Is omega-3 good for hair growth?
Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely helpful for promoting healthy hair. It has been found by experts including scientists to trigger hair growth, promote hair strength, nourish hair follicles and prevent hair loss.
What is omega 3?
Omega-3 is a chain of fatty acids — a building block of fats.It plays an excellent role in the maintenance of the cardiovascular system and tissue maintenance. There are three main types of omega-3: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The major source of omega-3 are plant and fish oil and can be pharmaceutically made into syrups or tablets as supplements. Apart from preventing hair loss and boosting hair growth, our body needs omega-3 for a variety of purposes. It can lower the risk of dying from heart disease, it can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which can cause vision loss and may relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Researchers and scientists conducted some studies on the connection of omega-3 and hair growth. Below are the outcomes:
- A 2015 study indicated that women taking a fish oil supplement experienced significantly increased hair growth and reduced hair loss.
- A 2018 study indicated that when mackerel-derived fermented fish oil (FFO) extract was topically applied to mice it significantly stimulated hair growth.
- A 2015 study indicated that women experienced reduced hair loss and increased hair density when taking a supplement of antioxidants along with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 deficiency can affect your hair texture causing it to be dry, brittle and uneasy to touch which can ultimately lead to dandruff or an itchy scalp. Apart from stimulating hair growth, omega-3 lubricates and adds brightness to your hair.
What helps with absorption of Omega-3?
According to a 2019 study on absorption of omega-3, taking an omega-3 concentrate with food that contains fat increased bioavailability, making it easier for the body to absorb. On the other hand, taking omega-3 with a low fat meal reduces absorption.
Clarifying the above findings in simple terms, omega-3 supplements are best absorbed when taken with a meal that contains fat and since most people don’t take meals with much fat during breakfast, some experts advised taking your supplements during lunch or evening meal.
Although omega-3 supplements like fish oil capsules promote hair growth and reduce hair loss, taking high doses can harm your health. Some people experience
side effects when taking the supplements. If you fall into the category, consider splitting your doses in two and take them at different mealtimes. Otherwise, reach out to medical personnel for proper prescriptions.
Recommended daily intake
Medically, there is no specific set recommendation on the amount of fish oil you should take. As per EPA and DHA, below are recommended total omega 3 intake:
- For healthy individuals, the recommended daily intake of omega-3 is 1,100 mg for women and 1,600 mg for men.
- For pregnant women, WHO recommends 300 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day – 200mg of which should be DHA.
Pay attention to the label when buying fish oil supplements to determine the amount of EPA and DHA it contains. Normally, 1000 mg of fish oil contains about 300 mg of combined EPA and DHA.