The films "Omega Man" (1971), "Omega" (2012), and "Alpha and Omega" (2010, plus seven sequels) are proof that the movie world thinks omegas make for a healthy box office.
And a lot of people think other omegas — especially DHA omega-3s — make for a healthier you, too.
Unfortunately, a new study may be confusing people about the benefits of taking a daily omega-3 supplement. Research published in the journal PLOS Genetics found that depending on your genetic makeup, taking fish oil supplements of DHA (or EPA) can lower or raise your triglyceride level, making the supplements heart-healthy for some and heart-risky for others.
So where does that leave people who have no idea if they're in the "my genes make them do good" or "my genes make them do bad" group?
First, understand that independent of their impact on your triglyceride levels, DHA omega-3s lower bodywide inflammation and reduce risks for diabetes, obesity, some cancers, depression, and cognitive problems. That's a significant boost to your long-term health.
Second, get your triglyceride levels checked. Then start taking a supplement (1,000 mg DHA a day). Recheck your level in 45 days to see if your triglycerides went up. If they did, stop taking the supplement. If they went down, ask your doctor about continuing.
Third, you can get a big dose of omega-3s from eating salmon, sea trout, sardines, herring, and anchovies. The American Heart Association recommends two servings per week to reduce the risk of congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, stroke, and sudden cardiac death.