Have you ever stood in the supplement aisle of the grocery store, so confused on which supplement to choose? We know the feeling. More specifically, the search for the right omega 3 fish oil supplement can be overwhelming. We’re here to help!
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for healthy eyes. In the video below, we'll discuss how increasing your intake of omega-3s can help alleviate symptoms of dry eye. We'll provide tips on how to incorporate more omega-3 rich foods into your diet, as well as the benefits they bring. Tune in to learn more about the power of omega-3s and how they can help improve your eye health!
What is Fish Oil?
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the most common forms of omega 3 fatty acids. These healthy, polyunsaturated fats are often sought out for their antioxidant properties, and studies have shown benefits of supplementation throughout the body.
EPA is generally thought to play a larger antiinflammatory role, and DHA is often discussed in relation to brain and eye health. However, they always work together for the amazing benefits they provide.
The Types of Fish Oil for Eye Health
Ethyl Ester Oil
This form of fish oil is created by concentrating and then removing impurities from natural fish oils through a process that changes the molecular structure of the substance. It is never converted back into the more bioavailable form, which is triglyceride.
While the ethyl ester form contains fewer contaminants and has higher levels of DHA and EPA when compared to the natural form, it is not as easily absorbed by the body. This reduced rate of absorption is most likely due to the fact that the structure of the oil must be broken down within the body and converted to triglyceride before it can properly be absorbed.
This means you may have to up your dosage to notice the effects, or you may not notice any changes. The majority of fish oil supplements you’ll find on supermarket shelves are going to be ethyl ester based because they are much cheaper for companies to produce.
Re-Esterified Triglyceride Oil
This form of fish oil is the closest to eating real fish and is formed by extracting the natural oils from fatty fish. In order for the natural fish oil in your supplements to be pure enough for you to consume, it must undergo a purification process. Then, in order to be more bioavailable and easily absorbed by your body, the fish oil is reconverted back into the triglyceride form. Ethyl esters are never converted back into the triglyceride form.
The greatest benefit of re-esterified triglyceride fish oil is its bioavailability. The critical fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are more easily absorbed by the body when compared to the ethyl ester form.
Aside from more optimal absorption rates, the triglyceride form has fewer side effects. With ethyl esters, there is the possibility of digestive upset and fishy burps. However, if you consume only pharmaceutical grade triglyceride fish oil, this is not something you’ll have to worry about.
5 Omega-3 Supplements to Add to Your Routine
1. PRN DE3
If you’ve visited a dry eye specialist before, you may have been prescribed PRN’s DE3 Omega Benefits. This is a superior omega-3 product which is specifically formulated for patients with irritated eyes.
PRN DE3 is made from the re-esterified triglyceride form of fish oil and may help to maintain a healthy tear film. It contains 1680 mg EPA and 560 mg DHA, which has been shown in multiple studies to be beneficial for eye health. Simply take 3 softgels per day, together or separately, and hopefully you’ll notice improvement in your eyes.
2. Heyedrate Omega 3
The Heyedrate Omega-3 for Healthy Eyes was designed specifically with your irritated eyes in mind. This formula combines 515 mg EPA and 415 mg DHA of re-esterified triglyceride (rTg) fish oil with 40 mg omega-7, antioxidant vitamins E and C, B6, and magnesium. We love this supplement because it covers all of the bases and is a well-rounded addition to your supplement routine. Simply take 3 softgels per day, together or separately.
3. PRN Omega-V Benefits
Vegans and vegetarians need omega 3 fatty acids too! If you fall into one of these groups, PRN’s Omega-V Benefits️ is one of the best options on the market. This formula contains algae oil, which is a pure, non-fish, sustainable source of EPA and DHA.
It contains 330 mg EPA and 670 mg DHA, which is lower than traditional omega 3 supplements for eye health. However, this bioavailable triglyceride form is easily absorbed for eye, heart, brain and overall health benefits that you’ll never get from ethyl ester fish oil. Simply take 1 teaspoon per day to notice benefits.
Check Price and Purchase Omega-V on Amazon
4. Doctor's Advantage
Doctor’s Advantage manufactures a wonderful omega 3 supplement, Omega Shield, which contains an advanced and unique formula of powerful antioxidants to help your body’s natural defenses. This blend of omegas 3 contains 600 mg EPA, 400 mg DHA, and 200 mg of additional omega 3s. Take 3 softgels per day for optimal benefits.
The Lipotriad omega supplement was formulated to create more tears and improve and maintain the quality of them. It contains 1400 mg total triglyceride-based omega-3 (504 mg EPA, 378 mg DHA, and 350 mg ALA) along with flaxseed oil and vitamin E. We love the combination in this supplement, as it provides critical nutrition essential to supporting eye health. Simply take 2 softgels per day for optimal benefits.
Check Price and Purchase Lipotriad Nutritear on Amazon
As you can see, there’s a lot to learn about omega 3 fatty acids. While ethyl ester versions may be cheaper and easier to find in drugstores around the country, don’t be fooled! Do your research and seek out a re-esterified triglyceride pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement for the best eye health benefits.
Oils to Use in Your Home
- Organic Avocado Oil
- Organic, Unrefined Coconut Oil
- Organic, Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Healthy Vegetarian Omega-6 and Omega-3
- Avocado (15:1 omega-6 to omega-3 ratio)
- Flaxseed oil (or ground flaxseed)
- Chia seeds
- Evening primrose oil
- Black currant seed oil
- Almonds (Almond butter)
- Sunflower seeds (Sunflower seed butter)
- Sesame seeds
- Pine nuts
- Brazil nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Fresh basil
- Dried oregano
- Canned grape leaves
Healthy Meat Omega-6 and Omega-3
- Organic, pasture raised eggs
- Organic, grass-fed, pasture raised beef
- Organic, grass-fed, pasture raised poultry
- High quality wild caught fish
- Wild mackerel
- Wild Alaskan salmon
- Wild herring
- Wild caught tuna
- Wild caught sardines
Oils to Avoid
- Shortening (Crisco)
- Fake Butter Substitutes (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
- Corn Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Canola Oil
- “Vegetable” Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Hydrogenated oils (check the ingredients list)
- Trans Fat (check the nutritional information)
Foods to Avoid (Unhealthy Omega-6):
- ANY fried foods
- Salad dressing - substitute vinegar instead, like balsamic
- Fast Food - chicken fingers, french fries, hash browns, chicken nuggets
- Freezer meals
- Cookies, candy, cakes, pastries, muffins, candy bars, etc
- Pork products such as bacon, pork chops, pork loin, ham
Week 4: Download the Supplemental Info
Challenge of the Week
Start taking a re-esterified triglyceride based Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement, like Heyedrate Omega 3
Only stock your house with the 3 Oils in the approved list - Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, and Organic Olive Oil (throw out the rest)
Supplement of the Week (affiliate links)
Week 1: Mighty Maca
Week 2: Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser
Week 3: Passion 4 Life Multivitamin
- Week 4: Heyedrate Omega-3 for Healthy Eyes
This is week 4 of our Rethinking Dry Eye Challenge. If you haven't signed up yet, enter your email below.
Drs. Travis and Jenna Zigler, President and VP of Eye Believe Foundation
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This video/content is not intended to provide personalized medical advice or to take the place of any guidance or treatment you may receive from your own physician or other health care professional. It is for general informational and educational purposes only.
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As optometrists, we see it as our duty to be available, when we are capable, to provide one of the most important yet basic human rights to ordinary people by giving them the vision they thought they had lost. This enables them to not only see the faces of their loved ones again, but also provide for themselves and their families through careers they may have lost to poor vision.
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