When it comes to getting those extra healthy fats in your diet, fish oil supplements have long reigned supreme. Now, however, algae oil is gaining steam on the market. Not only could it have similar, if not more, benefits than fish oil, it’s also a great alternative for people who can’t consume fish oil due to health reasons or preferences.
What is algae oil?
As the name suggests, algae oil comes from these plant-like organisms that are most commonly found in or near bodies of water. It contains two major types of omega-3 fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and research has already shown that its potency is on par with that of traditional fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for helping cells maintain their structure while also regulating inflammation to key parts of the body, like your cardiovascular system.
While the research is still in the early stages, it’s already shown that algae oil may be similar to fish oil in its ability to lower blood pressure, strengthen blood vessels, and reduce cholesterol. Moreover, it inhibits compounds that often increase inflammation in the body and may even be linked to arthritis, asthma, and colitis prevention. Lastly, it could also potentially protect your vision by cutting down on eye irritation and fighting age-related degeneration.
What are its side effects?
Similar to fish oil, algae oil’s side effects appear relatively minimal and mild. Gastrointestinal discomfort and bloating are more common in fish oil, and scientists believe that algae oil could cause the same effects in some people. While researchers are still looking into appropriate long-term dosages for this supplement, they have a general recommendation not to exceed 3,000 milligrams per day.
How should you take it?
Much like fish oil, algae oil commonly comes in the form of oral capsules (Buy on Amazon, $21.95). And as you should with any other supplement regimen, make sure you get a doctor’s thumbs-up before incorporating it into your daily routine!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.
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