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Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 12, 2023.

What are other common names?

  • ADH
  • DHA
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
  • E-EPA
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
  • Eicosapentanoic Acid
  • EPA
  • Essential Fatty Acid
  • Ethyl Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Ethyl-Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Ethyl-EPA
  • Fish Oil Fatty Acid
  • Fish Oil Fatty Acids
  • Fish Oils
  • Krill Oil
  • LCPUFA's
  • Long Chain PUFA's
  • Long Chain PUFAs
  • Lovaza
  • Marine Oil
  • Marine Oil Fatty Acids
  • Marine Oils
  • N-3 Fatty Acid
  • N-3 Fatty Acids
  • Neuromins
  • Omega 3
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Omega Fatty Acid
  • Omega-3
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
  • Oméga 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid
  • PUFA
  • PUFAs
  • W-3 Fatty Acid
  • W-3 Fatty Acids

What is this product used for?

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and krill as well as some plants, nuts, and grass-fed animals. Omega-3 fatty acids may help with heart problems in people with coronary heart disease and heart failure. People with high triglycerides may use it to lower their triglyceride levels. It may also help improve low mood in some people. Omega-3 fatty acids have been used to improved dry eye symptoms. People with the skin condition called psoriasis may use omega-3 fatty acid creams on their skin along with their other psoriasis drugs to improve symptoms.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this natural product.

  • Take extra care with these supplements if you are allergic to seafood.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to thin your blood. These are drugs like warfarin, heparin, or enoxaparin.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to dissolve blood clots. These are drugs like alteplase, reteplase, or streptokinase.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to help with swelling or inflammation. These are drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Bleeding problems

    • Heart problems

    • Blood pressure problems

    • High cholesterol

    • Abnormal heartbeat like atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter

    • Stomach ulcers

    • Liver problems

    • Mental health problems like low mood or bipolar disorder

    • Immune system problems

    • Cancer

    • Nerve problems, like tingling in arms, legs, hands, or feet

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach

  • Stomach cramps

  • Fishy taste or fishy smell of breath and sweat

  • Heartburn

  • Increased burping

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; fever; rash; hives; itching, discolored, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of low blood pressure. These include feeling dizzy, weak, or tired; fainting; more thirst; or skin that is pale, cool, and clammy.

  • Bruising or bleeding that is not normal

  • Changes in menstrual periods like lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles

  • Very bad belly pain

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Very bad throwing up

Where can I learn more?

Department of Defense Dietary Supplement Resource

Department of Defense Dietary Supplement Resource Brain Health Guide

Office of Dietary Supplements

Last Reviewed Date


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