Are omega-3 pills a waste of time? I’ve been taking an omega-3 supplement for months, and the benefits have been amazing: I’ve lost 9 pounds and my mood has lifted. But when I told my doctor about it, he said it’s likely a placebo effect since omega-3s only help if you don’t eat any bad fats. Is that true?

To a degree: For people who consume lots of trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids, there is evidence that omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to be used by the body. But in my experience, most health-conscious women don’t consume unhealthy fats to the extent that the omega-3s are rendered useless, and omega-3s do seem to be working for you. That said, continue to be vigilant about cutting trans fats (listed on labels as partially hydrogenated oils, hydrogenated oils and vegetable shortening). And try to eliminate corn and sunflower oils to reduce omega-6s. Then strive for 1,000mg to 3,000mg of omega-3s daily, like those in flaxseed and fish oil (note: Omega-3s thin the blood, so use caution if you’re on blood-thinning meds).

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