Omega-3 Deficiency Symptoms

Are You Ignoring These Dangerous Omega-3 Deficiency Symptoms?

Tips for Understanding Commonly Overlooked Omega-3 Deficiency Symptoms

Ever eat a non-fat cookie or brownie?

Notice how dry, brittle and crumbly it is? Well, not enough Omega-3 does the same thing to your skin.


Your skin is the first place to show signs of deficiency. No amount of moisturizing creams will fix that.

Then look at your hair and nails. Is your hair a bit straw-like? Are your nails brittle or soft?

Scientific Recognition

We know that low iron causes anemia.

And low Calcium causes brittle bones.

But we don’t think much about low Omega-3. Most doctors don’t either. Part of the reason is that Omega-3 deficiency symptoms are shared by other conditions, so they are easily overlooked. Or misdiagnosed.

Scientists have recently given a name to Omega-3 deficiency – it is FADS or Fatty Acid Deficiency Syndrome.

List of Omega-3 deficiency symptoms:

1. Skin related signs

  • Dry skin and hair and soft or brittle nails
  • Rough patches of skin
  • Small bumps (like chicken skin) on the back
    of upper arms and legs
  • Dandruff
  • Dry eyes

2. Attention and concentration problems

3. Mood related signs

  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Low frustration tolerance (“short fuse” or highly emotional outburst when things don’t go as planned)

4. Energy and sleep related signs

  • Fatigue
  • Poor sleep quality

5. Joint discomfort related signs

Omega-3 Deficiency Symptoms Change With Age

Children and young adults usually have skin and concentration symptoms but as you age, you may begin to notice sleep and energy related symptoms.

Joint and cognitive related symptoms are commonly seen in middle-aged and elderly persons.

So Why is it Dangerous to Ignore these Symptoms?

Most of these symptoms are just inconvenient or annoying but some can be painful or unpleasant. If ignored, your body can stay in a constant state of deficiency. And over time, this can lead to sub-optimal functioning of your body.

Eating the wrong kind of fat is like putting diesel into a car that runs on gasoline.

Except your body somehow manages to keep sputtering along.

Now that you know these easily-prevented deficiency symptoms, eat more fish (salmon), nuts and green leafy vegetables. And if you go a day or two without eating fish, make sure to take a high purity, ultra-concentrated fish oil supplement like OmegaVia.


*  These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


This website is for your education and general health information only. The ideas, opinions and suggestions contained on this website are not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from your doctor for any health condition or problem. Users of this website should not rely on information provided on this website for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician. Please do not start or stop any medications without consulting with your doctor. We neither encourage you to do so, nor can we be held responsible for the fall out of failing to seek the counsel of a medical health practitioner.

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Vin Kutty
Vin Kutty, MS, is co-founder of Innovix Pharma. He is a nutritionist and Omega-3 expert with 20 years of experience.


Join the Conversation

  1. I have a severe seafood allergy. I have a very low omega vitamin count and it has affected my eyes.
    My eye doctor placed omega 3 on my lips to see if they would have a reaction to the omega 3 vitamin for five minutes. Nothing happened in five minutes. He gave me a very pure form of omega 3 s but I have not taken them. Can I really take these with a seafood allergy?

    • Hi Yvette – I cannot advise you on this. This must be monitored closely by your doctor. Generally, seafood allergies are to proteins present in marine animals. However, most high purity Omega-3 products do not have seafood proteins. OmegaVia contains fish gelatin capsules. It is possible that you are allergic to the gelatin from fish. I suggest you work with your doctor and take a liquid Omega-3 that does not have animal gelatin capsules. You may also benefit from vegetarian Omega-3 sources.

  2. Hi Vin – quick one for you. I have been thought tough times with stress, anxiety, sleeping problems, headache, concentration problems and dizziness. I would like to mention that I don’t have any health problems I did all the blood tests etc. It seems that stress is the main cause and my brain isn’t work properly after all this. Would I benefit if I start using Omega 3? Would you recommend Omega 3-6-9 complex or only Omega 3 ? Is there any major side effects? Also how these should be taken (how many times/period?)

    Thanks a lot in advance for your answer. Have a great day ahead!

    • Hi Senell – a high concentration Omega-3 supplement is much better are addressing deficiencies and for addressing dietary imbalance than Omega-3-6-9. So skip the 3-6-9. Along with Omega-3, magenesium, Vitamin D, B-complex, and probiotics along with prebiotic fibers are all good to take if you are stressed. Of course, the obvious first thing to do is address the source of stress and find ways to reduce its impact on your body and mind (exercise, yoga, nature immersion, socializing, meditation etc.). You cannot outrun the effects of stress or poor diet with supplements. You need to address these things at the root cause level.

      • Thanks a lot Vin. Is there any strategy how to take these pills of Omega 3? 3 per day or 3 per week ? I don’t want to make an excess of these I only need a small “push” because I am working on the stress part but it will take time 🙂

        • Hi Senell – one pill a day should be fine, assuming you are getting about 1000 mg Omega-e per day.

  3. Hey Vin,

    Currently I am using OmegaVia 3 supplements (1/day) but also I used to combine this with Magnesium B6 + Zinc daily. Magnesium in the morning after breakfast and Omega before dinner. I’m using these for my anxiety/panic attacks symptoms. I would like to switch from Magnesium to Multivitamin+Mineral supplements in the morning but not sure which is more helpful. I am taking these by my own so I don’t wanna make any mistakes


    • Hi Alex – I assume you are working with your doctor, if not, please do. Your dosage could use some improvement. Aim for 3000 mg Omega-3 per day (or 3 pills per day), 400-500 mg of Magnesium per day. There are also some probiotics that can help with mood. A good B-complex in the morning would be a good idea. Have your doctor test your Vitamin D levels

  4. Hi Vin… I haven’t been having sea food since a long time. I have brittle hair and dandruff too.I have been having anxiety issues and sudden deterioration of academic grades. Are my problems related to my diet? I stay at a place where procuring fish oil isn’t easy… Will cod liver oil capsules suffice? If not then are there any alternate sources of epa and dha?

    • Hi Atif – try cod liver oil if that is what’s available. You may have some Omega-3 deficiency symptoms. Although I suspect there are other dietary issues. Talk to a dietitian if you are concerned.

    • Hi Mary – Omega-3 can help reduce the redness and inflammation in your skin, so it may help indirectly. If you have severe acne, eliminate sugar, dairy, and flour from your diet. Eat ONLY vegetables, seafood, meats, eggs, and fruits – stuff that was alive last week.

  5. Okay so I am 20 years old. My fiance has pointed out that I have a lot of gloomy moods, I’m irritable, easily frustrated, and more emotional than usual. Could this really be caused by DHA or other vitamin deficiencies? I’ve taken a look at my hair and nails, I have always had pretty brittle nails and my hair is quite straw like, my fiance was a hairdresser and he always says I have “nappy” hair. But am I too young to be experiencing this and something else may be to blame?

    • Hi Tabitha – mood issues are caused by several factors – nutritional deficiencies, thyroid or other hormonal disruption, physical or emotional trauma, infections or chronic illness, poor sleep, etc. Yes, Omega-3 deficiency may contribute to this. An Integrative Medicine MD can help get to the root cause, but be prepared to make diet and lifestyle changes. Straw-like hair suggests nutritional deficiencies may be a factor.

  6. So I am wondering if Omega 3 can help with fibromyalgia symptoms, general fatigue and bad mood swings? Any thoughts?

    • Hi Temo – several nutrient deficiencies have been associated with fibromyalgia. These include Vitamin D3, magnesium, zinc, B6, and Omega-3. This does not mean that an imbalance or absence in one of these nutrients is solely responsible for fibromyalgia. While Omega-3 may help, I strongly doubt that Omega-3 alone without addressing other nutritional and lifestyle issues is going to solve the problem. As for fatigue and mood swings, many potential factors can cause this. I strongly recommend that you work with an Integrative Medicine MD to start addressing the root cause of these issues.

  7. Hello, I am a 15 years old, and just recently health and vitamins have caught my attention. So, I went for a hunt on which vitamin I should take and I came across fish oil. I read all the syptoms and I noticed all of them in myself. Also, I have a weird disgust on fish, probably haven’t eaten it in like an year or two. Do you think I should try these, and if I do do you know a dosage (I am very tall and weight around 140 lbs) thank you!

    • Hi Sara – if you are not eating fish often, fish oil supplements may help. Still, keep in mind that fish contain a lot of nutrients that fish oil supplements do not. Try to get at least 500 mg of Omega-3 per day. 1000 mg is ideal. More than 3000 mg Omega-3 is not needed for most people.

  8. He, I’m a 43 year old female and my hair has been falling out in cl9and I’m starting to go bald on some spots. I’m also a vegan. Would omega deficiency cause hair lose?

    • Hi Danielle – there could be several reasons for hair loss. You may need to work with a doctor to get to the root cause of the problem. However, if you are a vegan, there is a possibility that you may not be getting enough protein, B-vitamins, and Omegas. Yes, these deficiencies can cause hair loss. Protein and B-vitamins certainly play a big role in health of your hair. We all need to eat more vegetables, but there is a big difference between more vegetables vs vegan. It takes a lot of knowledge and work to get vegan just right. If you wish to remain vegan, I strongly suggest you supplement with protein, B-vitamins, and Omega-3.

    • You need proteins if you don’t eat meat get it from Greek yogurt ( check label) nuts, peanut butter.

      Provitamin b5 ( pantothenic acid) biotin and the rest of b vitamins.
      Also, dark chocolate at least 80% cocoa. Fruits, get rid of junk food and alcohol! Black rice is extremely helpful too.

  9. My son sees a chiropractor and is telling me that this chiropractor has advised him through that he is omega deficient. I feel he has lost his sanity (my son) Could omega deficiency cause a person to change behavior when starting a new regimen? Please advise. Concerned mom

    • Hi Suzanne – you can easily measure your Omega-3 status with brainspan or OmegaQuant. If your Omega-3 index is below 4%, then you are deficient. Ideally, you need to be over 8%. Depending on where your son was with his Omega-3 index, it is possible that there was some behavior changes. After all, the brain is mostly fat and DHA Omega-3 is the primary fat in the brain. If you don’t have enough Omega-3, it is possible that the brain works suboptimally. Having said that, I’ve never heard of anyone losing their sanity from starting to take Omega-3 supplements.

  10. Hi Vin,

    my Daughter Diagnose Skin psoriasis and most of the Doctor said no cure on this. Omega 3 can help on this type of problem? ex. Chia Seeds or salmon, sardines.
    hope you can help me on this. thank you


    • Hi Rico – psoriasis is an autoimmune condition. It needs to be treated by a doctor. While you may not be able to fully cure this condition, you can use diet, lifestyle and possibly Omega-3 may help reduce some symptoms. Omega-3 alone will not cure it, but it may help some of the inflammation. Sardines and salmon are definitely great ideas.