Who should use fish oil?

Kimberly A. Parks, DO
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Based on large clinical trials, there appear to be three major groups of adults who will benefit from the intake of daily fish oil: 
  1. People who have known coronary heart disease
  2. People without coronary heart disease that want to lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease
  3. People who have high triglyceride levels
Further studies are needed to show whether or not fish oil can help improve other conditions, but there've been small studies that suggest there are many other conditions which may be improved with it’s use. There is some promise that fish oil might benefit those with chronic inflammatory conditions such as asthma and certain types of arthritis, or help improve cognitive decline along with many other possible benefits. 

Offspring of women in the prenatal and postnatal state who have a high consumption of fatty fish that is low in mercury have been shown to have improved neurodevelopment and cognitive development. Fish that is high in mercury, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tile fish should never be consumed by a woman who is pregnant or may become pregnant because they have very high levels of mercury.
Most of us consume far too many omega-6 fats, thanks to all the processed foods we eat, and way too few omega-3s, especially a type called, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). That imbalance appears to contribute to depression.

For help in fighting gloom, try taking one to two grams daily of a fish oil supplement that includes both DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the two types of omega-3s most readily used by the body. The only side effect may be some fishy-tasting burping (if that happens, try an algae-based DHA supplement). Possible bonus: a bit of added protection against sunburn and sun-induced Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) damage. One caveat: If you’re injured or planning to have surgery, be sure to let your doctor know that you are taking omega-3, because it is a blood thinner.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

The Importance of Supplement Safety
The Importance of Supplement Safety
In 2002, the two-year-old daughter of Jude Law attended a children’s party at London’s Soho House Club. It was reported that while there, she swallowe...
Read More
Is larch arabinogalactan safe?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Larch arabinogalactan is a polysaccharide that's found in nature in the cell walls of plants. As suc...
More Answers
What is larch arabinogalactan used for?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Larch arabinogalactan can be used as a dietary fiber as well as an immune support supplement. Larch ...
More Answers
Is There Scientific Evidence to Support Nutritional Supplementation?
Is There Scientific Evidence to Support Nutritional Supplementation?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.