omega-3 deficiency

The Warning Signs and Symptoms of an Omega-3 Deficiency (and What to Do About It)

Erin Schnittker

Did you know that omega-3 fatty acids make up an integral part of cell membranes? Without enough of these fatty acids in your body, you will start to see all sorts of unpleasant signs of an omega-3 deficiency. Omega-3 is a particular type of polyunsaturated fatty acid, often known as PUFA, and it plays an important role in various systems throughout the body such as the immune system and the cardiovascular system. 

But where can you get more omega-3 if you are deficient, what is omega-3 exactly, and how can you know if you are deficient in the first place? Keep reading and learn more about this fatty acid below.

The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Body

The body would have a hard time surviving without omega-3 fatty acids. The main forms of omega-3 in foods and supplements are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Studies have found that these fatty acids are especially beneficial for the cardiovascular system.

In particular, these fatty acids may have the ability to reduce the incidence of abnormal heart rhythm. Abnormal heart rhythms may occur as the result of a stroke, heart attack, or other reasons. In the same vein, omega-3 fatty acids may be able to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes. 

This is especially important since heart attacks and strokes can be readily or at the very least leave people much weaker than before.

The Details

The fatty acids may even have an effect on the growth of plaque within arteries. When there is too much plaque in one's arteries, the chance of having a heart attack or stroke increases.

That's because blood will have a much harder time flowing through those blood vessels and sooner or later, some of the plaque will travel to the heart or lungs to cause a heart attack. But if omega-3 fatty acids are able to slow the development of plaque within the arteries, you won't have to worry so much about strokes and heart attacks. Of course, these fatty acids can't make you completely invulnerable to these conditions, but they can certainly help. 

Finally, these fatty acids may even help those with heart disease live longer. People with heart disease may die of sudden cardiac death, but omega-3 fatty acids may have the ability to reduce the occurrence of sudden death. This is important because while the fatty acids cannot cure a person's heart disease, they can still potentially help someone live a longer life.

Signs of an Omega-3 Deficiency

Now that you know about the importance of omega-3 in the body, especially concerning the cardiovascular system, it's time to explore what might happen if you are deficient in these fatty acids. One of the first signs of deficiency you might experience is irritated skin. 

You might start to develop dry skin and you might even develop acne. If these problems aren't usual skin problems for you, the root of the problem might have to do with your nutrition. The reason why an omega-3 deficiency will affect your skin is that omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to protect your skin barrier. 

The fatty acids are able to strengthen this barrier and also keep your skin hydrated. Without them, your skin will become dry and weak. You might even develop certain skin conditions such as eczema as a result. 

But what about the occurrence of acne? Omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to fight against inflammation. Acne is a form of inflammation that occurs within your pores. 

By taking more of these fatty acids, you have the chance to soothe your skin and return it to its former health.

More Signs

Besides dry skin, you may also experience dry eyes. That's because omega-3 fatty acids help keep the eyes moisturized and prevent the evaporation of tears.

Those that have chronic dry eyes may be deficient in omega-3 fatty acids. Some studies have found that when those who suffer from dry eyes take omega-3 fatty acid supplements, symptoms of their dry eyes are significantly reduced. 

Finally, when you are deficient in these fatty acids, you might experience more joint pain. Joint pain often has inflammatory causes. Since these fatty acids fight inflammation, it makes sense that you will have more inflammatory pain if you are deficient. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements

Now that you know about the dangers of being deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, you might be wondering, "Should I take an omega-3 supplement?" As a matter of fact, taking omega-3 supplements can be very helpful to your health. A lot of omega-3 comes from foods such as fish, but the problem is that not many people eat enough fish to get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their systems.

You would have to eat fish such as tilapia or salmon several times a week to accomplish this. If you don't like fish or don't want to eat fish all the time, omega-3 fatty acid supplements are the perfect alternatives. These supplements are easy to take and they can seriously benefit your health. 

This is true whether or not you're deficient in omega-3 fatty acids. By making sure that you have the right levels of these fatty acids in your body, you won't have to worry about the signs of deficiency such as joint pain and irritated skin. 

All About Omega-3 Deficiency

Omega-3 deficiency is no joke. When you are deficient in these fatty acids, you risk experiencing signs such as joint pain, dry eyes, and irritated skin. Fortunately, taking omega-3 supplements can solve this problem. 

To learn more about omega-3 supplements, take a look at our products here.

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