Updated 25 January 2017

Are your symptoms a sign of an omega-3 deficiency?

Omega-3 plays an important role in keeping our bodies healthy but many of us do not get enough of this essential fatty acid in our diet. Here are the signs of an omega-3 deficiency to watch out for.


By now, many of us know how important omega-3 is for our health. Harvard Medical School has hailed it a “superfood, packed with nutrients and potent disease-fighting compounds”.

Many studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce blood pressure, improves brain functioning and has anti-inflammatory properties.

On home soil, the South African Heart and Stroke Foundation recommend that one eats 2–5g of this type of fat every day.

With so many health benefits, it’s difficult to imagine a healthy diet without these fats. But what are the symptoms of omega-3 deficiency?

Problems in the extremities of the body, such as skin, hair and nails, are usually a good indication that you have too little omega-3 in your system.

Many of these symptoms on their own can be an indication of other conditions which is why it is important to discuss any unusual symptoms with your doctor.

Seafood like salmon and sardines and plant foods such as some nuts and seeds are a good source of omega-3. Unfortunately many South Africans aren’t able to access foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids every day and therefore don’t get enough of this nutrient in their diet.

Including a quality omega- 3 supplement will help to ensure you avoid a deficiency. Taking the recommended amount every day will not only ensure optimal physical and mental functioning, but will also help fight cardiovascular disorders.

This article is provided through a sponsorship from Pfizer in the interests of continuous medical education. Notwithstanding Pfizer's sponsorship of this publication, neither Pfizer nor its subsidiary or affiliated companies shall be liable for any damages, claims, liabilities, costs or obligations arising from the misuse of the information provided in this publication.

Readers are advised to consult their health care practitioner for specific information on personal health matters as this is not the intention or purpose of the publication. Specific medical advice or recommendations on the clinical management of patients will not be provided by Pfizer. In this regard Pfizer does not support the use of products for off label indications, nor dosing which falls outside the approved label recommendations and readers must refer to the Package Insert of any product for full prescribing guidelines.



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