Benefits of Fish Oil
What is it?
Fish oil is comprised of two principal fatty acids known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These fatty acids can be found in fish like krill, calamari, tuna, and several others. EPA and DHA are fatty acids belonging to the family of Omega-3s. Unfortunately, our bodies are only able to produce a limited amount of EPA and DHA from the essential fatty acid know as alpha-linolenic acid. For this reason, taking a fish oil supplement may be an essential part of our daily intake. Most fish oils contain other fatty acids that comprise a small portion of the total concentration of fish oil. EPA and DHA represent the major two sources of fatty acids in fish oils.
Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil has demonstrated several potential benefits for improving overall heart-health. They help reduce triglyceride levels, increase levels of healthy cholesterol, lower homocysteine levels, and may even help to thin blood and lower blood pressure. These heart-health effects have led to decreased levels of cardiovascular disease in individuals taking fish oil supplements. There is an abundant amount of literature published that both supports and denies the benefits of fish oil. The overall consensus, and my recommendation for individuals, is that if you are consuming equal to or less than one and a half servings of fish per week, fish oil is a great option for you. In addition to this, individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease or recovering from a heart attack should also speak with their physician about fish oil. There is also evidence to suggest fish oil can help control healthy blood sugar levels, decrease the incidence of asthma, reduce arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, and much more.
How Much Should I Take?
Your daily intake should be tailored based on the specific reason you are taking fish oil. Before starting a fish oil supplement, speak with a provider you trust who can help point you in the right direction. Fish oil is considered to be safe. The most common side effect is fishy smelling breath and diarrhea. Avoid taking doses of 2 grams (2000 mg) a day or higher unless medically advised as this may suppress immune function and lead to other potential detrimental health effects. For a healthy adult looking to improve their overall wellness, consider starting with 500mg a day. Make sure you emphasize the concentration of EPA and DHA in the product versus the oil you are taking due to the different concentration of these fatty acids from product to product.
How To Buy a Good Product?
An important thing to remember when buying is that all fish oil supplements have different levels of EPA and DHA. Choosing a product with a higher concentration of these two fatty acids is crucial to assure the dose you are receiving is appropriate. This is why it is important to speak with a provider who can offer highly rated supplements before starting.
Fish oil is a fantastic supplement that can be beneficial for every individual depending on their current health and wellness. Make sure you take the time to research the product you decide to go with prior to supplementing. I’d love to help get you started if you are looking for ways to improve your wellness. Whether it’s starting on fish oil, another supplement, or getting out of pain feel free to give us a call!
Consumer Lab (Nov. 11th, 2018) Fish Oil and Omega-3 and -7 Supplements Review.
Last Updated: May 7th, 2019.