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"Omega Man" was a 1971 Charlton Heston movie about survival in a diseased and dangerous world. Film critic Gene Siskel gave it one star; Roger Ebert begrudged it two. Guess the movie makers should have made more of the omega than the man! Omegas — well, omega-3s — are superstars.

Omega-3s — DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) — are essential fatty acids that your body cannot produce. You have to get them from foods.

DHA is important for the health of your brain, the retina in your eyes and vital organs systems. It's found in algae, sardines and our much-loved salmon and sea trout.

ALA may help protect your heart, nerves and bones and fight cancer. It can be converted into DHA and EPA. It's in flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, chia seeds, walnuts and soybeans.

EPA can prevent the blood from clotting easily and fight inflammation to ease pain and swelling. It is also used to lower triglyceride levels. It's in fatty fish like salmon and some microalgae like kelp, which is why algae oil is an omega-3 supplement.

If you have chronically dry skin, dry eye, joint pain, even depression, that may signal you're not getting enough omega-3. Try upping your intake first through food and then supplements. Eat 12 walnut halves a day; make sure you eat salmon twice a week (canned and frozen salmon is less costly and just as healthy); and consider taking 600-900 mg of fish or algae DHA omega-3 supplements daily.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit sharecare.com.

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

King Features Syndicate

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