to omega-3 supplements to meet their nutritional needs.

But what are omega-3 supplements, and why are they so important for our health? Omega-3 supplements are capsules that contain concentrated doses of omega-3 fatty acids. There are three main types of omega-3s: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are the two types of omega-3s that have been linked to the most health benefits, including neurologic, cardiac and musculoskeletal benefits.

Musculoskeletal health refers to the health of our bones, muscles, and joints. As we age, our musculoskeletal system can weaken and become more prone to injury and disease. However, research has shown that omega-3 supplements can help support musculoskeletal health in several ways.

First, omega-3 supplements have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, but when it becomes chronic, it can lead to a variety of health problems, including musculoskeletal issues like osteoporosis, arthritis, and tendonitis. EPA and DHA have been shown to reduce inflammation by blocking the production of certain inflammatory molecules in the body.

Second, omega-3 supplements have been linked to improved bone health. A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that taking omega-3 supplements for six months increased bone mineral density in women with osteoporosis. This is likely because omega-3s help increase calcium absorption in the body, which is essential for bone health.

Third, omega-3 supplements may help reduce muscle soreness and improve muscle recovery after exercise. A study published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine found that taking omega-3 supplements reduce muscle soreness and improved muscle function in athletes who were recovering from an intense workout.

In addition to these musculoskeletal benefits, omega-3 supplements have also been linked to improved heart health, brain health, and immune system function. However, it’s important to note that not all omega-3 supplements are created equal. Some supplements may contain low-quality or contaminated fish oil, which can do more harm than good. It’s important to choose a high-quality supplement from a reputable manufacturer.

In conclusion, omega-3 supplements are truly a miracle supplement that is good for multiple different reasons. They are a great way to support your musculoskeletal health and overall health. By reducing inflammation, improving bone health, and aiding in muscle recovery, omega-3s can help you stay active and healthy as you age. If you’re considering taking omega-3 supplements, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider first to ensure that they’re right for you.

Dr. John Giusti, creating healthy habits at ChiroHabit