Last updated on Dec 10th, 2017 at 07:43 am

Do you know what the omega-3 deficiency symptoms are?

Not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet could be more dangerous than eating foods high in nasty trans-fats.

This is according to Harvard University researchers who ranked omega 3 deficiencies as the sixth biggest killer in the US.

However, many people don’t know that omega-3 deficiency is dangerous. In fact, most people polled in in an American survey didn’t know low levels may be harmful.

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What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that has to be ingested through food.

Found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, salmon and sardines, some plants and nut oils, omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, growth and development.

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for overall good health. They may even aid weight loss. A recent study found that that the Mediterranean diet – which is rich in omega-3 fats found in oily fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and some vegetables – combined with moderate exercise led to greater weight loss around the liver, abdomen and heart, compared to low-fat diets.

Related: How the Mediterranean diet affects the brain

Omega-3 deficiency symptoms

When omega-3 fatty acids are not ingested in sufficient quantities, it can contribute to inflammatory conditions such as obesity and diabetes and chronic disease.

Common symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor memory
  • Dry skin
  • Heart problems
  • Mood swings or depression
  • Poor circulation

How to get enough omega-3

“We need a reliable source of omega-3 to help maintain a healthy, optimal omega-3-to-6 balance. Given the poor diets many people follow, I believe high-quality supplementation is essential,” says health and wellness expert Vanessa Ascencao.

However, many omega supplements have been found to be rancid. Over 80% of those tested in South Africa exceeded the recommended levels of harmful lipid peroxides which contribute to cell damage, oxidative stress and disease.

Ascencao says omega-3 fish oil supplements should be produced from a sustainable source of the highest quality, wild-caught certified fish oils such as those from Alaska. They should also be free from GMOs, hormones and antibiotics which are sometimes found in modern fish farming.

Research shows that marine sources like cold-water, wild Alaskan fish and their oils are the only significant sources of DHA and EPA due to their diet of plankton and smaller omega 3-rich fish not found in farmed fish environments. Wild Alaskan fish are also uncontaminated by toxins like mercury and PCB, are GMO-free and accumulate high levels of fat in their tissues for warmth which is the source of the omega-3 oil.

Ascencao recommends supplementing with Purest Omega 3  which is produced sustainably from wild-caught Alaskan fish.

Purest Omega 3 is available at leading health stores, pharmacies and Dis-Chem.

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.