What’s the deal with Fish Oils?

A quick overview of Fish Oils

What is fish oil and why do I keep hearing about them in magazines, radio and on TV? 

Fish oil is derived from the tissue of oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, tuna & salmon. They are an essential supplement needed because our body does not produce them.

FIsh oil is the most widely available source of DHA and EPA.

What are DHA and EPA?

They are OMEGA-3 fatty acids.

FullSizeRenderWhy do we need to consume OMEGA-3 fatty acids? 

Omega-3 fatty acids may work by decreasing the amount of triglycerides and other fats made in the liver. ¹ They help inflammation and can protect the blood brain barrier .4

What does that mean for you?

It means a reduction in inflammation, prevention of heart disease, relief in symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, help with fetal growth during pregnancy . ² As well as protect the blood-borne bacteria, toxins and other pathogens. After a concussion fish oils at therapeutic doses have been shown to be helpful in reducing inflammation in the brain.  A therapeutic dose is about 4g a day.

Moderate evidence shows that consumption of about 8 ounces per week of a variety of seafood, which provide an average consumption of 250 mg per day of EPA and DHA, is associated with reduced cardiac deaths among individuals with and without pre-existing cardiovascular disease. ³

There is also evidence of omega 3s helping with neuromuscular function, athletic performance, weight loss, and mental conditions such as ADHD and Anxiety.

What type of fish oils should you buy ? 

EPA/DHA fish oil from a cold clean water source with an added antioxidant such as vitamin E or citrus oil to minimize or eliminate “fish burp” ( have no fear the good brands do not have fish burp)

Trusted brands such as Barlene’s or Nordic Naturals have quality fish oils.

How much do I take ? 

Average, general population should take 1g a day which is usually one serving found on the bottles. Athletes, those recovering from injury or concussion or chronic inflammation should take therapeutic doses of 3-4g a day. Studies have shown no increase advantage after 4g.

Fish oils are absorbed through fat which means it is best to take them along with your most “fattening” meal of the day for best absorption.  I usually recommend taking them with dinner. In addition,  enzymes act as catalysts in the omega-3 & -6 conversions.

The most important co-factors for omega-3 metabolism are:

  • vitamins: B6, B12, biotin, niacin, folic acid
  • minerals: zinc, magnesium and selenium.



If you are a tested athlete -https://www.nordicnaturals.com/en/Products/Product_Details/515/?ProdID=1657



¹ https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a607065.html

² https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/omega

³ http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf

4. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170505085009.htm