The benefits of fish oil supplements for your health are well-documented. With more than a dozen human studies pointing to its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, protect against macular degeneration, and even help with weight management, you may want to consider adding them to your diet.
Fish Oil Benefits
There are many benefits to taking fish oil, but there are also some side effects. Some beneficial side effects of fish oil include reduced inflammation and improved heart health. However, some side effects of fish oil include digestive issues such as diarrhea and stomach discomfort. Other side effects of taking fish oil include a nasty taste in the mouth and a bad breath.
Canola oil is also very high in omega-6 fats. The ratio of linoleic acid to alpha-linolenic acid in canola oil is 40:1 — 60 times the average American daily dietary intake. Canola oil is a trans fat that becomes a saturated fat when heated and has been shown to raise cholesterol levels in animals when fed to them.
Research on the effects of fish oil supplements for cancer is limited. Fish oil has not been shown to decrease the risk of colon cancer, breast cancer or prostate cancer. A study published in 2005 and another study published in 2006 both show that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil do not reduce the risk of spontaneous tumor formation in animals when given at high doses over long periods of time.
Fish oil has been studied for its effect on Alzheimer’s disease and is under active investigation. The results of these studies are mixed. Some show a protective effect, while others do not. In addition, the effects may depend on other factors, such as diet and exercise. The type of fish oil is also important because some have higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids than others. Fish oil supplements come in three basic types: capsules and tablets containing large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids; softgels that you dissolve under your tongue (sublingually); and liquid drops.
The researchers evaluated 19 studies that compared the health effects of omega-3 versus omega-6 fats, giving particular attention to 14 research papers deemed to be the most trustworthy. They arrived at a few key conclusions. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are found in walnuts, flaxseeds and other sources, protected against a variety of risks associated with heart disease and stroke (as well as sudden death), while saturated fat — typically found in red meat and dairy products — was deemed a risk factor for heart disease.
The researchers noted that eating more than 2,000 mg of omega-3s per day appears to be necessary to produce the benefits. In addition, they said people shouldn’t rely on fish oil supplements or frequent eating of oily fish as an alternative, because the “proper balance” in their diet is essential. Also highlighted in the review was a study on women with no history of cardiovascular disease who were randomly assigned to take either an omega- 3 supplement or a placebo and then were monitored over two years. The researchers found that women in the omega-3 group enjoyed a significantly lower risk of death and cardiovascular disease.
Fish Oil Side Effects
Fish oil supplements are popular and have many benefits. However, they may also cause side effects such as weight gain, skin changes and a higher risk of bleeding. Visit the ConsumerLab.com website for more information about fish oil supplements. Eating a low-carbohydrate diet may help you lose weight and maintain your lower body fat percentage throughout the winter, even if you’re not exercising, says Professor Tim Church at Penrith in Sydney, Australia. His research shows that people eating a low-carbohydrate diet (around 30% of their daily calories) lost around 5kg over the course of six months (38).
Fish Oil Dosages
There are many health benefits associated with fish oil, and the dosages vary depending on what you’re trying to get out of the supplements. For people who have heard of the omega-3 fatty acids, it’s important to know that there is a difference between EPA and DHA. EPA comes from cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, and cod; DHA comes from warm-water fish such as mackerel, herring, and anchovy. Other important fish oil supplements include astaxanthin and krill oil for an antioxidant boost.