A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is key to having a healthy heart and well-functioning cells throughout the body. A lack of Omega-3 can lead to a fatty acid deficiency. Many Americans do not get the recommended amount of Omega-3, which is about 1-3 grams per day, according to the American Heart Association.
A lack of Omega-3, and thus deficiency can manifest with the following symptoms:
- Rough or dry, bumpy skin
- Dry, dull, brittle hair and dandruff
- Soft, peeling, or brittle nails
- Excessive thirst
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty paying attention
- Excessive mood swings, depression, or unwarranted anxiety
If you are experiencing these symptoms, a doctor can perform a fatty acid profile through a blood test. The causes may include a lack of Omega-3 in the diet, lifestyle factors which may affect the metabolism of fats (such as smoking cigarettes, consuming alcohol, stress, or diabetes), genetics, or immune system issues.
To overcome a lack of Omega-3, it is important to eat foods that increase levels of the fatty acid in your body, as well as to supplement your diet with an Omega-3 dietary supplement.