Fish oil is a a source of omega-3 fatty acids. It reduces triglycerides, but does not seem to affect the rate of cardiovascular events. It seems to notably reduce the symptoms of depression and improve some painful, inflammatory conditions. Our evidence-based analysis on fish oil features 839 unique references to scientific papers.
|Is a Form Of||
Bone and joint health
Cognitive Function and Brain Health
Liver Health and Detoxification
|Primary Function||Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory|
|Also Known As||Eicosapentaenoic Acid, EPA, Docosahexaenoic Acid, DHA, Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-3, Omega 3, N-3 Fatty Acids|
|Do Not Confuse With||Alpha-Linolenic Acid (the plant-based omega-3)|
|Goes Well With||
Vitamin E, Milk Thistle because they are anti-lipid peroxidation agents
Curcumin for breast cancer risk-reduction
Fucoxanthin for increasing fucoxanthin's effects
Fenugreek Oil, for reducing after-meal glucose spikes
Green Tea Catechins for increasing GTC bioavailability
Fish oil doses vary depending on the goal of supplementation. For general health, 250mg of combined EPA and DHA is the minimum dose and can be obtained via fish intake. The American Heart Association recommends 1g daily. If the goal of supplementation is to reduce soreness, a 6g dose, spread over the course of a day, will be effective.
Since fish oil is a combination of two different fatty acids, these numbers reflect a combined total. Total eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) consumption should come from a mix of real food and supplements. The more EPA and DHA is provided by the diet, the less supplementation is required.
Fish oil can be taken throughout the day. To minimize the "fish burp" taste, take fish oil with meals.
Pregnant women should increase their intake of DHA by at least 200mg a day, as long as there is no risk of elevated mercury levels.
Fish oil is a common term used to refer to two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These omega-3 fats are usually found in fish, animal products, and phytoplankton. The fatty acids EPA and DHA are involved in regulating various biological processes such as the inflammatory response, various metabolic signaling pathways, and brain function. They can be synthesized in the body from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), but in small amounts for most people.
Fish oil causes a potent reduction in triglyceride levels,and a more modest reduction in blood pressure in hypertensives. Despite this, long-term trials haven't found a reduction in the rate of cardiovascular events. It appears to notably improve mood in people with major depression, though it's unclear if it has an effect in people with minor depression. EPA, in particular, seems to be the most effective omega-3 fatty acid for this purpose which suggests that the effects of fish oil are due to reducing neuroinflammation. Its anti-inflammatory benefits also seem to extend to reducing the symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus. However, its benefits shouldn't be assumed to extend to inflammatory diseases in general.
"Fish oil" refers to a solution of fatty acids where the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are dominant. Fish is by far the most common source for fish oil, hence the name, but an artificially manufactured EPA/DHA dominant mixture from any source could be considered fish oil. Typical fish oil can contain small amounts of other omega-3 fatty acids, usually DPA and fatty acids that don't belong to the omega-3 category. Alpha-linolenic acid (found most abundantly in nuts and seeds), is an omega-3 fatty acid that can be turned into EPA and DHA but is not itself a fish oil fatty acid.