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Shopping at the grocery store for supplements can be so frustrating and so confusing. In particular, it’s hard to determine which omega-3 is best for your eye health and dry eye disease.
In this video, I will provide you with information on how to navigate the very confusing world of fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids. I will speak about specific brand recommendations that make it very easy to choose the brand that’s right for you. After all, you are what you eat.
If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.
Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet
Firstly, let’s break down the four major omega-3 fatty acids that we need in the human body:
- Two short-chain omega-3 fatty acids called ALA and SDA.
- Two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA.
A very small amount of ALA can be converted into EPA in the human body. However, this is a very inefficient system. Only about 20% of it actually gets absorbed and converted into the long-chain fatty acid form that we need.
It’s really important to source omega-3 fatty acids from our diets. When you think of ALA, I want you to think of your plant-based sources such as flaxseed and walnut. W you think of EPA and DHA, I want you to think of marine based sources such as albacore tuna herring mackerel sardines and salmon.
EPA and DHA are known as the usable fats in our body so it’s very important that we’re sourcing them from the diet because they play a major role in the anti-inflammatory processes in our body.
Reasons omega 3 fatty acids are indicated for eye health
Two major reasons omega-3 fatty acids are indicated for eye health are for controlling and preventing dry eye disease and for increasing retinal health.
Omega 3 and dry eye disease
Unfortunately, upwards of 30 million Americans are suffering from dry eye disease. Omega-3 fatty acids as a soul treatment do not treat dry eye disease. However, it can definitely help push a patient in the right direction. When you intake a good source of omega-3 fatty acid it makes its way to the healthy oils that are released on the front of the eye. Therefore we can facilitate a good quantity and a good quality of healthy oil that contributes to the tear film which can be indicated in good comfort of your eyes and also good vision.
Omega 3 and macular degeneration
This topic is of hot debate in the scientific literature and amongst the medical community overall. Currently, the data does not really support the use of omega-3s for age-related macular degeneration. However, some studies show that there is no real harm. My advice is to speak with your eye doctor about your individual eye health and make a decision as to what’s right for you.
Bioavailability and omega 3 for eye health
Bioavailability refers to how much of the omega-3 is actually being absorbed into the bloodstream. Typically, an omega-3 fatty acid needs to be esterified so that it can be digested in the human body. Unfortunately, only about 30 percent of this esterified form is actually absorbed. The rest of it sits rancid in your stomach and leads to fishy burps (yuck).
Fortunately, some brands have identified this problem and re-esterify the triglyceride form so that you’re absorbing the amount of omega-3 you actually need. Plus, no fishy burps!
Dosage and omega 3 for eye health
When you are buying your omega-3 fatty acid supplement you want to take a look specifically at the concentration of EPA and DHA. The typical dosage that’s recommended is somewhere between 1,000 milligrams to 3,000 milligrams.
Please make sure that you are speaking with your primary care doctor about this and your eye doctor as there are some relative and absolute contraindications meaning that some patients cannot take such a high dosage of omega-3 fatty acid.
My top 4 recommended omega 3 brands for eye health
At this point you’re probably hat brands do you recommend so my four top recommendations are:
- Nordic Naturals
The next time you browse through the supplement aisle at the grocery store, keep in mind “you are what you eat!” If you’re investing in your body’s health, why not invest in the health of your eyes.
What are your favorite omega-3 fatty acid supplements? Let me know in the comments below.