Top & Best Omega 3: How to choose the best supplement in 2020
Hello, omega 3 is, an important fact for the proper functioning of the body.
Omega 3 brings many benefits to the body: it strengthens the immune system, assists in the proper functioning of the brain and heart, regulates the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, has anti-inflammatory action, leaves the skin showy and more.
But, the substance is not produced by the body and food does not provide the necessary amount of omega 3, so it is essential to include a supplement. And it is this supplement that we will talk about throughout this article. Good reading!
First, the most important
- Omega 3 is extracted from fish that live in cold, deep waters, such as wild salmon, anchovies, sardines, trout, among others. These animals provide a higher concentration of oil / fat.
- The main polyunsaturated fatty acids that make up omega 3 are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). The concentration varies according to the product.
- Omega 3 is essential for the health of the brain, heart and eyes at all stages of life, which is why it is so important to include foods that provide this substance and complement the diet with supplements.
Ranking: The 7 best Omega 3 supplements
- 1º – Omega 3 DHA 500 Naturalis
- 2nd – Super Omega 3 TG Essential Nutrition
- 3rd – Omega 3 Vitafor
- 4th – Omega 3 Vitgold
- 5th – Omega 3 Senhora Vitamina
- 6th – Omega 3 Upnutri
- 7th – Omega 3 Probiotics
If there is a fat that you need to include in your diet, it goes by the name of omega 3, a compound of polyunsaturated fatty acids with several benefits for the health of the body and mind.
But do you know what the benefits of omega 3 are? The sources of this substance? The recommended dose? The answer to these and other questions, you can find throughout this Buying Guide.
What is Omega 3?
Omega 3 is composed of essential fatty acids divided into three types: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
DHA and EPA are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are extracted from fish oil from deep and cold waters such as salmon, tuna, anchovies, mackerel, herring, sardines, trout, among others.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is great for the brain, as half of this organ is made up of fats, mainly omega 3 DHA. This substance is involved in several cognitive processes such as correct signaling between neurons.
This substance is also essential for the functioning of memory and other aspects related to the mind such as reasoning, attention, imagination, and discernment.
Nutritionist and master of science Priscila Gontijo explain a little more on the Vita channel:
DHA also increases the production of neuroprotective substances, capable of protecting against neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
The substance also prevents the formation of harmful substances and stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory substances. DHA is also present in the retina of the eye and is important in the development of a fetus.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is also very important, as it helps in strengthening heart health, activates blood circulation, prevents the formation of blood clots, decreasing the risk of thrombosis and stroke (stroke).
EPA also benefits people with inflammatory diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The compound also decreases cellulite and fat accumulation in obese people.
Finally, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an essential short-chain fatty acid that is converted to DHA or EPA after ingestion. ALA can be found in supplements of plant origin.
What are the benefits of the Omega 3 supplement for the heart?
Omega 3 benefits the cardiovascular system in three ways: EPA regulates the activity of blood platelets, preventing blood clots that can cause a heart attack.
This same substance reduces levels of triglycerides, a fat harmful to the cardiovascular system. DHA also stabilizes the electrical activity of the heart by preventing cardiac arrhythmia.
The most interesting thing is that omega 3 has preventive and repairing effects, that is, it both avoids heart problems in those who are healthy, and strengthens the heart of people who have already faced serious problems such as heart attack.
Omega 3 also decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease in women of reproductive age, minimizing the risk of sudden death in men and of a heart attack in people of any age.
How is omega 3 good for the brain?
Omega 3 has numerous benefits for the brain: it acts in the formation of one of the components of neurons, it helps in cognitive performance, it acts in the communication between neurons and in the cells of the brain.
The substance also has a vasodilatory effect, which helps to carry nutrients and oxygen to the brain. With the improvement in the cerebral circulation, the risks of developing dementia in old age fall considerably.
Omega 3 also prevents neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It also helps to reduce mental tiredness, anxiety and insomnia and assists in the school development of children and adolescents.
Does omega 3 help reduce cholesterol?
Yes. When bad cholesterol is at very high levels, there is a risk that fat will clog veins and arteries, causing cardiovascular disease. Omega 3 changes the chemical composition of the blood: it increases good cholesterol (HDL) and decreases bad cholesterol (LDL).
What are the benefits of omega 3 for vision?
Omega 3 is also essential for vision, as it participates in the retinal covering, part of the eyes responsible for transforming light stimuli into electrical signals sent to the brain so that you can see.
The substance also reduces the chance of developing or progressing the degeneration of the ocular macula, part of the retina responsible for the perception of details, by up to 60%.
What is the relationship between the lack of omega 3 and depression?
Those who have depression usually have low levels of omega 3, which can decrease the number of functions of neurotransmitters and brain receptors.
By consuming an omega 3 supplement, it increases the fluidity of the membranes that cover nerve cells and this increases the production of several neurotransmitters that release serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, improving well-being and mood.
Omega 3 acts in the prevention of diabetes and obesity?
Yes. When consumed regularly, the supplement of omega 3, decreases the concentration of glucose, increases the sensitivity to insulin, and raises the levels of the hormone adiponectin, a substance that regulates blood sugar, decreasing the risks of type 2 diabetes.
Omega 3 also helps to control obesity, as the substance modulates the expression of neurotransmitters that control hunger reduces the presence of proteins that stimulate the appetite.
In addition, obesity is a process that causes inflammation in the body and omega 3 has the ability to fight inflammatory processes.
What are the benefits of omega 3 for pregnant women?
Omega 3 has many benefits for the pregnant woman and her baby. Fatty acid helps to reduce the incidence of premature birth, strengthens the baby, and increases the child’s IQ, especially when the mother consumes the substance in the last trimester of pregnancy and in the first months of breastfeeding.
But it is important that pregnant women consume omega 3 through a diet rich in food that contains the nutrient. The use of supplementation is only allowed with the recommendation of a doctor.
How does omega 3 help with inflammatory autoimmune diseases?
Omega 3 has an anti-inflammatory action, acting as a blocker of enzymes that produce the inflammatory effect, thus, the substance relieves the symptoms of inflammatory autoimmune diseases.
It is worth mentioning that omega 3 does not treat these diseases, it only relieves symptoms, especially when use is associated with other medications.
Is it indicated for those who practice physical activity?
Omega 3 has numerous benefits for people who practice physical activities. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it cures the microlesions induced by bodybuilding, accelerating muscle recovery.
The supplement also relieves muscle pain that appears after training. Omega 3 also helps in protein synthesis, which transforms protein into muscles, accelerating the process of muscle hypertrophy.
Another interesting benefit is the reduction of muscle fatigue, increased fat burning, and strengthening of the bones (omega 3 increases the absorption of calcium by the bones).
Omega 3 also improves cardiac and lung function, which will result in more resistance and increased performance in aerobic and weight training exercises.
Omega 3: in capsules, syrup, gums, or powder?
Omega 3 can have different presentations: in capsules, syrup, gums, or powder. We will talk about the characteristics of each one throughout this section so that you know how to choose the best option.
Several brands manufacture omega 3 in capsules, whether of animal or vegetable origin. Capsules are usually made of natural substances and without chemical additives, such as gelatin, which easily dissolves in the body without harming health.
You also find omega 3 in gum, an alternative to encourage children to consume the substance. However, the concentration of omega 3 is low and the gelatin candy is sweetened, which can be bad in the long run.
Omega 3 in syrup is an alternative for children, the elderly, and people who have difficulty swallowing capsules. In liquid form, omega 3 is very reminiscent of cod oil, in aroma and flavor.
Therefore, some brands add flavoring and essence, but care must be taken because although the oil tastes better, these components can be bad if they are consumed for long periods.
Omega 3 powder is used in manipulated supplements. This type of supplement has microencapsulation technology, which prevents the oxidation of omega 3. The concentration is low.
|For whom it is recommended||Benefits||Disadvantages|
|Capsules||Anyone can consume||The high concentration of omega 3. It is easily found||May cause aftertaste|
|Syrup||Children, the elderly, and people who have difficulty swallowing capsules||It is easy to ingest||Contains additives to soften the smell and taste of fish. Low concentration of omega 3|
|Gum||Children||It is a way for children to consume omega 3 without complaining||Low concentration of omega 3 and too much sugar|
|Powder||People with specific needs||The product is microencapsulated, so it does not oxidize easily||Low concentration of omega 3|
What are the disadvantages advantages of omega 3?
After mentioning so many benefits, on the most diverse fronts of use, you must have already realized the countless advantages of using omega 3.
Among the main ones we can highlight that you can consume it in various ways, whether in powder, syrup, capsule, or jelly, there is a form of ingestion that will please you.
In addition, we have seen that people of any age benefit from it. And you find it in different price ranges, making it affordable for the vast majority.
However, some disadvantages need to be mentioned. Here is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of eating omega 3:
Prices for omega 3 supplements vary. The higher the quality of the fish used and the concentration of EPA and DHA assets, the higher the final cost of the supplement.
For a month of treatment, the prices of supplements with lower concentrations range from R $ 30 to R $ 70. Products with higher concentrations cost from R $ 90 to R $ 110.
Be wary of very cheap products, usually, the amount of EPA and DHA is less than the recommended minimum. They may also not be free of heavy metals.
Where to buy?
You can find omega 3 supplements in pharmacies.
If you prefer, you can buy the product in the comfort of your home, over the internet. You can find many options both in specialized sites as well as in department stores, such as Amazon.
By clicking on the products listed in the Ranking you will be directed to purchase the mentioned omega 3.
Purchasing criteria: Factors to compare the different types of Omega 3
If you are looking for an omega 3, you may have encountered the following situation: entering a pharmacy and being lost with the number of supplements with this substance.
On the internet the situation is similar: the more you search, the more options you find. But don’t worry, we’ve separated some tips to help you choose a good supplement and ensure all the benefits that omega 3 has to offer.
- EE or TG?
- The concentration of EPA and DHA
- Vitamin E
- Guarantee of purity
- Number of capsules
- Omega 3 for vegans and vegetarians
We will detail each of the items throughout this section.
EE or TG?
You can find the omega 3 supplements in two different formats: reesterified triglycerides (TG) or ethyl ester (EE).
The omega 3 in TG format is more efficient because this is the same form found in nature, therefore, the absorption is better and faster. Omega 3 EE is more easily found.
Both types offer up to 60% omega 3 per capsule, but TG offers 72% bioavailability for human metabolism, while EE offers only 42%.
The concentration of EPA and DHA
The most important characteristic to analyze when purchasing an omega 3 is the concentration of EPA and DHA that the supplement has. This index varies according to the brand.
The ideal is to buy a product that provides at least enough to meet the daily recommendation.
There are several compositions of omega 3, the most common is the percentage 18/12, that is 18% EPA and 12% DHA. But you will find better options, with dosage 33/22, 40/20, among others.
Also, evaluate the concentration of omega 3 in each capsule. This index ranges from 15 to 60%, the higher the better. To know this information, just add the amount of EPA and DHA and compare it with the capsule size.
Also, be aware that you often need to take two or three capsules of a supplement to have the same amount of omega 3 that only one capsule of another product would ever provide.
When buying an omega 3 supplement, give preference to products enriched with vitamin E.
This vitamin has an antioxidant function, essential in defending against the harmful effects of free radicals. Another function is to protect DHA and EPA from oxidation, keeping the product fresh and effective for longer.
Guarantee of purity
Unfortunately, a lot of garbage is discarded in the oceans, these wastes release toxic substances such as arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, aluminum. And we can come into contact with these heavy metals through the consumption of fish and by-products.
The human body is unable to process these toxic metals, that is, as you ingest them, they will accumulate in the body, compromising your health and well-being.
Therefore, when buying a supplement of omega 3 of animal origin, assess whether the product has a guarantee of purity.
All manufacturers of omega 3 supplements provide technical reports that attest to the quality of the product for the customer. This report indicates whether the product is free from heavy metal contamination.
If you do not find the technical report that attests to the quality of the supplement, you can request it from the manufacturer or the shopkeeper.
This certificate is a guarantee that the product is not contaminated. Through the document, you can also analyze whether the raw material used is from regulated fishing companies, and not from fish caught and raised in captivity.
In addition to the report, you can check if the product has a quality seal from international bodies such as IFOS and Intertek, both attest to the safety and quality of these supplements.
Number of capsules
You find omega 3 supplements in different amounts of capsules. The quantity issue is related to the product’s durability. We consider a dose of 3 capsules to demonstrate this parameter:
- 60 capsules: 20 days;
- 90 capsules: 30 days;
- 120 capsules: 40 days;
- 180 capsules: 60 days.
Omega 3 for vegans and vegetarians
As an option for vegans and vegetarians, you can buy omega 3 of vegetable origin, which is based on seaweed or seed oil such as chia and flaxseed. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is extracted from these sources, one of the three fatty acids in omega 3.
Once ingested, ALA turns into EPA and DHA and has the same benefits as other substances. However, this type of omega is less used by the body, so you will need to consume a larger amount of supplements.
If you are going to buy a plant-based omega 3 supplement (with alpha-linolenic acid, ALA) make sure that the product has been cold-pressed.
This method of extracting vegetable oils is the only way to guarantee integrity, functionality, and a 100% pure oil.
A very important detail, but that many people do not know, is that transparent packaging can affect the quality of food supplements.
The omega 3 in gelatin capsules contains fish oil inside. Fats have a fragile chemical structure, which can break when it comes into contact with light, impairing the integrity of the substance.
As the omega 3 capsules are already transparent, the supplement must be packaged in opaque or dark pots, to prevent contact with light.
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